Meet Chloë Collin: France-based art auctioneer

Portrait photographe: Lolita Charlet

Chloë Collin, also known as La Saint Glinglin, is the French auctioneer shaking up the art world. With the aim to make this often exclusive domain more accessible, Chloë shares aspects of her job on social media through fun and engaging videos. Join Artsper as we chat with Chloë all about the world of art auctions and her career so far!

1. Hello Chloë! Could you tell us a little about yourself, your professional journey and how you came to be an auctioneer?

When I finished school and left my home town of Rennes to study in Paris, I immediately knew that I wanted to work in art. I've always loved anything to do with it - art books, galleries, and of course the works themselves! I began by doing a joint-honors degree in Classics, in particular Ancient Greek, and Art History. I then went on to do a masters in Art History, looking at the “institutionalism of urban art" as my thesis topic. I finished by obtaining a law degree, in order to pass the auctioneer exams. It's a very competitive exam held at the École du Louvre in Paris. After passing that exam, I did a two year apprenticeship in an auction house in tandem with my studies at the École du Louvre and ESCP. I then, finally, got to hold that coveted auctioneer's gavel! 

2. Could you explain, in a few words, the job of an auctioneer, and what you personally specialize in?

An auctioneer has to examine works of art, as well as other collectible items, and estimate their worth. I guess you could say I'm like a doctor examining a patient… only my patient is an object! I inspect it with my magnifying glass and then give it a price, trying to bring it to life through its history. Finally, I sell it with my gavel to the highest bidder who then rehouses it in their collection.

3. How and why did the idea come about to share your profession via social media?

As soon as I finished my degree, I immediately wanted to make videos about the auction world on my Instagram and TikTok page, “La Saint Glinglin." I feel like it's an industry that not many people know about, even though most auctions are accessible to bidders anywhere online! Also, buying vintage is very popular at the moment. Our generation is becoming more and more interested in buying pre-loved items and I'm convinced that this is only going to grow!

Left to right: Sketch of a woman in front of a Jonone painting, Chloë Collin © Chloë Collin, Lalique fine jewelry © Lalique  

4. Your videos are entertaining, just as they are informative — a far cry from the stereotypes of auction houses. Do you think your content is representative of the industry, or are you trying to show this world in a different light?

I love the tradition of our job – it's a profession steeped in a rich history. However I also like the idea of bringing my own touch. I suppose the two can exist hand-in-hand; there's “Saint," but there's also “Glinglin"!

5. How should you go about finding the right auction house for what you want to buy?

Nowadays, you can find pretty much everything online. All you have to do is search on Interenchères or Drouot. They're great, and I could spend hours scrolling through Drouot looking at a whole manner of things. This morning I bought 4 Hermès ties for my dad for just $50. You can equally go along in person. I really recommend going to Drouot, it's an incredible place full of unique finds. Finally, you could come and pay me a visit at FauveParis, where we exhibit objects that we sell every Saturday. It's a little free museum that shows new things each week.

6. What's the most unusual object that you've appraised?

It was a little notebook filled with autographs, including a wonderful sketch by Walt Disney. It belonged to an opera professor in the 50s at the Theatre Colon in Buenos Aires, and contained autographs and doodles from all the stars of the era. It was wonderful, a true time capsule.

Left to right: Gaudi's pink architecture © Antoni Gaudí, Francis Bacon painting

7. What is the hardest thing to appraise, and why?

That would have to be diamonds and precious stones. We have to get them looked at by special laboratories like the LFG (French Laboratory of Gemology) in Paris.

8. What piece of advice would you give to those wanting to enter the auction world?

If you don't have much experience bidding in an auction house, you could give it a go by downloading the Drouot app, or going on the Drouot of Interencheres websites. Pick a low-cost piece and bid risk-free!

9. Finally, can you tell us about any future projects that you have planned?

I have one or two little surprises for you in 2023… If you like art or are curious, you can find me on @lasaintglinlin


Their favorite artworks

Pointman Black, Futura 2000

Pointman Black

Futura 2000

Fine Art Drawings - 17.9 x 14 inch

$11,075

Electro-magie, Man Ray

Electro-magie

Man Ray

Print - 14.7 x 10.9 x 0.1 inch

Sold

Legold, Santicri

Legold

Santicri

Design - 6.1 x 6.1 x 4.3 inch

$277 $249

Affiche Pour L'Exposition Peintres sur Papier Dessins, Joan Miró

Affiche Pour L'Exposition Peintres sur Papier Dessins

Joan Miró

Print - 33.1 x 22.6 x 0 inch

$7,088