Interview: Abel Allegre - Cnossos Gallery
Young antique dealer who considers himself as transmitter of objects and history, constantly looking for new pieces signed by the greatest names of art Nouveau and Art Deco and much more. Abel Allegre and is associate Guillaume le Bigot, are complementary association, nourished by the common passion for beautiful lines
What is your background ?
I was born in a 18th century chest of drawers, I am a merchant's son and very early, I was nurtured by art and antiques. Becoming an antiques dealer was not immediately obvious, I traveled a lot, and I'm still traveling a lot, It's a great source of inspiration. Later, I went back to law school at La Sorbonne, then I started a course at Drouot formation, where I met Guillaume le Bigot, my current associate. After this training, I began to do many antiques fairs in France and abroad. Step by step, Guillaume joined the adventure and we did a lot of exhibitions together. Very quickly, we wanted to take a shared space to present our selection, but while keeping each our own identity.
What is your speciality ?
We each have our own sensitivity. Guillaume is very sensitive to the painting of the 20th century, but if anything ever touches his eye, he runs to buy it, while selecting only objects of high artistic quality and. For my part, I am rather sensitive to furniture and objects of art, from Art Nouveau to the 1940's. The objects I choose are often signed André Groult, Edgar Brandt, Jules Leleu or Gustave Serrurier-Bovy. I can however buy a post-war or contemporary piece. What I'm looking for above all in objects, are beautiful materials and sculptural value. I conceive furniture as art objects foremost.
What does Paul Bert Serpette represent for you ?
Paul Bert Serpette is the place to be to present your work and have an immediate response from the market. This is the main place in the world where people in search of quality pieces pass. I see Paul Bert Serpette as a test tube that test the market trends. If the selection we present does not work, the pace of work allows us to readjust very quickly. We must constantly question and look for things stronger and stronger visually. This is a very stimulating place because there is so much passage that we have to know how to hang the visitors to get them into our universe. Many great merchants are installed here.
What is the piece of your stand that you want to highlight ?
Currently, one of the most important pieces that I present is a sideboard by Edgar Brandt. Its line is perfect. When I saw it, it was in bad condition and liked it immediately because I like to harvest quality objects to restore them. I consider that we transmit objects and history. I wanted to restore this sideboard because it has a real sculptural value and a magnificent ironwork. It is a unique piece, its glass top was made by Georges Dunaime and I try to restore it in the taste of its time. It is very important for me not to distort the piece and get closer to what it was originally, to restore its integrity. The peculiarity of this piece is that it is a little opposed to the usual work of Edgar Brandt. Edgar Brandt is a master craftsman of the Art Deco period who was known for the ironwork of doors he made in New York. His pieces are very difficult to find and of exceptional quality. As soon as I find one of his pieces, I try to buy it because they always have a very strong sculptural side that I like a lot.