Decades ago, I had a Parisian boyfriend named Raoul. Raoul was a snob and a sophisticate (which is not the same thing as a sophisticated snob). On Saturday afternoons he liked to meet up with his equally snobbish friends at Drouot. I was invited to tag along. Like him, his friends were journalists at either Reuters or AFP (Agence France Presse.)
Back then, I was far from being a sophisticate. Before Drouot, the only auctions I had ever attended were in country barns in rural Ontario (my family had a weekend farm east of Toronto.)
Raoul had a penchant for Persian and Oriental rugs and would bid on them at Drouot. These rugs below remind me of him. Incidentally, Drouot is pronounced “Drew-oh”, the “r” in the back of the throat.
Look at these beautiful pressed flowers over a hundred years old.
Drouot is fun because anyone can just walk on in and attend the sales. Entrance is free. There are several rooms upstairs and sales occur simultaneously. There’s a lot of activity and people milling around. If you like beautiful, eclectic things and objects of historical value, I suggest that you go. Sales usually start at 2 p.m. Here below is the sale of postcards. A few years ago, a postcard dated October 1899 and signed Guillaume Apollinaire sold for 8,000 euros.
You can also bid via telephone and internet. Closest metro stop is Richelieu-Drouot on lines 8 and 9. There are some good restaurants and bistros in this bustling area: Au Petit Riche on the rue le Peletier, Chartier at number 7 rue du Fauboug Montmartre, 75009 Paris. And there are the passages to explore as well. Make a day of it!
If you travel by metro to visit the Drouot auction house be sure to look for the World War I monument to the Paris metro workers (over 800 names) who gave their lives for France in the Great War. The monument was created by Carlo Sarrabezolles. The monument is huge. It is stunning.
Oh, really? I don’t think I’ve seen that monument. I’ll look out for it the next time I’m in the neighborhood. Thanks for commenting!