(Photo: A Roman ring seen at the French brocante last weekend.)
The French brocante offers more than disregarded dusty old things from someones attic, it offers more than hopeful boxes of disheveled, could be treasures. The French brocante is not just a place to find unbeatable prices, or the chance to find a Picasso. It is a living museum with touch-able history, where you can be the digger in the archaeological site, and best of all there is "take home".
Last weekend at the brocante my cousin Robin, French Husband and I met a dealer who specialized in Roman artifacts. The dealer has been collecting for years, he started selling not so long ago. His stand was full of rare, interesting pieces... he freely shared his knowledge and stories. I felt like a sponge, soaking up every word. I think I must have asked two thousand questions, mostly: "What is this?"
(Photo: A Roman coin found at the brocante last year.)
I must admit I usually spend most my time looking for things that speak in muted color romance, old things that have more than their fair share of age, brocante items that have little monetary value but rather tell a story, depict a feeling. I guess you could say I am a sucker for worn beauty... uneven certainty strikes a balance within me.
Old coins, especially Roman artifacts, the dealer at the brocante told me are often found in fields, where Roman roads traversed... he mentioned that when a field has recently been toiled bits and pieces from the past are brought to the surface.
Driving home I looked at the poppy fields with new insight... Battles fought, lives lost, bits and pieces, stories, memories, buried within... and red poppies bloom.
Thank you for your guesses yesterday. Most of you were on the right track with guesses such as pins, tie backs, hooks, buckle...
Since I said the winner would be the first one who knew the name and the meaning of the object the winner is: Violet Cadbury,
"A Fibulae. Ancient Roman safety pin."
Since Paulita hit the nail on the head first with her answer, I feel she too should have a prize.
... it holds a toga in place for ancient Romans. Wow, they left a lot of toga holders in Provence.
The creative answer goes to Georgie who wrote:
"It is part of pony's bridle, to hold the reins and you are sending me a pony for the correct guess!!"
Clever Georgie, I'll send a pony!
Winnners please send me your addresses by emailing me, and I will send off a bit of brocante to you.