Yves Donckier de Donceel and his partner will bring France to North Texas for antique show
DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer
Loyalty is how Yves and Armand Donckier de Donceel have built their antique business.
A woman was looking at a chandelier in their warehouse. Yves de Donceel asked her about the project. She told him she just bought a new house.
“Have you painted?” he asked. “Done the walls?”
She had not.
“I’m not going to sell it to you then,” he told her.
He said he didn’t want her to buy the chandelier, begin decorating her house, get paint all over it and then tell him, “This is not what I want.”
Instead of him making that $1,000 sale, she hired him to decorate her house.
De Donceel splits his year between his homes in San Diego and Provence, in south central France. He used to work for an airline and traveled to California. In 2000, he and his partner decided to spend their winters in California and got into the antique business.
Yves de Donceel said when he moved to America, he learned that people liked what came from France.
So he imported French country items and began showing at flea markets. As he built a clientele, he began doing more interior design and now exhibits his antiques at about a dozen shows a year in the U.S.
He’s been to Texas before. He goes to a show in Round Top, a town with a population of 93, halfway between Houston and Austin, that twice a year hosts one of the largest antique fairs in Texas. De Donceel does well there and has developed a South Texas clientele from that show. He hopes to extend his appeal to North Texas with the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art on March 3-5 at Will Rogers Memorial Center. The Round Top show takes place a week later.
The annual Fort Worth show, now in its 53rd year, will include exhibitors from around the country. De Donceel will be one of 150 exhibitors with booths that include diverse styles and price points. Art, jewelry, photography, lighting and furniture will all be in the mix.
One exhibitor recently returned to the U.S. with a load of textiles from Afghanistan and Turkey. Another dealer who specializes in African tribal art recently returned with new finds from West Africa. And the de Donceels have shipped in pieces from their warehouse in France.
A recent trend de Donceel’s been seeing is people buying mid-century pieces. Those should go well in many Dallas and Fort Worth homes that were built in the 1950s and ’60s.
“I include that with my look,” de Donceel said. “I’ll have a few mid-century pieces mixed in with my look.”
He said the mid-century style mixes well with the French country style, which he described as pieces owned by the French middle class from homes in the countryside and on farms. It’s more rustic and, he said, comparable to American country pieces.
Pressed for what he likes about mid-century, de Donceel said he’s mid-century himself, so it must be a pretty good style.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 26, 2016.