Posts Tagged brocante

Any Old Iron

A bit of a vintage or antique thing going on today, depending on what side of the pond you’re from.  According to Etsy (who are a U.S. company) anything over 20 years old is vintage and anything over 50 years old is antique.  Thanks Etsy!  In the U.K. I think items have to be over 100 years old to be an antique and I’ll let you know whether that bothers me if I get that far.

Anyway, a little while ago during one of my frequent rummages in dusty old barn type places I came across this old clock face.  I wasn’t even sure if it was old or a modern item that had just got a bit battered.  I thought it was made of concrete but Mr. T thinks it is like lava rock but, anyway, it was only 20 euros and I had in mind making a little garden table out of it if I could find a suitable base.

Paul garnier clock face

When I got it home I decided to do a bit of research and it turns out that it is indeed old (19th century) and appears to be by the famous French clockmaker, Jean-Paul Garnier, who was an early pioneer in the unification of time on the railway system.

Like this one in fact.

PaulGarnierClock

(photo by Stefan Sonntag found on Google Maps here)

Apparently this is in a railway station in Syria.

( I hope Mr. Sonntag doesn’t mind me using his lovely photograph from Google images but I have linked to his work just below the photo.)

Recently I stopped at the same Brocante again and there was not one but three iron bases lined up against the wall.  So, having kept my eye out for one for a few months now it seems that, like buses, iron table bases come all at once.

Iron Base

I think Mr. T. will mount the clock face to a wooden board before fixing it on the stand as we don’t want to mess with the face.  Then it will go on the garden terrace – maybe – or stay indoors, I can’t decide yet.  What do you think of it?  The hole in the middle will have some sort of ‘decorative bung’ inserted but I’ve just balanced it on top for now to show you.

ClockTable (1)

This may well be a unique table in the truest sense of the word.  Talking of which, it literally drives me mad when I see things being described as ‘unique’ when people only mean ‘unusual’ or ‘a bit rare’.  Note that I have used the word ‘literally’ in the sense it is now being abused  used which also irritates the hell out of me but it seems there is no hope for ‘literally’ and it looks as if ‘unique’ is to follow.  I also hate ‘so fun’ – shouldn’t it be ‘such fun’.  Ooer, I’ve gone all pedantic, sorry about that.  Back to any old iron.

There is a huge old wall to one side of the front of our house.  The other side to the front  has been hideously deformed by our neighbour which is why we fell out with him until he helped us get our dog down from his roof and we were forced, albeit briefly, to speak to him again.  See here for the gory details if you haven’t read it.

Anyway, until recently, it was covered in masses of dark green ivy – home to blackbirds and all sorts for decades – which has now been removed.   Old wall revealed, climbing roses ordered, trellis work being considered.  The wooden trellis work available in most garden centres is not always of the best quality – although it should be with the prices they charge – so Mr. T. is considering making his own.

However, in the same brocante, I spied these lovely old  ironwork panels – there are three of them actually – and I thought they would look great on the wall amongst the roses.  They measure around 110cm high and 40cm wide (43 x 16 inches)

Cast Iron Panels

Here is the wall in question which is about 15m long (getting on for 50ft) and around 3m high.

Garden Wall

Do you think there might be something wrong with my sense of scale?  Mr. T does :/

No matter – they will go somewhere – I couldn’t just leave them there now could I?

I’m considering having them mounted in wooden frames and fixing them to the wall behind the large pots we have either side of our front door and planting the pots up with an annual climbing plant.  Any other suggestions welcome.

 

 

 

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Early Birds

Today it is (yet another) public holiday here in France.  We got up early because, we both need to drive to the airport this afternoon, one of us to leave for a few days and the other to pick up Mlle Tialys the elder who is visiting  home for the rest of the month to get her breath back after the endless parties and general student goings on studying of the past university year.  But first we wanted to go to a plant and brocante market and the village which holds this annual event also has its usual market day on Monday mornings so it gets absolutely packed and it is difficult to park, walk or breathe if you leave it too late.  Ask me how I know.  Also it is really  hot at the moment and it is better to get these things done in the relative cool of the morning.

Garden Gargoyle

Not a photo of me this morning – though quite close.  Do you think he looks prettier for having a rose growing behind his ear?  This had happened by accident, not design, which is why I took the photo.

We went to the market with the intention of buying a plant or tree to go over the final resting place of our old German Shepherd, Phoebe, who died last year and was buried (with much exertion and dedication – she weighed 45kg) on one of the higher terraces in our garden.  At the moment she is covered in Iris flowers but we wanted something more permanent.  However, it was mostly herbaceous plants for sale so we ended up with a plumbago for the terrace

plumbago

and a bignone for somewhere else in the garden but we don’t know where yet.

bignone

Of course the brocante part was not neglected and I found this lovely brass cherub holding aloft a diamond cut glass coupe surrounded by flying birds.  Over the top?  Mais, non!  Well, a bit I suppose but it is very Paris Appartment as I like to call this style (or Hollywood Glamour if you prefer)

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I have an obsession with old French cutting boards at the moment. I love that they were probably made by the man of the house and used to death for years and years.  I love the primitive way they have been fashioned, the visible marks of years of use and the grain and texture of the wood.   Most of them I find are in an unloved state but I give them a light sanding and a coat or two of food safe oil and this usually brings the grain up to its former glory.  These old cutting boards are made in very primitive fashion, practically hewn out of the trunk – I’ve had some still with the bark on before.  They are generally really thick and chunky and lopsided, covered in knife cuts and with deep depressions where food has been chopped or bread sliced for many years.  They are gorgeous.

Here are some I’ve had in the past all with their own characters and now in new homes for an even more extended useful (or decorative) life.

Old French Chopping Board

It doesn’t matter if they are split, scratched and holey.

Large French Chopping Board

This handle has worn smooth with use and has a deep depression in the centre where most of the chopping and cutting went on.

Primitive French Chopping BoardI’m not sure how much wine had been consumed when this one was made – look at the handle and the remains of bark.

Old French Bread Board with Knot

A lovely big knot in this one.

Usually, I am persuaded(!) that we cannot keep more than one cutting board – although I have kept a gorgeous small version which is easily concealed – but today I found one that I won’t be parting with.

It weighs nearly 3kg (around 6.6lbs)

antique french chopping boardit is 46cm (18 inches) long and 8cm (3 inches) thick in places

Antique French Bread Boardand whoever made it carved his initials into the handle

French Chopping Board with Initials

what’s not to love?

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Selfish Saturday

I am off to the U.K. on Monday to visit my parents, my eldest and last, but not least, (well it probably is least but you know what I mean), the Knit and Stitch Exhibition at Alexandra Palace.

I have finished my Colette Zinnia skirt but I am not altogether happy with the pleats and, because I’ve made it in plaid, some might say it looks like I have wrapped a picnic blanket round myself so you can understand my reluctance to model it.  However, when I come back, I’ll style it up properly and inflict some photos on you.

In the meantime, and before I go and hunt down my passport, bag small enough to go in the cabin but big enough to hold a week’s worth of knickers and other necessities, Rescue Remedy Drops (I don’t like flying) and the 1kg stollen cake that I’m taking over for my Dad who is poorly, I thought I’d do a bit of shameless self promotion in the form of photos of some of  the vintage goodies currently in my shop because a) I like them,  b) I need the free publicity and   c) I’m the boss of my blog

French Street SignThese old street signs are such a gorgeous blue – I sometimes wonder how they have become detached from the actual street

regule and marble French bookendsThe use of marble and bronze or regule for bookends and table lamps was very popular in France around the middle of the 20th century.

French Kitchenalia

I love making plain objects look more exciting with the camera.   I think I take my best photographs when I’m doing product photography – maybe its something to do with the possible financial reward!

mintgreenfunnel (2)

Another fanciful one.

French Nous Deux JugI love these ‘Us Two’ milk jugs, the colour inside this one is gorgeous.

Nous Deux SetHere’s another by Villeroy & Boch – this one comes with cups that say ‘moi’ and ‘toi’  they make lovely wedding or anniversary gifts

atomic coat rackA colourful 1950s rack – a nice contrast with the ubiquitous brown I would have thought.

germanjardiniere (5)A bit of art nouveau

Vintage French Jelly JarGorgeous old French jelly jars which are getting very hard to find in this tapered shape now

All these French treasures, and more, can be found in my vintage shop, La Manche,  which is the main (non breathing) competition for my attention apart from my workroom where I occupy myself with things of the creative kind.

Speaking of which, do you remember the lovely French magazines I showed you recently?  Well, bearing in mind Mlle. Tialys the elder’s new found interest in dressmaking,  I found the perfect one to frame and hang in my workroom to remind me of the defining moment when  my passion for sewing and craft in general finally seemed to have rubbed off on to one of my daughters.

La Petite Echo de la ModeNot strictly accurate of course as she is taller than me and neither of us, unfortunately,  are quite as well groomed or have such tiny waists. Tant Pis!

 I will see you when I get back from my spending frenzy at the Knit & Stitch Expo with, hopefully, some tales to tell.

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Not Tonight Josephine

How do you like this little wasp-waisted beauty?  I was driving past my local brocante the other day and saw a mannequin outside.  I couldn’t see much from a distance but thought I’d  go and investigate further so I did, and then bought it.  Surprise, surprise.  If only my waist were that small.

In case you were wondering about the title – the woman in the shop told me it was from the Napoleonic era!  Well, I’m not sure about that but it is very old and must have been from a time that they wore rather severe corsets.

Mr Tialys is starting to feel a bit freaked out by these almost life size objects coming to share our house.  We have my lovely little tatty one in the bedroom, another on the landing,  one he doesn’t know about in my workroom and now this one.  I think maybe I’ll stop now that I’ve got a wasp waisted one.

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