Antique dealers for six generations
The shop was founded in 1871.
Since then six generations of antique dealers have managed it.
A tradition since 1871
Located at the foot of the Strasbourg cathedral, the Bastians’antique shop was established in 1871. The founder, Emile Brion, who came from Haguenau, was specialized in photography. He died in 1892, and Julie Roessler, who worked in the shop, took his succession.
The Strasbourg’s oldest Christmas shop window
Julie managed it for about 10 years before marrying Charles Bastian. Together, they bought in Spain a remarkable sculpture for the history of the shop : a Spanish carved wooden Infant Jesus. The Child has decorated the main shop window during the Christmas season since 1905, which makes it the oldest Christmas shop window in Strasbourg. Julie Roessler died in 1921, three years after the First World War. Strasbourg was then French.
Before being an antique dealer, Charles Bastian was an artist specialized in ceramics. He gave courses at the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg. Charles became famous for his connoisseur’s eye. Most of the shop’s decoration that is still « in situ » was installed by him. Charles Bastian married Anne-Marie Lotz in1923 and their union gave birth to Jean Bastian in 1927.
The war years
Strasbourg was evacuated from September 1939 until July 1940, thus the shop had to close down. Strasbourg, along with Alsace-Lorraine, was annexed by the Third Reich. A short while after the annexation, the Bastian family came back and the shop reopened.
After the war
After 1945, Strasbourg was once again French. Charles Bastian was seriously ill, and was limited in his moves. He died in 1952. Jean, his son, who had obtained a bachelor degree in history of art, took over the shop before Charles’s death. Jean was also in charge of the war spoliations. Thanks to these numerous evaluations, he acquired an expertise that was highly appreciated.
The fourth generation
After 1945, Strasbourg was once again French. Charles Bastian was seriously ill, and was limited in his moves. He died in 1952. Jean, his son, who had obtained a bachelor degree in history of art, took over the shop before Charles’s death. Jean was also in charge of the war spoliations. Thanks to these numerous evaluations, he acquired an expertise that was highly appreciated. Afterwards, he became the president of the CNES (a Chamber with experts in antiques). During his life, Jean lived two passions : the world of antiques and the world of drawing. Nowadays, you can see some of his works in the shop.
Jean Bastian’s shop sign
He is the one that realized the famous sign of our shop in 1977, that hangs outside at the corner of the shop. It commemorates the episode that saved the tower of the cathedral from the destruction by the revolutionaries. This tower was the highest one in the world at that time. Jean-Michel Sultzer, a locksmith who then lived where the antique shop is now located, made a ten-meter-high Phrygian cap that crowned the top of the tower. It thus became a symbol of the Revolution, instead of being a symbol of the Church.
Marie-Alice and Jacques Bastian
His son, Jacques Bastian, is worldwide famous for his expertise on Strasbourg’s faience in the 18th century. He obtained a doctorate in history of art in 1987, and published it in two volumes at the beginning of the year 2000. With his wife Marie-Alice, they have run the shop until recently.
The sixth generation : Philippe and Frederic
Today, their sons, Frederic and Philippe Bastian, represent the latest generation. The two of them have a master 2 degree in history of art. Frederic is specialized in ancient frames and mirrors whereas Philippe is an expert in silverware and pewter.