Monday, 12 July 2010

'Sleeping Beauties' - the Dovaz collection

The Dovaz collection was made famous in the early eighties for two reasons; firstly, the quality and quantity of the cars that were unexpectedly discovered to be dustily slumbering, and secondly for Herbert Hesselmann's beautiful photographs of the 'Sleeping Beauties'.
Geneva-born Michel Dovaz was a renowned wine expert, teaching at the Academie du Vin in Paris and writing numerous books on the subject. His house, south of Paris, was home to a collection of luxury pre- and postwar cars, including nine Bugattis, two Ferraris, two Rolls-Royces, four Alfa Romeos and numerous others - over fifty cars in all. This was a private collection that he accrued seemingly for the sake of owning beautiful cars. They weren't in regular use, or even stored that well - like so many eccentric collectors, it seemed that Dovaz owned them simply because he wanted to, without further agenda.

Hesselmann's photographs were published in a book in 1986, which drew a lot of attention to the collection at the time. This was largely unwanted, although it had a very positive outcome: a number of the cars have subsequently been rescued and restored. Indeed, a forthcoming book, 'The Fate of the Sleeping Beauties' will document just what happened to each of the cars of the Dovaz collection.

Here follow some of the exquisite photographs, showing the delicate grace of vintage metal being gently awoken. You can learn more here.

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