This is Basel!

May 7, 2014

“You have to realise what the Basel fair looked like in the 1970s and even 1980s. It was crazy. There were people, buyers. And we were selling. We prepared the show religiously, creating new collections and especially presenting one or more exceptional pieces. That’s what it took! I remember this story well because he kept telling it. His bloody aquarium. And then we worked hard to make his project! Imagine, a gold aquarium, with glass and fish. Gold, sapphires, rubies, diamonds. Their designer had thirty-six ideas a second. And the father didn’t help at all, adding his own. And then the piece was finally finished, he was proud. Everyone was happy. A few days before the show, this was the play to present. He had thought about the lighting, the presentation. Rarely have we been bothered so much in the workshop. In short, it was the piece. And then one of the company’s clients arrived to pick up his order. He couldn’t help it, he was as proud as Artaban that day and happy too, and he presented the aquarium to him. And then the customer said to him “I’ll buy the piece from you and leave with it! I don’t care what the price is, it’s a wonder and I want it.” C. disagrees, he needs the piece for the living room. He explains that he will have nothing to show for it. He is willing to sell it, but it will have to be taken after Basel. It is impossible to change Mr B’s mind. He even threatens to cancel future orders. With a heavy heart, he gives in. The aquarium left the office a few hours later. I never knew what happened to it, I wonder where it is today. Maybe one day it will turn up…”

J.* (first name changed), jeweller for over 40 years.

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