Very, very nice St. Louis.
In Paris, along the start of Rue de Paradis (around numbers 20 through 60), the street is lined with retail shops selling new glass and china. I think there are around 20 shops. Absolutely no bargain prices here, but the items offered for sale are truly breathtaking. During its glory days, Rue de Paradis was the central location for the showrooms of the most important French glass makers and china and pottery dealers. You'll see the buildings where St. Louis and Baccarat had their original showrooms. Their names are etched in stone above or near entranceways. Today, the nearby neighborhood around Rue du Paradis is close to what's really a funkier bit of Paris. Exiting the closest Metro stop at Chateau D'Eau at Blvd. de Strasburg was like exiting into a different country. Was French even spoken?
What stunned me about the paperweights (and other glass) in these shops was the staggering prices wanted for contemporary Baccarat and St. Louis work. It was obvious that to these French dealers, eBay might as well be a speck in the world of commerce. Contemporary paperweights that should really sell for for $300 to $1200 (USD) had price stickers ranging from 2500 Euros to 10,000 Euros. It was as the French didn't care what anybody thought or didn't care if they sold any. And each shop had a wonderful assortment of weights. One had about 50 on its shelves.
We all know that on eBay, contemporary French sulphides go for between $20 and $80 (USD). Not in Paris on Rue du Paradis. How about the standard John XXIII (not even an overlay) for 720 Euros? It's original release price in 1966 was $37 (USD). The same shop had a John XXIII overlay sulphide for 1600 Euros. The original release price was $145 (USD).
In every shop, incredibly well-dressed saleswomen treated each item as if it were a museum piece. It was like stepping back in time.
Meanwhile, three blocks away, scores of immigrant street vendors were selling incense for one Euro, bootleg DVD's for 5 Euros, rings and necklaces for 7, and shoes for 10. I'll tell you something, you've really got to love the French.