PARIS.- Born in 1961, Marc Maison embraced the antiques dealer profession in 1979 and opened a stand at the Saint-Ouen Flea Market. Soon thereafter, he specialized in the elements of monumental architecture, an area often neglected by hiscolleagues. As a man of challenge with a drive to excel, Marc Maison is unimpressed by the technical constraints of these rare pieces of unusual sizes. As a result, he acquired the Tourny Fountain of Bordeaux in 2005, the very one that currently stands in front of the Parliament of Québec. It is a fountain of prominence as it originates from the premiere gardens at the Versailles Castle, which Marc Maison then retrieved and resold to the castle in 2009.
Marc Maison is passionate about the most majestic décor: Fireplaces, fountains, wood panels, antique garden furniture, stained glass, fireplace plaques and columns.
Heavily invested in the recognition of his profession, Marc Maison founded the Association of Defence and the Promotion of Saint Ouen Flea Markets in 1991 and earned the rank of Zone Urban Landscape and Architectural Heritage, a distinction similar to that of Historical Monuments, for this unique place in Europe; a true breath of life into antiquity.
Today, Marc Maison employs more than a dozen workers in his 1500 m2 showroom and storefront at Saint-Ouen Flea Market dedicated to fireplaces.
But it is his Gallery at Quai Voltaire that gives voice to his true passion: Decorative Artistic Creations of the 19th Century.
A boundless passion for the Nineteenth century
At the time of Nana and the stories by Castiglione, the official décor of the Third Republic was imposing and lush: gilded mouldings all over, sculpted wood and lounge chaises with round padding. But they were also incredibly inventive and rich with both aesthetic and technical creations. Beginning in the 1990s, Marc Maison and his wife Daisy began to study and personally collect French historical paintings, art objects and sculpted furniture from the second half of the Nineteenth century. In this vibrant period, there were some exceptional pieces produced for the World Exhibitions in London and Paris between 1851 and 1900. Stylistic creations ranging from neo-Gothic to Art Nouveau throughout the periods of Romanticism, Japanism and neo-renaissance, impassioned by dizzying eclecticism. Even more than stylish furniture, these are the real creations of artists like Lièvre, Grohé, Barbedienne, Sauvrezy, Babriel Viardot or Christofle that Marc Maison patiently collected, with the hope of bringing this taste back to the spotlight.
The work of the cabinet-maker Fourdinois and his contemporaries Rivartor Duvinage, is presently the main subject of research done by Marc Maison and his collaborators in preparation for the publication of a work by Faton Publishers at the end of August 2012, La Marqueterieau XIXe siècle, Brevets dInvention (Marquetryin the 19th century, Invention Patents).
And as this stubborn aesthete does nothing halfway, Marc Maison and his family who are all interested in art history, live daily in an atmosphere of the Second Empire, nurtured by their diverse acquisitions. Sit in their living room and let your mind wander, you might run into Anna Judic, an opera singer and muse of Offenbach, languid in their velvet alcove.
Stand created by Michael Coorengel
Having spent his childhood in The Hague, a governmental and diplomatic city, with an engineer as a father and an Indonesian princess as a mother, he was very passionate about the beauty of things. Michael Coorengel works as a decorator of refinement who combines rigorous design and organization. He began his career at Polo Ralph Lauren in the early 90s.
As the artistic director of Paul bakeries and Laduréetea salon, he created all the graphic images for them. It was in discovering the Eiffel glass roof of the showroom of Marc Maison in Saint Ouen-a glass roof which is currently the façade of the Laduréetea salon on the Champs Elysées-that a direct collaboration created a friendship between them.
Today, in the office he created with Jean-Pierre Calvagrac, he works for Puiforcat and produces décors for private clients, collectors and antiquarians, within which he works as a decorator by creating art objects of great quality. Today there is a Second Empire theme for the stand of Marc Maison at the Bienniale of Antiquarians, which was conceived by this decorator of great talent who mixes his life and productions, "dream and reality."