Bonhams to sell Rolls-Royce once owned by eccentric Multi-millionaire who reputedly had a French chateau shipped to Houston, Texas

7 Feb 2013, Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais

The 1928 'Playboy Roadster' that Bonhams will offer for sale at its Grand Palais Sale in Paris from 6th to 7th February was once housed in the collection of millionaire real estate developer Jerry J. Moore

In 1966 an American traveling in France became smitten with a mid-19th Century chateau. He bought it, and had each piece numbered and shipped across the Atlantic to Houston, Texas, where it was painstakingly reconstructed by specially-commissioned French craftsmen to form his main residence.

As legend would have it, that American was Houston-based Jerry J. Moore, a self-made multi-millionaire commercial real estate developer who would later go on to become a world-class collector of automobiles. Certainly Mr Moore lived in the Texan chateau for many years.

Bonhams is pleased to announce it is to offer a car formerly housed in Mr Moore's collection, a 1928 Rolls-Royce 'Playboy Roadster', at its auction at the Grand Palais in Paris from 6th to 7th February 2013. The striking black motor car with cream leather interior and red detailing is estimated to realize between €290,000 and €370,000.

In 1993 Jerry J. Moore entered the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans. The publication put his net worth at $500 million. Around the same time Texas Monthly magazine ranked him Houston's richest person, putting his net worth at more than $700 million. He died in 2008, aged 80.

The three-storey chateau he called home for many years had more than 30 rooms, including 10 bedrooms and a palatial grand ballroom with 75 chandeliers – one crystal pair having adorned the original Moulin Rouge in the 1700s. The residence also had separate guest quarters in the style of the main chateau and a climate-controlled garage which housed a large part of his collection of rare automobiles.

Following the spectacular success of its 2011 sale at the historic automotive venue, Bonhams is delighted to be returning to the Grand Palais in Paris in 2013, where the Motor Car, Motorcycle and Automobilia departments will combine with the 20th Century Decorative Arts department to conduct a series of sales.

Among lots already consigned for the auctions is the 1929 American Moth Corporation De Havilland 60GMW Gipsy Moth biplane that featured in the 1985 Oscar-winning film 'Out of Africa' (starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford), and the ex-works Bugatti Type 54 that raced at Monza on 6th September 1931 in the hands of Achille Varzi (estimate €2.5 million - €3.5 million) (see notes to editors for a full list of motor car entries to the sale).

Highlights among the objets d'art on offer include:

Raoul Larche, a Gilt-Bronze Figural Lamp modeled as the actress Loie Fuller, c.1920 (estimate €50,000 - €75,000)
Jean Dunand, a Dinanderie vase from the first year of production, 1913 (estimate €12,000 - €17,000)
Demetre Chiparus 'Dourga'. A large size chryselephantine model, c.1925 (estimate €15,000 - €22,000)

Final entries for the auction are being accepted. For further information call +33 1 42 61 10 11 or email:paris@bonhams.com.


NOTES FOR EDITORS

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and appraisal services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com

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