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Silverware On The Seine

Reopening at the beginning of May, Paris restaurant La Tour d’Argent auctions its historic wares

The famous Canardier sculpture in the dining room Photo: Gaston Bergeret, Artcurial
The dining room and view, as of 2015 Photo: Tour d'Argent
A 16th-century Aubusson carpet on the first-floor ceiling Photo: Artcurial
Silver duck press Photo: Thomas Renaut
Actor Romy Scheider and former owner of Tour d'Argent Claude Terrail Photo: Tour d'Argent

Said to have sat on the banks of the Seine for nigh on 435 years, the elegant auberge known as La Tour d’Argent – or “The Silver Tower” thanks to its historic silver-inflected interiors – is set to reopen following a busy 15-day closure.


From its inception under the Good King Henry a place of elegance and poultry specialties that entertained the elite of Versailles come the 17th century the restaurant became the fashionable fixture for the city’s literati, artists and global dignitaries. Its contemporary operations over the last century, under the Terrail family, saw the addition of a sixth floor overlook of Notre Dame, and the nurturing of the wine cellar into a world-renowned treasure consisting of hundreds of thousands of bottles.


Seeking to reinvigorate the once three-Michelin-starred eatery (reduced to two in 1996 and one in 2006), new head chef Philippe Labbé, formerly of Shangri-La’s L’Abeille and Chèvre d’Or in Èze-Village, will spearhead the restaurant’s attempt to restore its lost lustre.


With a renewed focus on the contemporary, much of the restaurant’s distinctive furnishings, silverware and even a selection of coveted bottles for the cellar will go under the hammer on 9 May through Parisian auction house Artcurial. Notable among the lots are the recognisable Canardier statue, a Bernard Cathelin screen and a silver duck press, the tool through which the restaurant’s iconic dish was once prepared. Not to mention some 3000 other pieces all in their own way a part of the famed joie de vivre for which Tour d’Argent championed.




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