In the eye of Miryam Ginevra
Photographer and bargain hunter, if for Miryam Ginevra it all started with a joke, her taste for beauty and her love of scenography caught up with her! Between 20th century furniture and pop culture decorative objects, you will sometimes find somewhat surprising collector's items, which Miryam will make you love, both through her love of transmission and her overflowing enthusiasm ...
Tell us about your background
Born in Italy into a family of amateur bargain hunters, I started studying economics and then Sciences Po and finally went to a photography school. After having cut my teeth in fashion reports and shootings; at 26, I decided to go to Paris, cradle of the world of photography.
Children and 15 years of work later, I find myself at a festive dinner with my husband's cousin to consider opening a booth at the Jules Vallès Market, in the tone of the joke. I have always liked to hunt, without ever thinking one day of making it my job… We then launched out on a whim and took a booth for two. Little by little, the profession conquered us and I then decided to take my own booth, three years ago. My selection being rather targeted, I realized that Paul Bert Serpette attracted a clientele sensitive to emerging trends who would be more receptive to my choices.
What do you present on your booth?
I buy following my crushes and can you imagine that very often I fall for Italian pieces, by pure chance, or perhaps it is the innate influences of the Renaissance period and the taste for the art of my native land, which nourished me during my youth. So I made this love for Italian design, a characteristic of my booth. You will find a lot of Italian lighting and furniture, but not only, French furniture as well. Being a girl of the twentieth, the design of the 60s, 70s and 80s attracts me, it is the one that I understand, which speaks to me the most. For the moment luck is smiling on me, my taste for this period is in vogue!
But the time does not matter to me if the object finds favor with my eyes. I also make collections of works in hair, dated at the end of the XIXth century, which can surprise. I will also present a collection of 70 pieces at the start of the school year. They are rare objects intended to preserve a lock of hair of a deceased. Until the beginning of the XX century there were approximately 1,500 hairdressers and hair designers in Paris who had this know-how.
There were several very renowned annual competitions which awarded important prizes for the best achievements of these reliquaries in hair. These are gestures and a technique that we no longer master today. The hair represents the lasting memory of the deceased and each work is therefore rare and unique. You shouldn't dwell on the macabre aspect of the object, it tells a part of the history of families and it is precisely this aspect that fascinates me.
I learned to love them and know them in flea markets to now take a real pleasure in putting together collections, lots of reliquaries, worthy of a cabinet of curiosities. I had also already presented a collection during the fête des Puces in September 2019 and a seasoned collector bought me all the pieces. It's always nice to sell a complete collection to a lover of the object I also present a lot of posters and graphic objects, related to my love for photography, I remain very sensitive to images and colors. I try to brighten up my booth and make it come alive.
What does Paul Bert Serpette represents for you ?
Mutual assistance is essential between antique dealers and not a day goes by without me learning something. Antique dealers are wells of knowledge and teach each other their new discoveries, personal enrichment is infinite. Between ceramics, paintings, fabrics, lights, furniture through the ages, learning is vast ... Over the course of the exchanges, we create affinities to finally form a "small family". Paul Bert Serpette represents in my eyes a real small village where solidarity reign, with real characters. It is a framework as atypical, as inspiring.
I thus learned to flourish there, to expand my culture of the object and discovered cutting-edge designers… We are finally a living school where thirst for learning and the pleasure of sharing are well underway. The elders tell us stories and make us discover objects that we would not be able to recognize without their transmission of knowledge. The idea of transmission pleases me and confirms every morning my desire to continue in this way.
Show us a favorite piece from your booth
At the moment, I have a real crush on the Spider wall lights. These are 5 outdoor wall lights, Italian, dating from the 50s. They are made of iron with the copper head sublimated with an opaline, very typical of northern Italy, my native land. It sometimes frightens some customers but overall people like the quality of the work and the originality of these pieces. In Italy, there is a proverb: "Ragno porta guadagno" which means "the spider brings the gain", these wall lights may bring me luck!