I love discovering treasures and like most people when I find something which is really out of the ordinary I feel very pleased with myself. So when one day I was exploring the antique shops of Paris I came across a small ‘atelier’ where some of the most beautiful bronze statues I have ever seen were being made. The workshop was that of ‘Max Le Verrier’.
I was completely enchanted by the setting of the atelier itself, the foundry was very artisanal and in the reception area there were some of the most beautiful bronzes of every size on display. I was greeted by the owner who was the son of the great Max Le Verrier himself and he kindly showed me around the foundry.
After a very nice cup of coffee I was left to choose a selection of bronzes which I just felt I had to buy. These bronzes were not the cheapest in the world but they were not the most expensive either and they were so gorgeous I just could not resist the temptation. I bought the most beautiful bronze monkey, sitting crossed leg holding an umbrella which was in fact the shade for the lamp and a very elegant art deco lady holding a pink fan above her head.
There were so many little treasures, a bronze frog on a lily pad or a little tortoise peeking out from beneath its’ shell, if I left to my own devices I would have bought every single item that was on display, but luckily I was rescued by my close friend who whisked me away for lunch in a lovely restaurant close by.
Over the years I have often purchased one or two pieces from Max Le Verrier and they take pride of place in my home. The story behind this visionary man is as enchanting as the man himself. I believe we are incredibly lucky to have had such artists as Max Le Verrier who have left us a legacy of wonderful objects from the past.
Sadly the lovely man who had received me so well when I visited his workshop so many years ago, passed away in 1996 and as with most things this little atelier no longer exists in the lovely area known as ‘le quartier Daguerre’. However, if you want to know more about Max Le Verrier and his wonderful works of art, you can find a lot of information about him on the Internet these days.
I for one will always treasure the lamps and small bronzes that I was fortunate to purchase directly from the foundry back in the late eighties. They are a constant reminder of a man who had a wonderful vision which he so openly shared with all of the admirers of his work. His son had carried on the business right up until his death and I feel very privileged indeed to have shared a cup of coffee with him in his delightful foundry in the heart of Paris.