17 April 2019 | Paris | full auction details
Forty years of passion, discoveries and encounters shaped Sylvain Lévy-Alban’s taste for 17th-century decor and objects boasting beautiful provenances. The Paris antique dealer exhibited his pieces, first in his gallery on Rue de Beaune, then on Quai Voltaire, with the same taste that can be found in his apartment near the Palais Royal. Baroness Elie de Rothschild, one of his teachers, taught him to mix different styles. For example, his apartment evoked the splendour and comfort of an English stately home, but enhanced by fanciful Italian pieces. The court portraits hanging on the walls endowed the Grand Salon with an atmosphere of uninterrupted conversation about all the latest things in the wider world, where Sylvain has many friends and customers, including in the United States, Brazil and Europe. The dining room, designed with his good friend Jacques Garcia, astonished guests with its fanciful architecture and chinoiserie decor. The sale will also feature decor from his country house in the Perche, illustrating his skill at mixing Portuguese azujelos, English cosiness and Italian-style gardens around the ruins of a French medieval abbey. A chapel, partly saved by Viollet Le Duc, gives the place a dreamlike, quietly meditative quality that Sylvain carried over to the interior decoration with a beautiful collection of votive objects. The auction will be an opportunity to pay tribute to European fine taste as well as to a well-liked man who wants to turn over a new leaf.