August 4, 2010

a Provencal collector: Michel Biehn

In World of Interiors, I recently read about Michel Biehn, a Provencal dealer of antiques and textiles and collector of objects amassed from his travels throughout Asia and the East. He seems like a real Provencal character.  His home in L'Isle sur la Sorgue (snapshots below) is a hodge podge of eye-catching things: beads, gourds and calabashes, costumes, embroidred fabrics, and everything else that he's brought along from his travels.  Collecting must be in his blood: over a span of 140 years, several generations of his family collected a variety of freshwater bird eggs! How unusual! He inherited this collection, and added to it his own varieties of eggshells he happened to have. They are each labeled with the type and where they were found. I love the way they are presented, so clean and uniform.

As it turns out, Mr. Biehn is also a interior designer and author of several books about lifestyle, cuisine and culture Provence.  Below are a few photos of his home.

His story made me immediately think of different people I've known through my life who've collected various things. I tend to be a collector myself, though my collections are often hidden away in drawers. But I do think the best way to get something out of your collections is to display them.  Almost anything collected, displayed well and with uniformity, can become a work of art. (photos by Bruno Suet in World of Interiors, May 2009)


Teresa Hatfield said...

Love your blog! I did a post on Michael a while back. He is a fine interior designer too.
Teresa (Splendid Sass)

Doris Long said...

I love Michel Biehn and enjoyed this. I had missed this article. I also enjoyed Teresa's in June. I suppose you know that there is an article in the August 2010 Veranda magazine, about a house he decorated in Provence?

Carolina Elizabeth said...

This is perfect!. I've been collecting little eggs. In the Renaissance, it was the ultimate master's test to be able to properly paint an egg. I have lots of practice, so I've been collecting eggs. Thank you for sharing!!!!