5 of the best antique jewellery stores in Paris

5 of the best antique jewellery stores in Paris

Go treasure-hunting in the French capital – you never know what you may find…

 

Don’t we all harbour dreams of a Parisian grandmamma who vows to bequeath all her most dazzling chatelles to you, her favourite? The next best thing is unearthing an undiscovered gem on the Parisian vintage jewellery circuit – and, let’s face it, often the biggest thrill is in the find.

 

Kenyan star ruby broaches, art nouveau rings, assemblage necklaces with intaglio cameos, 19th century insect designs and foil-backed emerald earrings: these are just a few of the old-century survivors that antique aficionados should be on the look out for. And the Rue St-Honoré is where you should be looking out for them. Even the exteriors of the stores on this street will quicken your pulse, with their deliciously dusty overcrowded windows and wooden signs engraved with in enticingly curly fonts, like fingers beckoning you inside.

 

Here are five of our hot spots for treasure hunting…

 

1. G Linde

Shoppers with entomophobia may want to steer clear, but if jewellery in the shape of beetles, ants and wasps is your thing, G Linde is your haven. With 19th-century jewellers known for being naturalists, much of the work from this time is of the (impressively realistic) creepy crawly variety. But other extraordinary finds are also for the taking like hanging, diamond-speckled timepieces and crafty cufflinks.

 

2. Lydia Courteille

It’s lauded as one of the most stylish shops in Paris, but Lydia Courteille (lydiacourteille.com) is also one of the most expensive. From 19th-century to art deco, the 1940s, 1950s and 1970s, Lydia’s passion for superior jewels is palpable. The broaches and pins from the art deco period – a turning point in art history – are strikingly geometric, a nod to their industrial influence.

 

3. Dary's

For more affordable finds, make your way to Dary's (darys-bijouterie-paris.fr) where you’ll be bombarded with a Victorian (or Napoleon III as they refer to this period in France) hoard of jewellery ranging from frivolous mid-century pieces to lavish diamond creations. Small wonder the merchandise is so extensive: the store has been in the Jacob family since 1932.

 

4. Nicolas and Alexis Kugel

While the emphasis is on electric antiques at Nicolas and Alexis Kugel, the extensive range from the fifth-generation antique dealers also extends to jewellery, silver, furniture, scientific instruments and Russian art, allowing mademoiselle more time to dig out a rare lorgnette, while monsieur gets to grips with the Renaissance automaton clocks.

 

5. Louvre des Antiquaires

Louvre des Antiquaires (louvre-antiquaires.com) is a three-story multi-dealer complex in the arcades of the Rue de Rivoli, just across from the Louvre. Since many shops here display all of their stock in the window, you can browse in peace without being pressurised by a salesperson. A small, unassuming shop on the lower level, Ar'Them stocks prized possessions from 19th-century master craftsmen like Falize and René Lalique, while a little further down at Balian (louvreantiquaires.com/en/5/Balian) there’s art deco bracelet aplenty along with gold and enamel lalique broaches and the odd, intricately patterned pocket watch.

 

Want more?

Le Village Saint-Paul with its snaking streets and network of courtyards and passageways, is not only crucial to the fabric of Marais, it’s also where you’ll stumble encounter more than 80 antique stores. It’s worth a trip any day of the week, but the vintage market on the first weekend of every month throughout autumn and winter is definitely a date for the diary.

 

Source: Condé Nast Traveller Middle East

 

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