The French boulangerie in my town closed its doors recently though it dated back to the 1800s. The original facade was taken off for safe keeping as the boulangerie will be transformed into apartments. In a land where history is in every breath taken and in every step walked, it shouldn't surprise me that one hundred year old things seem less important than two or three hundred year old things.
The ceiling in the boulangerie, that I have admired for over twenty years, had a hand painted canvas painting, three meters by two point eight meters (roughly ten feet). An angel on each corner: One holding cherries, one holding melons, another grapes and one holding a cornucopia of roses. The painting is known as the "Angels bringing seasonal fruit to make jam."
It was soiled from years of living above petite fours, croissants, eclairs, baguettes, pain au chocolates...
As the ceiling was twenty feet high, plus the lack of light made photos difficult. I will take better ones when I can unroll it in day light.
The young man stood on his tippy toes, on top of the ladder, while pulling out the nails that surrounded the painting. He was very careful. I admired him and thought: "He could be my handy man!" I didn't dare say my thought out loud. But I seriously admired his care to detail.
There is one angel in each corner. Each one has a different pose.
Some with baskets most with ribbons and smiles.
At first glance it seems to have been painted in 1920s or so.
But only an expert could tell the real date.
This angel above shows us its better side.
In the center faint clouds depict a perfect day.
A solid iron hand made hook is in the center to hold a chandelier. I don't know where the chandelier went... I never saw it in the twenty years that I went into this bakery.
I don't know what I will do with it. For the moment I will admire it, take photos of it and let it "speak" to me.
The painting is known as: " The angels bringing seasonal fruit to make jam".
The ceiling painting was framed, once with a small trim and then framed with another larger frame which covered lights that reflected on the painting.
Down. In one safe piece!
The photo (above) shows the other side with is bare.
Though it would fit in my home, I think it would be better in a bigger room, with high ceilings, with plenty of empty wall space around it and light.
They added a light layer of plastic to protect it, then rolled it up large, and carefully. Then carried it to my home.
P.S. No winner on the Guessing Game. I hate to say this but I think I have finally stumped you all!!
While in Paris visiting Sacha and the brocante (Chelsea was with a friend) we talked and talked about his classes...
He is my Boy Boy.
He doesn't have much money this month. He spent a great deal trying to film a documentary he had to work on for class. Though due to circustances out of his control the water was too murky to film, and the project was postponed.
He was bit bummed.
Dessert to the rescue.
Happiness comes with strawberries and cream.
He also asked his Dad for some cash.
When Yann gave him an advance, Sacha gave most of it back.
I can manage on just twenty.
Oh the joy of watching your child become a beautiful adult.
Strawberries and cream.
Slow motion reality: When you see something happening before your eyes that you wish wasn't happening, though there isn't anything you can do to stop it.
French Husband turned around,
his elbow caught the corner of the crown,
The crown's airborne flight appeared in slow motion going down towards the tile floor.
I cringed as I recalled, "Italy. 18th century wooden crown. Small, off the beaten path shop. I'll never found another or that shop again. Crash."
It shattered as if it were porcelain.
French Husband quickly turned around. His shocked expression said it all. His eyes met mine waiting to register my reaction.
I screwed my mouth to the side, opened my eyes wide, shrugged, though inside I was SCREAMING.
"Well," I offered, "Better that it was you breaking something that was mine, than me ruining something of yours."
"Let it go, it is what it is. Not important. But I did, really did like it."
So if you come to my house and see a small pile of wood on the coffee table, do not ask if it is kindling. Because I might come unglued.
Okay, I am a sucker for French antiques, you know and I know it. It is a passion, it is my drug of choice, it is crazy. Ever since I was a kid I have loved old things. It started at the junk yard. Yes indeed, going to the junk yard, or the dump was always fun. The saying that someone's junk is another person's treasure rang try to me. The junk yard in my childhood home town, use to be a gravel pit, it was big you might say.
Just the other day I heard a tale of someone in Marseille finding an eighteen century silver tea set in a dumpster. Lucky duck! The best thing I ever found at the gravel pit was a foot stool and a bunch of old bottles.
It is rare that I find something at the brocante that I don't know what it is. So imagine my surprise to find two things within a week! Last week, I found a 1900s cigarette ring to free one's hands to smoke while working at the same time. It took nearly two hundred guesses (Combined guesses from comments and emails.) to find the winning response!
This week I found yet another trickster! "What is it?", I had to ask the brocante dealer and when he told me I thought to myself, "Yes indeed this is going on the French Antique Guessing Game!"
Do you know what this is? I bet you don't.
Guess away in the comment section or by email. The first person to answer "EXACTLY" will win some French chocolate, and the one who has the most creative answer will win some chocolates too.
A 1900s silver peacock, about four inches tall, surronded by leaves and flowers.
What was it used for? Have you ever seen one?
When it comes to the brocante, I am ready when you are.
After a whirlwind of visitors and meeting so very many of you this year, I have decided to take the plunge: To do the brocante thing full on.
Crazy how a girl can change. Crazy how after eight years of saying, "No I do not do brocante tours, nor do I organize tours." I have finally come to my senses: Let's do it.
It seems to me that after meeting nearly two hundred of you, who read my blog, this year and finding out that 99.99 percent of you like the brocante, wine and bring me maple syrup that I cannot say no any longer.
Maple syrup, wine and the brocante... Holy cow only Yann's kisses are better than that.
Hope to see you soon?