If you are looking for a finely chiselled bronze, a beautiful portrait or a porcelain service from Paris, Frédéric Chapuis has already found it for you. Enter Ali Baba's cave and let yourself be carried away by the magic of objects and by the pleasure of discovering the piece that will bring to your interior the neoclassical touch it lacked.
What is your background ?
In my family, we had a lot of old furniture, that's how my personal taste was aroused.
I have a somewhat atypical journey since when I started working, it was as a chef. I did a hotel school and between lunch and dinner services, rather than going home rest, I spent my time in Drouot. I started to buy objects at auction to put them as decoration at my house. I liked to organize dinners and some decorating friends offered to buy me things. I did not could resist for a long time since it allowed me to buy better pieces.
By dint of frequenting the auction rooms, I met antique dealers who became friends and who offered to work with them.
Subsequently, I resumed studies at the Ecole du Louvre as a free candidate to study the furniture of the periods with which I had the most affinity.
I then met an antique dealer of Paul Bert Serpette who needed a seller for his booth. I was not really paid, but the counterpart was that I could present objects that I had bought and on which I could earn a living with. This allowed me to share my passion for neoclassical furniture with customers.
In the early 2000s, the owner of the booth offered me to buy it and I accepted. I am today, still installed in this same booth.
What can we find on your booth ?
I am specialized in bronze objects, such as light fixtures, rather from the period from Louis XVI to Napoleon III, but on the neoclassical theme. I am fond of beautifully carved objects that I try to keep in their original state. I also like Paris porcelain and since there were so many manufactures at the time, I end up with a lot of objects.
I also always liked the painter of the same period very much. I have many portraits which are for the most part small masters of the beginning of the 19th century, but from time to time, I happen to have masterpieces a little more prestigious like Alexandre-Jean Dubois Drahonet, one of the official painters of Charles X.
Why do you collect so many objects ?
This buildup is partly a choice, but on the other hand, I do it a bit compulsively.
Originally, I told myself that it was important to present decorators with a large selection of objects. I unpack as I go along, a bit like a carpet merchant. It allows the clients to have a wide choice.
My booth is made up of accumulated objects, but all in all are objects of excellent quality.
What object from your booth would you like to present to us ?
I would like to present a piece that I have had for a certain number of years. It is a Paris porcelain service, from the Dagoty and Honoré manufactory. The porcelain is excessively fine, each cup and each saucer has a different decoration with patterns of Greek characters, showing beautiful postures and drapes.
What does Paul Bert Serpette represent for you ?
It is a unique place in France and in the world. It is one of the most eclectic markets, there are objects from Roman times, up to the XXth century and a large variety of very different customers can be contented. Antique dealers can stay true to their own taste and can share something they like every weekend.