First Published 22 May 2015
One of the best parts about sourcing collectible vintage furniture for clients is seeing their faces light up when they find the piece they are looking for or when they unexpectedly find themselves in front of a piece that takes their breathe away. There is a sense of connection through time – between the designer, the object and its path to arriving before its new owner, and the owner’s path that brought him or her to this moment. It’s a personal and meaningful experience.
It does take some extra organization to shop at a market for vintage items – and you can’t bet on finding everything in one day as you might at IKEA – but you can and will find truly unique pieces that have soul and will last much longer than many of the products produced for mass production today. And you are contributing to the health of our Mother Earth by purchasing objects that already exist rather than new items.
A few basic tips:
1. Measure the space in your home you are looking to fill ahead of time.
2. Take a measuring tape.
3. Arrive early. The best pieces go fast!
4. If you have questions about an item – ask! Most dealers are really happy to talk about their items. And this is the best way to learn.
5. Negotiate. Negotiate. This doesn’t always come naturally but it is really worth that uncomfortable first inquiry … then it becomes fun!
6. Bring money – the amount you want to spend. This gives you a strict budget and you won’t miss a great find. Many of these traveling exhibitions are only there for a few days so you need to be ready to take a decision (after negotiating!) Even at Les Puces de Saint-Ouen the inventory moves pretty quickly over the weekends – and there is not a bank close by! That said, don’t be rushed into anything… Most dealers will hold a piece for you for a few hours, and during the week at Saint-Ouen.
In this spirit of treasure hunting, the 32nd edition of Les Puces du Design is 28-31 May. This is a fair of 100 exhibitors – 40% of them are from outside of France – selling vintage design from the 1950s – 2000. It takes place in Bercy Village in the 12th arrondissement. Info here. We have blogged about it each time we visit and encourage you all to go! This is a wonderful chance to see pieces up close, speak with dealers (although many of the Italian dealers don’t speak French or English in our experience!) and negotiate some great prices!
That’s it for this week! Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
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It was a big week in Paris with design sales at Christie’s, Artcurial and Piasa! Here are some of the highlights.
Christie’s held a day and evening design sale on Tuesday May 19th. These sales together totaled 4,958,850 Euros. Three of our favorites:
Carlo Mollino, Table Basse for Apelli, Varesio & Co., circa 1949/50 sold for €169,500 ($191,561)
Jean-Michel Frank, Lampe de Table, circa 1926 sold for €265,500 ($300,055)
George Jouve, Lampe de Table, circa 1950 sold for €47,100 ($53,230)
Artcurial held two sales on Wednesday May 20th: the First Scandinavian Design sale present by the auction house included 131 lots, 39 (that’s 30%) went unsold. The traditional Design sale held on the same day included of 102 lots (after three were withdrawn) and faired better with only 13 lots unsold (13%). Two incredible highlights:
Finn JUHL (1912-1989) EXCEPTIONNEL FAUTEUIL MOD. FJ 49 DIT « CHIEFTAIN » – 1949 Structure en teck massif, revêtement en cuir cognac… Sold for €262,200
Jean Prouvé’s, Desk mod. Présidence,1952 in lacquered steel and tinted solid oak sold for €1,117,800. More information on this desk here.
D’Days – The 15th annual Designer Days Festival takes over Paris from 1-7 June with a huge range of incredible opportunities for guided exhibition visits, meeting with designers, talks, gallery visits, product introductions and more.
A couple highlights include Design Specialist at Druout, Ann Bony is offering a class on The History of Design. At the Musée des Arts Décoratifs – the library Pavillons by Pierre Gonalon (represented by Galerie Armel Soyer) will be placed near Pierre Chareau’s office, “which forges links between influence and permanence”.
Multiple Art Days (MAD) is the first fair for limited art editions.
La Maison Rouge 10 Boulevard de la Bastille, 75012 Paris
22-24 May 12h00-19h00
The 3rd annual Collective Design Fair in NY was last week and it is proving to be an important fair amongst all the new fairs. Wava Carpenter and Anna Kendrick have written an very informative review of the fair for Artsy averrable to read here.
For those of you in NY or interested in more great content about collectible design, check out Daniella Ohad‘s blog. She also teaches a class on collectible design each semester at the NYSID. It is open to the public and I believe you can purchase access to individual classes. Here is the link.