Objects broker, fragments of History, François Tardif is always looking for knowledge to transmit to his customers. A flawless passion for the classic that 42 years of business have only confirmed. This erudite antique dealer meets objects thanks to his sure eye, so come and listen to the stories of the pieces, picked with passion, that François will tell you with as much pleasure.
What is your background ?
I started with engineering studies in public works that I quickly stopped. My mother being an antique dealer, had transmitted me the virus, so I could not help but dive into the job. I have been practicing without interruption for exactly 42 years and as curious as it seems, I do not get tired of it. I am still passionate and it is an essential quality to practice this job which now requires a lot of work and skills, which was not necessarily the case when I started.
What is your speciality ?
I have a very classic base. For 25 years, I was passionate about 17th and 18th century French furniture, faience and painting.
In the 18th century, there was such an evolution, such a desire to decorate interiors with multiple sources of inspiration that all this created a grandiose profusion and resulted in styles that have evolved. We also note that in the 19th century, although there is modernity, we will take all the previous styles and transform them. I also have a special affection for the Haute Époque style that dates from the late Middle Ages to the 17th century.
Now I try to diversify a little on furniture of the 20th century to meet the demand, but my passion for the classic is intact.
We have the chance to work on gigantic domains, we have never finished learning and that is what excites me. This is the magic side of the job!
What is your relationship to objects?
The antique dealers are smugglers, discoverers of objects. We are there to transmit them, but much more to tell the story that makes the object what it is. The true meaning of our business is to discover them, present them and pass them on to collectors. We oscillate between the need for possession and the need for sale, and we sometimes regretfully sell pieces that we have really wanted and managed to obtain.
For you what does Paul Bert Serpette represent?
Much more than my place of work, it is a market that I like a lot for its atmosphere, its diversity, its landscape aspect, its paths where it is good to walk.
Which piece of your booth is particularly important to you?
I have a Romanesque limestone capital, which dates from 1150. It was mounted in font, probably in the Renaissance. One can see a depiction of St. Peter prisoner, with men in mesh size, and the Archangel coming to deliver him. During this period, each capital told an episode of the life of Christ. These sculptures were in a way, the comics of the 12th century and were used to educate the faithful who can not read. It is also interesting to note that at that time everything was polychrome. I have not managed to determine its provenance precisely, sculptors strolling throughout France. I have rarely had a marquee with such pretty proportions, the details are beautiful.