Some of my favorite moments at the brocante are found while looking around the bottom of a box, or digging inside of a trunk, or peering into a soup tureen, often in the least expected place one can find bits and pieces, ephemera from another era, placed and forgotten or a hidden treasure that nobody claimed. The littles things that do not mean much but where put somewhere for safe keeping, it is as if I can hear the person say, "I will just put it here in case I need it one day."
My mother's junk drawer comes to mind.
Letters read, mourning envelopes that held black trimmed death cards, leftover glass beads, a photograph, little crocheted bells, a small silver box to hold stamps?
As I am a brocante dealer I come across many things during the week. Some things I keep, others things I give away, yet the majority of things that I find I sell. Most the time they never make it to my online shop. They are sold before I have a chance to put them up.
Some of you have bought off me for more years than I can remember. I am sure if I went to your homes I would feel like I was in my home. Because of that when I go out antiquing I carry many of you in my thoughts. "Oh Faith will like that painting. That is just the piece for Barbara. Oh Margo is going to love this ironstone. Mary is going to sing my praises when she sees this piece of lace. Sue will do a backflip when she gets her hand on this decorative gilded piece... and these papers Stephanie will not want to use them, but keep them for her private collection."
If you want me to keep you in my thoughts when I go to the brocante, let me know. This is how it works. When I see something that I think you will love I will send a FB message to you with a photo and details. If you want the piece then I will buy it for you, if you do not then you simply reply "no". I will send the photo out to more than one person, so you might not have time to respond before it is sold.
If you are interested send me an email:
On another note, I buy a ton of stuff, which means antique dealers that I know add things, or give me boxes of stuff for whatever reasons. More often than not, it is their way of saying thank you for being a good client, or I cannot deal with all this stuff so take it off my hands, or they will say, "I cannot give you a better price, but instead I will throw in these boxes full of stuff." Sometimes I would rather not have the boxes full of stuff, cause I cannot walk in the room where I store everything and work, isn't that true WR, Alice, Ruth and Gina. I call my workspace, the "The Disaster Zone."
Recently, an antique dealer gave my friend Ruth a box of stuff to say thank you. If you haven't read her story, and it is an amazing one, check out our French Muse Experience to read more.
Yesterday, at the antique fair in Chatou I saw those little skull caps used for bird taxidermy. I wanted to buy them because they were so unusual and hard to come by. Yann was saying, "Buy them!" But something in me just couldn't do it. Not because it was taxidermy but because I know I have enough to carry back home as it is.
Oh the life of a antique dealer, always buying, selling, trading, carrying, packing, storing, sending stuff.
Instead, of buying those tiny skull caps, I bought bigger heavier things. Wonders never cease.
The winners from yesterday's French antique guessing game: