I finally had some success shopping at the flea market; I found Paris in her Splendor! After a somewhat overwhelming visit last weekend with some friends, I went back today strictly to look at etchings Au Réverbère, a shop at stall 43 in Marché Dauphine. It's a bit intimidating; you have to ask for permission from madame to look at the etchings, but the quality is good and she is friendly.

I ended up selecting three etchings from the 1861 lithograph book Paris dans sa splendeur. Beautifully detailed work, large plates, mostly of famous buildings and touristic scenes. We have some framed in our apartment and they are lovely. I chose three historical plates of 17th century Paris (Nos. 73, 74, 75). They should look handsome framed together. It's a shame that the standard now is to cut up these old books, but they do look nice framed on a wall.

Part of the flea market experience is negotiating prices, but I absolutely hate doing it. The woman was very nice and chatty and after some conversation in French about the new president, her trip to the US, and various qualities of paper she offered me a deal about 20% under the nominal listed price. It was in my budget so I took it. Looking now on the Internet I see I could have paid half if I bought from someone random on ebay.fr. Or I could pay twice what I did buying from a dealer in the US. So who's to say? The whole book of 100 lithographs seems to go for about 2000€. Ouch.

  2007-05-13 13:40 Z