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A day in the life of a Parisian fine art auctioneer

Paris 09
Languages : English, French

Elsa, a graduate of one of France's most prestigious business schools and a lifelong fine art enthusiast, was Director of Marketing and Special Events at the world-famous Christie's auction house for seven years. She returned to school to pursue a degree in Art History from the Ecole du Louvre, after which she took the examination to become a Certified Auctioneer. 

Every day, at the Hôtel, she is busily organizing and managing auctions, overseeing the creation of auction catalogs, and wielding the gavel.

Her specialties are jewelry, silverware, and ancient and modern paintings.

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We love her energy, her contagious passion, her genuineness, her style..

She is one of only a few woman auctioneers in Paris, and we are very honored that she has chosen to share her exciting and exotic work with you.

It is important to me that as many people as possible should experience our famous auction house, and I am committed to doing what I can to spread the word about this truly unique establishment. 

I simply love to show people the magic and mystery of the auction universe in the most unique art auction house in the world

Group size
2 - 6 p.
190€ per person Book now

An art expert and certified auctioneer reveals the tricks of her trade and takes you into the back rooms of a Paris auction house.

At the Drouot auction house, the beating heart of the Paris art market, Elsa will :

  • Provide a behind-the-scenes tour of the display rooms and help you experience the thrill of a live auction at a world-class Paris auction house
  • Give you an overview of the major periods of French art and cultural heritage and share stories about the auctions and rare objects
  • Reveal insider information about the codes and practices of auction houses and buyers
  • Invite you to a café preferred by local antique dealers to share the secrets and mysteries of the auctioneer's craft
  • Most famous auction house in Paris

    At the most famous auction house in Paris, the excitement is palpable. Every auction room resembles a tiny theater, with an auctioneer on stage running the show. Small rooms with couches of worn velvet and the red-papered walls of another era... Everything in this luxurious building says "antique." The Hôtel Drouot is a mythical place, unique in all the world, with 16 auctions occurring simultaneously.

    On the auction blocks are every imaginable kind of object, which can be had for a few euros -- or several million. The action is nonstop in all 16 auction-rooms on all 2 floors. In display rooms, you can browse the items to be auctioned the following day. Peer into glass cases at Cartier jewels and antique pocket watches on beds of velvet, and admire all manner of beautiful objects throughout the room. You might even see something you would be willing to fight for.

    French auction secrets revealed

    I am a Certified Auctioneer, and one of the few women auctioneers at the most famous auction house in France. I would like to invite you to join me in exploring this universe inhabited by art-collectors, art-lovers, bargain seekers, and people who simply enjoy admiring rare objects and things of beauty.

    I will reveal the secrets of these amazing competitions, explain the rituals and protocols of bids, show you that every object auctioned here has its own soul and intriguing history. You will experience this Hôtel in a way that few ever do: behind the scenes and in the thick of the action. You will witness the frenzy engendered by the desire for possession. You will be there when they let the gavel fall, when they shout "Adjugé!" (Sold!) and point out the lucky winner.

    I suppose you could think of us auctioneers as conductors of an orchestra. We wave our batons, gesture emphatically, mark the tempo, and signal the final note with the fall of the gavel.

    How to auction an item

    But that is only the visible part of my work. It goes much deeper, beginning well before the auction itself. I identify objects to auction, research their history, compile collections, consult with experts... I will tell you about my fascinating work. And I will also give you tips for successfully auctioning an object.

    Spend some time with me and see just how exciting it is to work in a world-class auction house surrounded by beautiful things and passionate people.