It seems we cannot get enough of these livres de poche paperback books published by Flammarion. The series was developed in 1876 with the aim of making knowledge in all fields accessible to all. They were not joking about ‘all fields’: some of the titles are esoteric, but the buff paper covers have faded to such pleasingly subtle shades over the years that even books on obscure areas of engineering have become sought-after decorative objects. While the French dealers don’t understand our obsession with these books, they have certainly noted it and adjusted their prices accordingly, especially for those with coloured covers.

The Decorative Living Fair is a good place to source these French treasures, several dealers often have them, including Weathered and Worn, Nikki Page Antiques. Brocante Living and Lois Kirsten.