Typically, I take a walk around and get a good look at everything - and I mean everything, I look under tarps, I open doors and check drawers...I may even look out back behind the shop. I usually spot something as I am walking in - but that is never the first thing I ask about - in fact I may even leave it for he very last minute, after I have found everything else that I may want...then I casually ask - "Oh yeah, and how much for the...what is that anyway...yeah - the 17th century invoice book? " By that point, the dealer is either charmed that you like all of the old dusty buts, or tired of you asking so many questions.
Very often in France, if you have purchased enough from one dealer, they will throw in "un cadeau" a gift - and if you are lucky - the piece you most wanted may just be un cadeau! I think French dealers must get such a kick out of the junk we are collecting - half the time they are probably happy we are taking it off their hands! Here's a small peek into some of the treasures that made it home with us....many to be seen next month in our Found in France Collection at frenchgeneral.com