By Georg Hartong
[Editor's note: See more examples of bookmarks from this series of swap meets in our Gallery of Bookmarks on Bookmarks]
Bookmark collecting is rather popular in France. French ladies especially do collect them, and most of them have at least one collecting theme: CATS!
There are several swap meetings in France during the year, for example, at Paris, Nancy and Grignan. The most frequented one is the weekend swap meeting in the Townhall at Malo-Les-Bains near Duinkerque at the Canalcoast, in the beginning of April. In 1999 the sisters Jocelyne and Lysiane Denière started the swap meeting and it became a famous, international event, with collectors from France, Belgium, The Netherlands and occasionally Germany and Spain. In addition to the swap meeting, the sisters arranged a thematical exposition every year and all participants got a special bookmark of the related exposition theme. The number of participants remained stable, 30 to 40 every year, so this swap meeting seemed to have a long future. But then several serious terroristic attacks took place in France and the government decided to demand severe security measures at public events, at heavy costs. Because of these costs the swap meeting had to be cancelled in 2017 and as far as I know has not been restarted.
The first 4 years the sisters published a small book every year, related to collecting and bookmarks:
Then the sisters started a new series in a new format: oblong (18 x 23,5 cm) - stiff paper - double-sided art photography, at the right end of every page a detachable bookmark - 10 by 16 folia.
At their website all 9 available titles with bookmarks and the prices are listed.
I have visited the swap meetings from 2005 until 2014 and greatly enjoyed my visits to Malo-Les-Bains and the contacts with other collectors!