L’objet et ses horizons : La fabrique des objets exotiques à Paris et New York au XIXe siècle

Manuel Charpy


Eugène Boban was an antique and exotic curiosities dealer in Paris, between 1862 and 1908. Boban’s papers are housed in part by Bibliothèque nationale de France and by L’Hispanic Society of America, making it a challenge to reconstitute his archives for research, but the preservation of notes, photographs and business correspondence is exceptional.
The archives provide clues about the ways and procedures surrounding the creation of exotic goods—things that come from another space and time—and to understand how art and other objects are exoticized because of their strangeness. Their temporality is not the only consideration: circuits, players, display and stories construct the exotic nature of objects. By considering multiple aspects of the lives of goods—from invention to commercialization and exhibition—exoticism becomes accessible.
Through his archives, Boban is an excellent guide to understanding the trade in curiosities through their circulation and exchange, and to gain a connected and comparative history of exoticism in Paris and New York City.

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