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Unique treasure troves – “Extraordinary Collections” by Marin Montagut



Dear readers, while Christmas is only a couple of days away, how’s your Christmas gift shopping so far this year? Did you really find something that’s special and pretty as presents, whether it’s for your family or loved ones? I understand that it could be a kind of headache for certain people when it comes to Christmas shopping, too many things to see and too much thinking to make; while I am planning to make a quick visit to one of the local Christmas market soon to see if I can find anything special, I was so inspired by the recent published book titled “Extraordinary Collections: Timeless interiors from Paris and beyond” by French artist and designer Mr. Marin Montagut, especially with its luxurious looking and elegant red cover which captured the scene decorated with multiple artistic objects, and the beautiful photos inside, this book in fact is actually a great Christmas gift itself!


Photo by Pierre Musellec, from Extraordinary Collections by Marin Montagut, ©Flammarion



Photo by Pierre Musellec, from Extraordinary Collections by Marin Montagut, ©Flammarion


Published by Flammarion (and distributed by Rizzoli International) with photography by Mr. Pierre Musellec, this book serves as a celebration of the joy of collecting, looking through from the French designer’s eyes to visit several private homes of French artisans, artists and specialty store owners, as well as my favorite flea market in Paris - Marché aux Puces, to discover some extraordinary and unique things from antiques to art objects, ancient textiles to furniture etc., with the colorful and beautifully portraited photos, it enables one to have a close-up with these distinctive items and look at the delicate details, such as those beautiful ancient Roman and Grecian status and figurines, the nostalgic vintage stationery items, globes and maps, even playing cards and ceramics, to me, any of these items are perfect for Christmas present which I can just grab a few of them without a second thought! (yes, it’s very much sounds like catalogue shopping in a way!)


Photo by Pierre Musellec, from Extraordinary Collections by Marin Montagut, ©Flammarion


Photo by Pierre Musellec, from Extraordinary Collections by Marin Montagut, ©Flammarion


Moreover, this book also takes one to have a glimpse of this French designer’s home, in particular, his “wunderkammer” (it’s a German term meaning “wonder room”), that shows his passion about collecting beautiful objects throughout the years, and his distinctive taste of decorating, artistry and style, which completely reflects on his work and even his lovely boutique, including his signature ancient French-text-book style, hand-painted object diagram, his homage to the old world French handmade items, and the imperfect but exceptional art objects he hand-picked that gives so much depth to a space he lived in, they are all fascinating and impressive to me as a little Francophile.


Photo by Pierre Musellec, from Extraordinary Collections by Marin Montagut, ©Flammarion


Photo by Pierre Musellec, from Extraordinary Collections by Marin Montagut, ©Flammarion


By flipping page after page, this book really reminds me a lot when the time that I was in Paris, visiting Marché aux Puces over the weekend with my Parisian friend, Serge, who has an eye on vintage 70s furniture; each time when we were visiting there, we usually go separate way first to take a look with the things that we like respectively: he into the 70s vintage furniture, me into the second empire and the ‘Belle l’Epoque’ antique French decorative art objects, vintage fashion magazines, and French pochoir fashion plates, and then we get together for lunch in a restaurant surrounded by antique furniture and interior decoration shops. This image is relatively vivid when I was reading this book because it’s almost like the exact scene, exact close-up when I was visiting those little antique shops! Of course, if I am visiting Paris again in near future, I will definitely check out Marin’s lovely boutique, and truly experience his work and creation up-close and personal!


I do hope this book will be able to inspire you when it comes to Christmas present shopping! And of course, merry Christmas to you all!


Image courtesy of Rizzoli USA.





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