Umberto de Giovanni, a Neapolitan in Serpette

It is impossible not to stop on the booth of Umberto de Giovanni as it is full of exceptional pieces. A singing accent, a full of energy voice, this confirmed antique dealer will know how to pass on to you his passion for the beautiful objects that he himself holds from his father.

What is your background ?

My father was a cabinetmaker in Naples and I had started studying in an art school that I quickly gave up to follow my father in his studio. Many antiques dealers brought me furniture to restore and I realized that often they were mistaken about wood species or times. Having acquired a solid expertise thanks to my studies and to my knowledge of cabinetmaker, I thus told myself that I could become a merchant, the important thing being to know well the construction of the piece of furniture. So I started to buy and sell furniture, then I opened a shop in Naples, where I sold to merchants and individuals. I arrived in Paris in the late 80s, I bought in France and sold on unpacking in Italy. In 2007, I moved to Serpette.

What is your speciality ?

I present objects of the eighteenth and nineteenth century. I do not have a particular specialty, I sell bronzes, furniture, porcelain ... but I have a particular sensitivity for marble sculptures and Italian furniture. I buy a lot with feeling.

For you what does Paul Bert Serpette represent ?

Paul Bert Serpette is a magical place, everything can happen, both in terms of sales and purchases. It is an inexhaustible source. It is possible to find and sell everything. The whole world comes here, and knows this market, it's really the most important.

Do you have an object that you want to present?

I have just acquired a magnificent Carrara marble sculpture, dating from the end of the 19th century. She represents a cherub also called "little clever". It is a subject that everyone loves, regardless of nationality. This piece is very finely carved in a magnificent marble quality.

In the future, how do you envisage your antique trade?

I think it's important to try to evolve with the market, that's why I'm starting to get interested in design from the 60's to the 80's. There's a real craze from the customers for these minimalist pieces.