The round trip was short, but I came back with happiness to Paris and its so special atmosphere for thirty-six hours. Three of them were for philately, at the Autum Show of the French Philatelic Dealers and Experts Union (CNEP).
I arrived early enough, with good legs and clear mind. It helped me save some minutes from La Poste's counter which queuing system was changed into five small lines to avoid a very very long line that certainly discouraged some buyers at the last Stamp Show in June. Some people were not happy of it (their right-hand line going more fast...). In charge of the postal zone quietness and to indicate that there were one line selling the two booklets issued that Saturday, the security agent spoke of "today's tickets", either showing his philatelic inculture, or a bright clear-voyance about the visitor's maniacal behabior :)
The Champerret Hall, Paris 17th, was strangely arranged this year: the French Metropolitan, Over-Seas and Israel postal counters were put in a separated triangle of space. Israel because of a joint issue with France obtained by philatelist Raphaël Livnat, thanked by the Israeli Ambassy in France. Were they inspired, the firms that chose one of the remaining counters in that triangle? Among them was Timbropresse, publisher of Timbres magazine, surely the sole book seller on the show (not county stamp catalogue).
This Saturday, it was not evident. The alleys of the usual square of counters were quiet filled with collectors compared to those of the last June Stamp Show on a tuesday. Outside Polynesian stamps on stamps, I succeeded to balance my this year limited budget (I will write one day of British books bought some days before) with some British Empire stamps. I avoided to buy the new Maury catalogue of France (a.k.a. Dallay married to Cérès with Armand Rousso as minister), a very encyclopedic catalogue. My Dallay complete five book catalogue will suffice my need while I have all eyes on British philately.
The different dealers presented their numerous Vickrey auctions, like international Feldman and Spink house advertised their own auctions. Concerning the latter, I feel sadness to see beautiful coutner, pretty printed catalogues, polite employees, but not many visitors. The French philatelist want visibly to see right now, to buy now or to make an offer after examination.
Like always, some collections were exhibited on the edges. Like always, I can't get the idea to watch them while I always run to read a philatelic article in a review. I am certainly wrong. How to get new collectors when the main goal is to sell them stamps, not tease them to know stamps, When even collectors and philatelists coming willingly don't look at exhibited collections?
Last surprise: the joined space for stamp artists' dedicaces and the Art of Engraved stamp association was very spacious extending to the white outer walls. The French philately, including dealers, continue to appreciate the artists that nourish them, materially, cashly and spiritually.