How we buy antiques in France

How we buy antiques in France

Postcard from Paris: meet the team! Reading How we buy antiques in France 3 minutes Next Bonjour Y'all!

Picture this: it’s almost 8 a.m. somewhere in France.  Depending on the season, it’s either 20 degrees or 90 degrees and it’s either pouring down rain or blazing hot.  There’s a huge crowd of people mashed up around a gate (and because it’s France, everyone is smoking and doing power shots of coffee from tiny plastic cups.) Everyone is sizing each other up – or recognizing friends and fellow dealers with big smiles and bonjours. All of a sudden, the very official-looking security guys open the gates and the crowd surges forward, pushing and shoving and doing everything possible to be the first one through the gate.

Welcome to our world – and the one we just love.  This is how we begin an antiques fair and we swear, it’s positively addictive.

Once those gates are open, it’s a free-for-all.  Buyers are sprinting to their favorite dealers who are frantically unloading their trucks as fast as they can.  If you’re lucky, you can hop on the truck and pick your goodies before they even hit the ground.  Or, if you just wait five minutes, all the treasures are artfully and creatively displayed and you can start the serious shopping.

After years and years of doing this, we have a great system.  We have a certain way we like to walk the fair, both of us checking out the merchandise and heads on swivels.  There’s a sense of emptying your mind of everything else and waiting for that certain something to catch your eye.

It’s hard to see the diamonds in the rough when there’s so much sheer stuff to filter through. But when we see it, we are all about laser focus – and sealing the deal.

Things we look for: gorgeous patina. Beautiful lines.  Integrity of craftsmanship. Originality.  Collectibility. And, of course, when we see something that grabs our attention, we have to think about the end use – who will buy this and how would they use this?  That’s the fun part and our inspiration comes from lots of sources: the talented designers we work with on a daily basis; the wonderful shelter magazines that fuel our inspiration and of course, good old Instagram.

Along the way, we always try to photograph the adorable French dogs that are running around. Their little faces are irresistible, even for this cat person!

And don’t forget about art. We have the most fun finding little gems that are simply stunning in their state – which is usually dusty, old, without any provenance and completely tantalizing!

And, of course, it's not a trip to France without sampling some of the fabulous local cuisine.

Gotta finish with the bubbles!

It's pretty much the very best job in the world and we wouldn't trade it for anything.

Does this sound like fun? If you're like us and thrive on the thrill of the hunt, why not join us for one of our antique buying trips? All the info is right here.

A bientot!

 

 

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