Popular art on deck
With basket-makers' planes, lace winders, nutcrackers and more, Pierre Bellemare brought together a range of objects providing final testimony of an increasingly rare rural heritage.
18th/19th century, model of The London, a three-decker ship armed with a hundred cannons, decks and rigging in bone, marquetry wood base inlaid with bone, 38 x 40 x 16 cm (model).
Almost day for day nearly a year ago, on 26 May 2018, this major French TV and radio figure died at the age of 88. Fifteen years ago, he had gone to live in Monpazier, one of the most beautiful bastions of the Périgord (Southern France), and made his home a setting for the four hundred items in his collection of popular art. He had been fascinated by nautical objects for a long time. But when he entered a shop in the Paris Village Suisse, almost by chance, he fell in love with some antique tools. The sea made way for the countryside. On 24 September 2000 (under the hammer of Poulain-Le Fur at the Palais des Congrès, Paris), he sold all the models, ships in bottles and bones carved by whalers he had collected over fifty years. Only one nautical object found no buyer: a model of The London. This ship, probably commissioned from a French sailor held prisoner by the English in the late 18th or early 19th century, appeared in 1982 at the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris...