Category: Media & Culture / November 30, 2012 2:21 PM EST
A French Royal mistress' desk forms the centrepiece of a private art sale at Christie's auction House in London, and the item is expected to fetch £20 million. ($32 million)
The 18th Century desk is thought to be the place where love letters to the French King, Louis XV would have been written. There are two pieces in the auction.
"Both belonged to Madame de Pompadour who was mistress of Louis Quinze and the great patroness of the arts and an extremely beautiful, intelligent, amusing and glamorous woman. She had a very refined taste in furniture so their best cabinet maker for a very exacting and talented patroness and as you can see they're just really, really beautiful. " said Charles Cator, Deputy Chairman of Christie's International
The collection is owned by Monsiuer and Madame Riahi; avid buyers of French 18th century furniture and works of art. The collection is now going to be sold off individually.
The sale follows a record breaking sale of Riahi’s art collection in 2000, which amounted to $40 million at a Christie's auction in New York.
December is one of the most important month on the art sales calendar and the winter sale at Christie's includes 54 old masters paintings spanning 500 years.
The Riahi collection auction takes place on December 6, and the Old Master's go under the hammer on December 4.