Sunday, October 24, 2010


It's appropriate to talk about Disguises as we are just before Halloween. I see this all the time, "French Baskets." These should be called "French Style baskets." The weave is way too loose, the handles are irregular and attached without much care or construction, and the baskets wobbled considerably; there is No Way these are made in France~

The real deal baskets like these in Beaune are very tightly woven and will not budge. These are all in "osier" or reed, brut/brown or blanc/white, fabrication Francaise~
There are some fantastic commercial pieces available in France; you will see several examples in our Metis Rose Bowl booth in November; a display in front of the best antique store in town is always a plus, haha~
There are knockoffs of the French totes & baskets, but they will fall apart. Quality is especially important for a functional item. Here today are Jean & Linda, carrying my St. Remy & Marseilles totes; I look forward to seeing their smiling faces each each week, they are so cute~
and their baskets look as good as the day they bought them, when....9 months ago? Used daily. They have a wardrobe of others, for knitting projects.
The French like merchandise that will last, whether it was made in France (the osier baskets) or in the colonies. Sometimes I see Chinese-made rolling carts for sale in the U.S. They are totally wobbly and if you blow on them they will fall apart. Ca n'a rien a voir avec le vrais. The real French baskets are very solid~
It's amazing that in decor, copies have gotten so good; I love my Aidan Grey fragments from Cargo & Company, topped with coral; the patina is great~

You see them all over now, and I have to pick them up and look; the price point is great, and these are only decorative~
in the terra cotta too, there are imposters. This is what I jokingly refer to as a Chinaman dressed up as a Frenchman. French Anduze Style, Made in China; not glazed but it's a great style, especially if you need more than one pair~
This is what I call a Mexican dressed up as an Italian. Except for all the exfoliation, this is the clue that it is not made in Italy, the Italians would never make a product that exfoliates like this; still the pie-crust top is cute and the price is not Italian. But it's flaking all over my patio. Maybe I should have found a real Italian? Same point again about decorative vs. functional items; this is functional, and I don't like the inferior quality.
What do you call them, lower quality or knockoffs or imitations? If at all possible, I'll stick with the authentic versions. What do you think?


  1. I agree, quality is quality. I like how you say the chinaman is dressed as a frenchman, very cute. My baskets are wonderful, I use them all the time, still perfect. xo

  2. That is why I love that you stick to quality; to the best Andrea!! A huge difference!

    Art by Karena

  3. I agree that Chinese and Mexican items are the worst made in those categories except for the pottery: you cannot do better than English pots when you get down to it. Italian is next best and certainly beats Mexican stuff, though!

  4. Hi!

    I absolutely agree--authenticity is essential. While the financial investment may be substantially more than the imitation, the long term returns in durability and overall enjoyment and satisfaction are priceless. There's nothing like finding and falling in love with an item and its story! C'est magnifique!

  5. It all leads back to "You get what you pay for." If it is something that I am going to use more than once or twice I want the real deal.

    Love the scooped out basket shape. I have never seen it!

  6. Very interesting information. I always try to get authentic items...and stay away from "made in China"! I love the bags you are showing that you can carry! Beautiful! ♥

  7. I just found you through Karena. The baskets you show are beautiful and your blog, lovely.

  8. Hi Andrea, I love your baskets and you can definitely tell the difference between the authentic ones and the knockoffs. The Chinaman dressed up as a Frenchman...we see a lot of that in shops now.