Jean Patou Collection at Auction May 22


Pierre Bergé & associés will hold an auction on May 22 dedicated to Jean Patou (1987‑1936) with objects retracing his career as a couturier, who “liberated” women in the 1920s and 30s, and savvy businessman who launched the first suntan lotion in 1928 as well as many celebrated perfumes, such as Joy.

With nearly 200 lots on offer the sale includes not only items related to the fashion and perfume worlds, but personal objects, ranging from paintings and objects d’art to rare manuscripts and autograph.

About 40 lots are dedicated to couture pieces emblematic of his couture house, which underline Patou’s constant search for simplicity with his creations. “I am French, but I hate extravaganze,” he declared to the Washington Post in March 1923. The sale includes sweaters from the 1920s, jersey pieces inspired by Suzanne Lenglen, Josephine Baker, and Louise Brooks, along with the famous "Black and White" dress worn by the Broadway dancer Eleanora Ambrose and the "Musardise" creation celebrating the androgynous silhouettes of the 1920s, with their geometric decorations, low waists and fringes.

For perfume paraphilia collectors, the sale also includes two perfume bars, a concept he invented in the 1920s, as well as vintage bottles of Joy, Colony (instantly recognizable by its pineapple-shaped cap), Normandy (a stylize version of the fame transatlantic liner) and a Baccarat crystal bottle for Amour, Amour.




Items from Patou’s impressive personal library include letters and manuscripts by General La Fayette, along with letters by Gustave Flaubert, Marcel Proust, Jean-Auguste-Dominique, Eugène de Delacroix, and Claude Monet.

An exhibition of the items on sale will be held at the Fondation Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent May 11‑12, and Drouot Richelieu May 21‑22, as well as at the Galerie Didier Aaron in New York April 29‑30.

"I wanted these exhibitions and the auction to pay tribute to the visionary talent of my great-uncle and highlight not only the creator and innovative businessman, but also his interests as a man of culture and avid book reader,” said Jean de Mouy.

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