Daily Management Review

Sabine Bourgey: A Rock 'n' Roll Numismatist


A famous expert in a discipline considered somewhat dull, the heiress to the venerable firm founded by Etienne Bourgey in 1895 is also a prolific novelist and an atypical collector with a pronounced taste for adventure.

by La Gazette Drouot

© Juliette Cadaÿs
© Juliette Cadaÿs
When she attends a dinner party and guests ask her what she does, Sabine Bourgey says she works in the art market. "At this, people are all enthusiastic," says Étienne Bourgey's granddaughter. "But when I say I'm a numismatist, they look at me askance. At best, they ask politely if I manage to make a living out of it!" The conversation then usually moves onto something totally different. Not one of them dreams that the French capital's most famous numismatist recently sold five large Roman gold coins listed as national treasures to the Banque de France . Sabine Bourgey was introduced to the discipline when she was very young at her family's firm on Rue Drouot, in Paris. In this bourgeois apartment fitted out in 1907 by her grandfather Etienne, nothing has changed: neither the general layout, nor the interior design, nor the furniture—not even the copper plate on the front door or the doorbell, which visitors must pull as before. The only changes involve the library, now spilling over into every room, as it has grown over the decades, and the office she officiates… read more