The Story Behind Ralph Rucci’s Most Treasured Artwork

The fashion designer writes about how a pair of bronzes serendipitously came into his life

Fashion designer Ralph Rucci at home in New York.
Photo: Joshua McHugh

This story begins in December 1993, when Christie’s Monaco devoted an entire auction to objects, furniture, and art from the collection of Hubert de Givenchy. I didn’t yet know him—we are now friends—but I saw the catalogue and was obsessed with a pair of ancient bronze figures. I couldn’t afford them at the time. They were sold to a gallery in Paris—Didier Aaron, I believe. Years went by. I heard that a famous decorator had purchased them for a client’s home. Then they appeared again in another Christie’s auction, this time in Paris, in December 2007—just before the economic crisis leveled us all.

By this point I was constantly studying auction catalogues to find pieces for my home, always on a ravaged hunt for that special something. It was especially hectic at my office the day of the auction, as we were showing a new collection. Christie’s called just after 9 A.M. so that I could bid on the phone. I did, and no one bid against me—a miracle. Now these bronzes flank the doorway to my terrace, like magical Foo dogs protecting me. When I pass them I think of Monsieur de Givenchy, and how they—and he—serendipitously came into my life. 

Fashion designer Ralph Rucci at home in New York with his coveted auction treasures, a pair of early-17th-century gilt-bronze sculptures by Pietro Tacca. Photo: Joshua McHugh