True to its baroque style, Maison Rapin offers a unique blend of 20th-century historical creations and exclusive contemporary pieces in which eras collide, creating an original universe that showcases craftsmanship. The works of major 20th-century artists, such as Robert Goossens (Coco Chanel and Yves Saint-Laurent’s longtime artisan) or the silversmith Jean Després, can be found alongside KAM TIN’s contemporary “jewel furniture.” In addition, there are the fruits of exclusive collaborations with current designers and craftsmen, including Marc Bankowsky, Simone Cenedese, Foddis & Baisi, and Ryan LaBar, to name a few.
Philippe Rapin, who was initially an 18th-century ceramics specialist, opened his first gallery in 1978 in Paris. Over the years, the gallery underwent several transformations across the city, from the Louvre des Antiquaires to rue du Bac, before settling at quai Voltaire. In the 2000s, Maison Rapin expanded its presence internationally by launching an Italian design showroom in Brussels, followed by another in London in 2008, located at Pimlico Road in the heart of the Design District. During this period, Philippe Rapin started traveling to Asia, particularly China, where he conceived the gemstone furniture line known as KAM TIM and founded a gallery in Hong Kong.
In 2012, Philippe Rapin returned to his roots at the historic quai Voltaire gallery, where he laid the groundwork for the developments that would establish Maison Rapin’s trademark: the creations of Robert Goossens, whom he befriended and became an expert on; the design of KAM TIN’s turquoise and amber furniture; and a fondness for both historical and contemporary Italy. Indeed, whether it is for its antiques or its design, Italy takes a center stage, from the 1910 wrought iron to the Milan and Venice glassmakers’ contemporary prowess and the thriving 50s with Gio Ponti, Pietro Chiesa, Max Ingrand…
Today, the gallery continues to thrive in the heart of historic Paris, situated at 7 quai de Conti, facing the Pont Neuf, in the iconic Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood. It is now helmed by two young associates, Alice Kargar and Virgile Dumont, both in their thirties, whose complementary personalities and diverse experience in the art market, law, gemology, and photography, contribute to the gallery’s growing influence in France and abroad. This is further enhanced by their participation in prestigious art fairs.