The Bookstore

Our history

Pingel Rare Books is a bookstore / gallery specialized in illustrated books but also in geography and travel. More than just a place, its history is first and foremost embodied in the transmission of a know-how that has been perpetuated, in 2022, by three generations of booksellers. From its foundation to the present day, here are three notable dates that allow us to understand the history of this intellectual and human adventure:

1981: after several years of strolling through flea markets and antique shops, Marc Pingel decided to fully enter the art market sector. A well-known figure on the Parisian market, he pays particular attention to books, engravings and drawings. Located at 49 rue Monsieur le Prince in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, the bookstore became an iconic place for aesthetes and bibliophiles.

1989: Marc is then joined by his son, Olivier, who specializes in precious illustrated books. Gradually, he became known on the market and participated in the most important international book fairs such as Paris, London, New York, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and many others. He also works with the most important collectors and contributes to the creation of great sets in the Middle East. At the end of 2011, the bookstore moved to its current location at 67 avenue de Suffren, in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. Facing the Village Suisse, the establishment is located a stone's throw from the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais éphémère. The address is well known to connoisseurs and contributes to making the neighborhood a showcase for the French art of living and collecting.

2020: After a stint in the Information Technology industry, Alexandre, Marc's grandson and Olivier's son, decides to join the family business. Driven by a passion cultivated from a young age for beautiful objects, he brings to the bookstore a know-how from this other field and thus allows it to fully integrate the opportunities offered by digital tools. Between tradition and modernity, he embodies a new practice of the bookshop, at the heart of contemporary trends but also heir to a traditional and meticulous savoir-faire. Under his leadership, the company has taken the turn of the internet with the development of its online business and the establishment of a regular presence on social networks. This allowed the company to build new relationships and reach a larger audience. The bookstore's interest in research has also increased, not only thanks to an insatiable passion for works and their stories, but also in a constant concern to provide an efficient and rigorous service to its customers. As an example of this commitment, Alexandre, published an article in the Dutch cartography magazine Caert-Thresoor in September 2021.

The bookshop also relies on the expertise of Maxime Georges Métraux, art historian, lecturer at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne and the University Panthéon-Assas Paris II. Maxime is the scientific curator of the exhibition Chic Emprise : Cultures, usages et sociabilités du tabac du XVIe au XVIIIe siècle  (2019, La Rochelle, Musée du Nouveau Monde). He has notably published in the catalog of the exhibition Les Animaux du Roi (2021, Versailles, Château de Versailles) and Renoir, Monet, Gauguin. Images of a Floating World - The Kojiro Matsukata and Karl Ernst Osthaus collections (2022, Essen, Museum Folkwang).

Relations with clients and institutions

Since its foundation, Pingel Rare Books has developed long-lasting relationship with private and institutional buyers from France and around the world. The quality of the objects presented have allowed us to carry: the sale of an Album by Alphonse Davanne to the Getty museum, the sale of a drawing by François-Guillaume de La Tremblaye to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France; the sale of an important collection of drawings from South America to the Quai Branly Jacques Chirac museum; the sale of a collection of drawings to the Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art and many others (Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris, Bibliothèque Forney, etc.). Recently, the bookshop has also collaborated with the Elysée Palace for the purchase of diplomatic gifts for the French presidency.