Le Biennale des Antiquaires 2010

It is going on now until the 22nd of September… 25th edition.

What is it you ask? It’s a giant art sale really. The Grand Palais hosts this event every year where prestigious galleries from all over the world are invited to display their wares, to buyers… and dreamers, or ‘window-lickers’ as we say in French (lèche-vitrine). But we are able to do more than just drool on window panes, we get to get up close and personal with the art. Inspect the detailed work and discuss the price… if you can afford it. Some curious people ask the price anyway. I overheard prices that made my toes tingle.

Underneath the daylight streaming through the glass art nouveau dome, there is an excited hush amongst the well dressed browsers. The possibility of owning one of these precious pieces hangs in the air, as vendors eye you and judge weather you are a new sale. They are also on the lookout for their return customers from last year, and put on their instant ‘I’m your best friend’ voice for that American patron of the arts that swaggers up with a ‘hey, howya doing man!’ Entry is 25€, not necessarily cheap. Refreshments are hefty as well, but the consolation is that there is a Ladurée stand to the right upon entry! 🙂

The European elite and super wealthy are welcome with open arms, of course, as you can see here. Aesthetic attention to detail and comfort are a must, especially when you want someone to spend a small fortune on a painting or piece of décor.

But I wasn’t there for  macarons (even though I ate some) nor was I there to be awed by the astronomical price of art and antiques, I was there to see pieces that will soon probably end up in some private collection where the public will no longer be able to gaze at it. Picasso, Klimt, Greuze, ancient books like a first edition print of La Peau de Chagrin by Balzac… I’m swooning.

I saw a small Fragonard that would go perfect in my living room… sigh…


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