The only one in its kind, Patrick Serouge's booth is full of nautical maps as an invitation to travelling, views of villages that will evoke your origins or Art Deco prints ready to adorn your home. Come hunting the piece that will make your heart beat under the benevolent eye of this merchant, always happy to share his knowledge and passion.
What is your background ?
Initially, I am a restaurateur of old documents, then from the restoration I went to od prints and maps selling. I then opened a bookstore and travel books section, complementary to the cartography.
Tell us about your specialty
My specialty is ancient cartography. It is an area that combines history and travel, which I like it a lot. I present pieces dating from the mid-sixteenth century to the early twentieth century, with representations of the last continents discovered as Africa. I extended my selection of pieces to the decoration. I also sell antique prints with decorative subjects from the 17th century to around 1950.
Like all merchants, I'm always looking for the rare pearl. What drives me is this pleasure of research.
To talk a bit about the history of cartography, we begin to find documents around 1530-1540 with the world's first representations. Old Europe only knows the world through the cards of Ptolemy. Old then of 15 centuries, this cartography of the world was rather evolved. From 1520 to 1580, new cards appear thanks to frequent travelers.
Who are the ancient cartography lovers?
Since I started this job, that is to say 1985, the market was more focused on Europe with real collectors. Gradually, demand began to turn towards the emerging countries of Eastern Europe, in search of points of attachment. Now Asian countries are starting to look at these Western productions with a lot of fun. All this new clientele is really eager to know the history of his country.
Why did you move to Paul Bert Serpette?
At Paul Bert Serpette, we are lucky to have a truly international clientele. There have always been a lot of Americans and we now have an Asian clientele, a bit of South America, who does not have all this production of documents at home. All of this is new to them and they come with stars in their eyes. What is the strength of Paul Bert Serpette is precisely all these international visitors who discover Western production. Since most of my work is focused on mapping all over the world, the ideal is to be in a place where you can meet the people involved in the documents I sell.
Which part of your stand would you like to highlight?
I present this great wall plan of Paris, engraved at Mondhare in 1778. It is richly illuminated with views representing the main monuments of the city. The plans of Paris are very popular because everyone is curious about this amazing capital. This map is one of the most interesting, we can see a Paris already very largely built, but before the Haussmann Paris that everyone knows. These maps of the eighteenth century show districts of Paris that have been completely transformed, with streets that no longer exist. This is one of the most beautiful plans made under the reign of Louis XVI.