French carmaker Bugatti unveiled their one-off hyper sportscar, La Voiture Noire in 2019. To commemorate this example of excellence, Asprey, the British luxury jewellery and timepiece manufacturer and Bugatti launched a sculpture handmade in 24-karat rose gold and mounted on a bespoke base. A single work of art will be up for grabs, keeping in line with the exclusivity of the single model of La Voiture Noire. Asprey’s silversmiths are set to spend four months working on the collaboration, which is to be finished in the signature colours of Bugatti and Asprey. An NFT will accompany the sale, which will be linked to the physical work via a QR code and a unique serial identifier.
Where the magic happens
In addition to this, a series of 261 smaller, sterling silver sculptures, each with their own NFTs, are set to be launched. The number 261 has been selected as it is the top speed of La Voiture Noire in mph. Buyers of these exclusive pieces will be able to login to a dedicated microsite, aspreybugatti.com, to see the production process of their sculptures by Asprey’s master artisans. The 261 physical sculptures will be adorned with assorted colour bases depending upon the NFT minted. Each coloured base will relate to the iconic brand colours of Asprey and Bugatti, representing the partnership and history of both brands. Ali Walker, Chief Creative Officer at Asprey’s Digital Studio, said, “The bold colours mixed with the gold and silver precious metals create a vivid pop art theme. As for the “Noire,” only the buyer of the 1 of 1 will know that.” The collection will drop in March 2022.
The car ‘La Voiture Noire’ was modelled after Bugatti’s Type 57 SC Atlantic, created in 1936 by the founder’s eldest son, Jean Bugatti, to cater to elite consumers. The car was a fighter plane-inspired sports coupe, and four examples of this luxurious automobile were built. While three were sold to customers and can be accounted for today, the fourth Bugatti Atlantic, went missing. Given the moniker La Voiture Noire, translated as ‘the black car,’ it was kept by Jean Bugatti, but disappeared as the Nazis spread across Europe, especially France. Records show the vehicle was sent for safekeeping on a train headed to Bordeaux in 1938, due to the impending invasion of France, but after that no one knows where the car disappeared. According to expert estimates, it is said that if discovered, La Voiture Noire could be worth over US$100 million. Seven decades after the original vanished, the designers at Bugatti created a one-of-a-kind La Voiture Noire hyper sports car, which sold for a whopping $13.4 million in 2019.
Wiebke Ståhl, Managing Director of Bugatti International, said: “All Bugatti creations, from the Type 57 SC Atlantic that was infamously lost, to the contemporary La Voiture Noire, are designed to spark emotion, even when not being driven, as a static piece of automotive art. Timeless design is a fundamental philosophy at the core of both Bugatti’s and Asprey’s vision.”
These rose gold sculptures are not the only collaboration to emerge using the inspiration of La Voiture Noire. In partnership with Champagne Carbon a one-of-one, tailor-made champagne bottle and case, La Bouteille Noire was launched. The bottle toasts to the perfect form and finish of one of Bugatti’s most legendary models. The 15-litre La Bouteille Noire, named ‘ƎB.01’, consisted of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir and reportedly sold for more than £240,000 at auction in December 2021.