EVERYTHING MUST GO: When it comes to striking designs, jeweler Lorenz Bäumer doesn’t just like to make them — he likes the thrill of a good find, too.
“I buy because [an object] is beautiful and then I have to find a spot for it,” he admitted.
The downside to this is that right now, space is at a premium in his Parisian home, as evidenced by frames propped five-deep against a wall.
Hence why he is offering around 100 lots in an online auction with the Sotheby’s auction house, although he joked that the industry rumor mill probably thought him broke.
Going under the hammer is an eclectic selection that includes photographs, Art Deco tea services by 20th-century French silversmith Jean E. Puiforcat, carved ebony figurines by sculptor Alexandre Noll, made-to-measure Hermès briefcases and an intricate ancient Japanese cabinet.
There will also be some of his jewelry, such as the “Titane Ile Au Trésor” bracelet with its 55-carat green tourmaline, inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, Bäumer’s favorite childhood book; and a solitaire ring featuring one of his laser-engraved “tattooed” diamonds.
As a guideline to the items he is selling, the jeweler said he wanted to use the sale as a window into his creative universe. “This is a slice of my life… things that inspire my work and represent the dialogue that you can have with other creators,” he said, pointing out how Noll’s abstract shapes had inspired his “Black Magic” collection or the geometric shapes of a cabinet by American sculptor Paul Evans had influenced his “Mikado” line.
That and “show that behind the brand, there’s a guy who isn’t dead yet,” he quipped.
Given his taste for hunting conversation-starters in vintage markets and art fairs — “I love that you can come to my home and not know any of it,” he explained — that’s just scratching the surface of his life as a collector.
“My wife is really disappointed we are only selling 100-or-so items because you can’t really see any space being made,” he said. “I’m very invasive.”
That was another criterion in his selection: things with a large footprint. Like, say, a seat by Brazilian designers Fernando and Humberto Campana and made of crocodile plushies; or a bulbous metal totem taking up a corner of the living room. Originally designed by Greek sculptor Philolaos to house cathode-ray television, it now concealed Bäumer’s bar.
And should its next owner want ideas to fill it, the jeweler also listed a handful of rare whiskeys and bourbons. He said he appreciates these spirits because like the precious materials he works with, they are “what natures gives us and what human know-how transforms into something extraordinary — or unpalatable,” he noted.
Selling part of his collection is also a cathartic process, and one that Bäumer has been through before, culling his photography collection or letting go of a furniture style that no longer quite fits his taste.
Don’t expect him to have any regrets, either. “Objects have to continue their lives. [Those I sell] brought me much enjoyment, just like those I’m yet to acquire,” he said, admitting the cycle had already started again. He’d visited the PAD Paris art fair earlier in the week and walked away with “a few things, but smaller in scale,” he was quick to add.
Bidding for “Lorenz Bäumer Collectionneur!” sale will open on May 10 at 2 p.m. CET and run until May 17 on Sotheby’s website.