Garcia—who has left his bold imprint on such classics as La Mamounia in Marrakech, Morocco, and the still-fashionable 1990s hotspot Hotel Costes in his hometown of Paris—swooped up Champ de Bataille in 1992. Designed in the 1600s by Louis Le Vau, the architect renowned for his work on the Palace of Versailles, the castle was dilapidated by the time Garcia acquired it. Only two rooms remained in their originally glorious states, but over the course of some 30 years, Garcia devotedly restored the others, imbuing each one with his signature romantic theatricality and vivifying them with an astonishing trove of furniture, sculpture, and porcelain from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
Seventy-five of those richly decorated pieces (in honor of Garcia’s milestone birthday last fall), hand-picked by the designer, will be up for grabs at the auction. Furniture, once relished by royals, comprises a large portion of the collection. Consider the Louis XV–era floral marquetry commode credited to Antoine-Robert Gaudreau or the console table with alluringly painted sheet metal and marble that was fashioned by Adam Weisweiler during the latter years of Louis XVI’s reign.
A medallion-adorned daybed, likely crafted to commemorate the 1810 nuptials of Napoleon Bonaparte and Empress Marie-Louise, as well as a pair of Edo period cabinets melding silver and Japanese lacquer that belonged to King William III and Queen Mary II of England are equally imposing.
A monumental stash of Sèvres porcelain spans a duo of ornate vases from 1773 that evoke Turkey, a partial table service emblazoned with hundreds of birds as an homage to drawings by the naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon, and two late-18th-century oversized and purple-hued Lagrenée vases that made their way from King Charles IV of Spain to the 10th and 12th Dukes of Hamiltons are also included.
There is also a benevolent bent to the Sotheby’s event: All the proceeds generated by snatching up one of these treasures will go toward the much-needed preservation of Garcia’s revamped château. Complementing his updated interiors are the sprawling and magical gardens tended to by Patrick Pottier, strewn with follies that conjure China and Mughal India. If The White Lotus ever ventures to the French countryside, Champ de Bataille might just be all the glamorous inspiration director Mike White needs.