If history did not promise Thomas Chabolle a future as an antique dealer, passion caught up with him, stronger than reason. Sensitive to the beautiful and poet who ignores himself, this antique dealer finally followed in the footsteps of his family. Come on his booth and discover inspiring scenographies where a thousand universes embrace each other to please you.
Tell us about your background
I have a very atypical career, I was not at all destined to become an antique dealer. I first studied physics and then branched out into journalism, a profession that I practiced in Italy until I was 30 years.
My link with the world of antiques hunting is however filial, three generations of antique dealers in my family. Without wanting to be an antique dealer, I always liked art objects, paintings and sculptures, having bathed in it since my most tender childhood. I saw countless of them pass by my grandmother, my uncles and my parents, which implicitly sensitized me and which developed my curiosity for this universe.
One day, fate caught up with me. Downstairs, in Italy, there was an auction room. I stopped there and bought a sculpture, a drawing and small bronze bas-reliefs, without really knowing why. I can still see myself raising my finger mechanically, seduced by the beauty of the objects. I brought them back to France to entrust them to my father so that he could sell them to the Flea market, which he did. Passion is born like this. I realized that we could earn money by selling objects and got caught up in the game. I then started in Italy, in parallel with my job as a journalist and then returned to Paris.
Why did you choose to return to Paris to settle in Paul Bert Serpette?
I thought for a long time before leaving my so-called “stable” job for a more uncertain job on a daily basis. Many antique dealers have surprising backgrounds, there are no schools, we all come from different backgrounds and it’s the richness of the profession. Passion was born, so I let it speak. My family being settled in Paul Bert, I followed the family tradition and returned to Paris, it seemed to me to be the natural result.
Do you have a specialty?
I don't really have a specialty, I buy a lot of paintings, objects and sculptures, but less furniture. However, I have a growing attraction for sculpture. No matter the era or the signature, which attracts me in the first place, it is its material and its volume, I like to touch it ... I also like its decorative aspect. Despite my penchant for sculpture, I have sentimentally speaking, no problem detaching myself from objects. I buy to sell, to sell beautiful. So, I don't buy according to the taste of potential customers, I have to like the piece first if I want to be able to sell it.
How is your booth organized?
I try to harmonize the pieces of my booth in order to offer a poetic staging. The antique dealers by Paul Bert Serpette have developed this attraction for scenography, it is a profession in its own right, but the love of the object and the desire to help individuals to project themselves stimulate the artist soul that lies dormant in each of us. Often on Saturday morning, I try different compositions, I test, I move. I don't buy a piece because I project it in a decor, on the contrary, the challenge is to create the decor with the accumulated favorites pieces.
What does Paul Bert Serpette represent for you?
Paul Bert Serpette is the market of all possibilities. Composed of antique dealers, decorators and individuals clients, the clientele is of a rare eclecticism. Touching as many people with different tastes and real financial means available is quite unique.
What was your last favorite purchase?
It is a painting by a French painter, Achille Cesbron, which represents extremely free painted white roses. It is not a basket of flowers on an entablature as we are used to see, but rather a piece of rose bush taken from life. The poetry and freedom that emanate from this painting touch me. This work has something sincere and immediate about it, less constructed than other paintings by the artist. I unfortunately have no photo, it just sold.