antiquaries: paris flea markets In 1982 I had
occasion to rent a flat in the 18th arrondissement‚ Pigalle‚ with nothing
but time and everything to do by walking the streets to explore the
unknown. The emotions of that era‚ tucked almost too far away‚ were
recently rewakened after viewing Antiquaries: Paris Flea Markets—a
new monograph in the latest cache from book publisher Assouline’s
There are books dedicated to long walks in (you-fill-in-the-blank).
They extoll exhaustive narration to help pass the time while exercising
and poring over historical treasures. And Antiquaires is a read to take
along on a walk—it is a florilegium of puces for collectors or bargain
hunters‚ either experienced or no‚ on the search for those gems
waiting to be realized. For the seeker‚ it is a dialogue of passion from
those who are compelled to pass on their knowledge.
Cleverly thoughtout‚ the contents of Antiquaries simplifies a complex
maze of players by utilizing only four chapters: The History‚ The Classic‚
The Modern‚ and The Unusual. The combined journalistic savvy of
Laure Verchère and imagery of photographer Laziz Hamani lifts the
spirit. And if you allow yourself the freedom‚ this cocktail places one
squarely in the marketplace. If you gently close your eyes you can hear
the hustle‚ smell the pomme frites‚ and get a whiff of the unmistakable
scent of the stalls—from an industry that has continued for 125 years.
More than a romantic vision‚ Antiquaires is a masters degree of information—of names‚ places and genre in one resource. The only lackluster
moment is the monologue of the foreword. It reads as a commercial for
new technology and web site—dulling the revelation of what is about
to begin upon turning the page.
If today is the end of the world as we know it‚ Antiquaires would be one
catalogue raisonné to preserve for the curious, for many generations to
come n James Barra, Antiquaires: Paris Flea Markets written by Laure
Verchère, images by Laziz Hamani. Assouline, NY assouline.com