Alexandre Biaggi Shares His Favorite Things
The Paris vintage design maven embraces contemporary
Tall, elegant, and the epitome of refinement, Alexandre Biaggi is a consummate antiques dealer—relaxed and charming, with a mellifluous voice and a smooth repartee, a hint of his studies as an auctioneer.
For the past 20 years, the Corsica-born dealer, who described himself as “absolutely French,” has been working out of a small shop on the Left Bank’s Rue de Seine, in Paris’ choice 6èmearrondissement, while living in a perfect garconnière, with some of his favorite things—bronze busts by the German sculptor Max Klinger, a gouache by American artist Alexander Calder, a silver and bronze hand by the French sculptor François-Xavier Lalanne, and, over the sofa, Escape, a luminescent glass piece by the American artist Rob Wynne, a desk attributed to the oh-so-chic Cuba- born French artist Emilio Terry, and other esoteric objects and furnishings, from a 1950s armchair by the American designer Dan Johnson to the amoeba-shaped, silky headboard by the baroque-minded French designer Vincent Darré that turns the tiny bedroom into a magical quasi-surrealist environment.
Biaggi’s expertise is in the furniture and decorative arts of the late 1930s and early ’40s. He loves the period, “with its Parisian life, all of its glamorous people, and the society highlife around Marie-Laure de Noailles, the influential patron of the arts,” Biaggi said. After many years’ selling what he called “dead designers,” he is exploring “live ones.” By such design stars as Patrick Naggar and Hervé Van der Straeten, the new chairs, lamps, and tables—that he commissioned which are produced in limited editions—“make me very happy,” he said. That’s always a good thing.