BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Languages
Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 December 2007, 04:49 GMT
Bidders poised for Savoy auction
Potential bidders view lots
The romance of the hotel is attracting interest around the world
Thousands of pieces of hotel history are to be sold at auction, just days after central London's Savoy closed for a 100m re-fit.

Beds, pink and white signature plates and an oak dance floor are among 3,000 lots to go under the hammer at Bonhams auction house over the next three days.

A 24-light chandelier under which Noel Coward and Anna Pavlova performed is expected to attract the highest bids.

The hotel, which has a distinct art-deco style, will reopen in 2009.

Other highlights of the sale include the contents of the Monet Suite, where dignitaries and celebrities from Harry S Truman to Charlie Chaplin have slept.

It is going to draw a lot of people who haven't been to an auction before, who perhaps stayed at the hotel in the past and who want to take home a memento
Charlotte Wood, Bonhams

Meanwhile, a baby grand piano from the River Restaurant is expected to fetch between 2,000 and 3,000.

Overall, the hotel's history and romance are conservatively expected to bring in anywhere from 600,000 to 1m.

Charlotte Wood, a spokeswoman for Bonhams, said: "The Savoy is part of London's history, and there has been a huge amount of interest in the sale.

"It is going to draw a lot of people who haven't been to an auction before, who perhaps stayed at the hotel in the past and who want to take home a memento."

Earlier, union officials accused the Savoy of shoddy treatment towards its loyal workers following its closure.

The GMB Union said the hotel's decision to make long-term staff reapply for their jobs after the 16-month closure was unfair and disrespectful.

But the hotel said its staff were highly valued and it had actively tried to find jobs for the 500 or so staff made redundant, with success for 97% of them.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Treasures of the Savoy go under the hammer



SEE ALSO
Saudi prince eyes up Savoy hotel
10 Sep 04 |  Business
The Savoy is sold for 520m
07 Apr 98 |  Business

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific