In 2010, I took a year-long, work-related sabbatical in Paris. I was born and grew up there, but this sabbatical changed it all for me. As a little girl, Paris seemed gray, rainy and dreary. My French mom loved it to bits, not me.
This time, though – rain or shine – it was dazzling.
First, the jewels. Amazing and unforgettable. (For the best examples stroll down rue de la Paix and around Place Vendôme or head for the Museum of Decorative Arts next to the Louvre.)
As if conceived just for me, the City of Paris presented a year-long course on the rich history of guess what? Jewels! Paris, capitale de la Joaillerie chronicled the city of light’s love affair with baubles, showcasing its foremost masters from the 18th century to the present day.
This was serious stuff housed in the halls of the École du Louvre. To further seduce you, huge black and white posters featured a show-stopping profile of Grace Kelly, beautifully coiffed sporting her Parisian pearls. I was hooked.
Then there’s Drouot (pronounced droo-OH), Europe’s largest and most famous auction venue. A feast for the eyes and a carnival of delights, Drouot features 16 auction rooms under one roof selling untold volumes of art, treasures and jewels.
It all started during the French Revolution when auctions materialized in the streets of Paris to disperse the riches of the aristocracy and royalty, complete with crieurs (criers) calling out bids to be heard above the mayhem!
When I lived in Paris for that entire sabbatical year (except during school vacations when everyone leaves town) I spent most of my waking hours soaking up its ambience.
What an experience!
At first, it was frustrating as I was always outbid.
Too shy to move, much less cry out Preneur (I’ll take it!) I would cower in a corner or behind someone’s raincoat. But as a dealer the idea is to buy, I kept on telling myself. Finally, three months later, I emerged triumphant, clutching a load of jewelry designs.
I didn’t really want the items I’d bought that day, but this was my icebreaker for I had discovered how to buy at Drouot. I learned how to jump into the fray, push for the objet of my desire and go one over my limit. Of course, others did this too and I was constantly outbid, but slowly I got into it.
I had so much fun that year I thought, why not let others profit from my experience? Rather than just bringing you to Paris in a blog, let’s bring YOU to Paris!
We launched our first Art & Treasures Tour to Paris in 2019-quite literally seven years in the making–and are delighted to resume Paris! Art, Auctions & Jewels Tour April 2022
Join me in this unique opportunity to witness and even partake in the auction process as only an insider can. We’ll show you everything you need to know to participate. And we will serve as your translator during the entire trip – so all you have to do is enjoy it.
Our tour guests will also make connections in the secretive jewelry field that would normally take years to cultivate. A unique chance to discover this historical world of luxury and learn why Paris IS the jewelry capital of the world!
Collectors, dealers and lovers of Paris, art and jewelry, this is a tour for you. No more than eight guests will experience this glorious city in this unique way so make sure to find out more here.