Cellar Auction at Tour D'Argent

To pave the way for a scheduled renovation, the age-old establishment with unparalleled views of the Seine and the gothic majesty of Notre Dame is now auctioning off more than 3,000 pieces of its silver, glassware and china. It’s also selling certain bottles from its legendary wine cellar, whose catalog rivals the length and byzantine intricacy of Marcel Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time,” in which, as it happens, the restaurant itself appears.

The undeniable star of show: a bottle of cognac from 1788.

This particular cognac — a Grande Fine Clos du Griffier, to be exact — dates from the year before the French Revolution began and is expected to sell for no less than $23,000. That would make it the perfect thing — and perhaps the only thing — to pair with that cake Marie Antoinette already told you to eat.

This could go in Epicurean or Travel or Asylum, but since I know a bunch of you are going to want to get in on the bidding for wine from the cellar, I figured this was the place.

Anita Ekberg in the cellar (of course she brought her wrap; it’s chilly in there)

Insane bidding. I thought some of the silver-plated water tumblers would be nice to have… pre-auction estimates for sets of 6 of them were 250-350 euros per set… many of these lots yesterday went for ~2400 euros plus the 25% vig. So maybe ~$575 per water beaker. Used decanters went for ~$800 - ~$1000 per carafe. This morning salt and pepper shaker sets went for ~400 euros (pre-auction estimate of ~60 euros). Could have bought most of this stuff new at their store in the past for much less I think, but the used aspect of their items certainly has some appeal.