My friends Jean-Bernard and Nathalie recently stumbled upon a person selling turn of the century photographer's backdrops. The person selling them found the backdrops in an old photographer's studio.
Jean-Bernard and Nathalie had two in their shop, until someone on the French Muse Experience bought one. The backdrops are hand painted in sepia tones.
Going to antique shops, brocantes or anywhere finding old things is an incredible pleasure. Hearing the stories, learning from the past, letting the object speak through cracks, tears, chips, restorations, dust... The power antiques have to fascinate, to stimulate curiosity, to make me wonder and let me mingle past with present, it is something that never bores me.
Some finds, the little things, the objects of everyday life... a flower pressed between pages of a book from the 1700s, a letter kept but not opened, a medal tied with a pale ribbon attached to a baby's bib, a sock that has been patched then re-patched, and patched again...
Kept for memory sake.
More about the story the artists of backdrops can be found here:
The story in my imagination begins... a couple came to have their photo taken. Newly married, shirt cuff and collar starched and ironed, ribbon tied just so, one curl wouldn't behave, beard trimmed... she pinched her cheeks for color, then giggled to her husband remembering the photograph wasn't in color, their shoes dusty from the walk into town...
Many of you have asked about the castle that my friends take care of and that we took our French Muse guests to.
A few quick answers:
1) It is for sale 2 million euros, needs about that much as well to restore it. The chateau is on a massive piece of land.
2) The antiques and things inside belong to my friends, they "guard-take care of" the chateau and store their brocante stuff inside.
3) Only potential buyers and friends of my friends are allowed inside.
4) If you come on a French Muse you would be able to see it.
5) While we were in the chateau it started to rain... and it rained inside as it has for years... the damage is extensive and haunting, surreal and achingly beautiful.
6) The chateau longs for a proper owner to take care of it.
I wish I was wealthy so I could do it.