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Pascal-Désir Maisonneuve was born in Bordeaux, France. A mosaicist by training, he reconstructed Gallo-Roman mosaics and adorned several chateaux in the surrounding area with his works. But his real passion lay in discovering unusual objects and works of art from every period that he would display in his shop in Bordeaux. However, this atypical secondhand dealer could not bear to part with a single piece from his collection.
Known for his recalcitrant spirit, he showed his anarchistic and anticlerical sentiments in the most comical ways. At the age of 64, between 1927 and 1928, in a spirit of derision, he made effigies of monarchs and political personages from shells assembled with plaster.
These marine components came from flea markets and from private collections that he acquired. The Tartar and The Chinese form part of this illustrious gallery of personalities that he called Treacherous Rogues from across Europe.