I came to Rancho Santa Fe today ready to sell a lot of hats, but I also brought some busywork to fill the time between sales and fluffing the merchandise. I brought a group of vintage French religious medals, thinking I would make and show a few more key chain tags, and see how people liked the idea. The answer is, they loved it, and women soon dumped the hat search for browsing vintage French medals. I sold a few to my repeat client MarGee (why didn't I get a pic of you today!?). She had a shop for many years and has a very trained eye. She selected medals that were all meaningful for the intended recipients...she is a very thoughtful gift-giver! She also bought one of my most favorite items, a highly decorative cross with tiny hole in the center; if you look through the cross you see an image of the Cathedral at Lourdes. That was a very special piece but it went to a good home so I will have to search for a new fav piece.
I'll post later on the history of French religious medals and show you some in my own collection, but here is what I had out today; all of these medals are from France and they are in French or Latin or old French.
The most basic medal is in aluminum, and is found in abundance around France; I will attach these to lavender sachets for $4 and sell the medals alone for $1. The chain shown was my idea for displaying medals so that no one would pocket one. That was busywork one Sunday in LA; the rest are loose:
I have a bunch in silver-tone, "not aluminum" category. A woman who recently survived a serious illness took the XL St. Christopher today, here at top left; I think she liked the imagery of the Christ Child being carried, and she was ready to cry when she touched it; these are $5:
I have others in gold-tone; some of these are old & rare; $10 for these:
I have a bunch that came from the south of France; these are the "old & crusty" category and they are 17th-19th C according to the dealer I bought them from. I have to figure out what I've got before I sell them, but I think they will be $20; most of them are still caked with dirt and some are in Latin; I was told they were "excavated."
The most popular French religious medal is the blue enameled one; these are of the Virgin Mary, grotto at Lourdes, St. Christopher (patron of travelers) and St. Therese the Little Flower. These are in silver/gold-tone metal or sterling silver, some single sided and some double sided. These are $20 each at the NYC flea; I am going $10. They are tiny but they look amazing on a charm bracelet or necklace:
I have a lot of crucifixes too, varied; $5-10.
Where else would you find French religious items next to mushrooms? My across-the-aisle neighbor Kenny from the 'Shroom Shack gave me a lovely gift today, a still-growing brick of mushrooms and compost; this shot is so you can see the elevation, which is made of sterilized straw and manure from Del Mar racetrack, which gets infused with mushroom spores to grow these white or Paris mushrooms:
It was a trick to find room for it in the car, but I managed. When the mushrooms stop popping up I will break the brick up into the compost pile; btw they don't grow straight up, they tend to lean, with roots; I have never seen how mushrooms are cultivated before:
The rest of my haul today was rainbow chard, live basil, fresh garlic (please don't buy garlic "made in China"), baby romaine heads, broccoli and yellow carrots:
We love beets, so I got a selection, also some kind of onion at far right; I don't like onion, but I make a great goat cheese tart with caramelized onions, and it's even better with the flavor and color of these:
Maggie's Farms displayed their baby romaine perfectly; cut in half, add a little olive oil and parmesan and stuff and set out on the table like this; these are baby heads, not the hearts you get at Trader Joe's; these are tiny perfect little fresh heads of lettuce:
Maggie's had a great display today, including cut fresh beets:
Golden, candy-cane, scarlet Chioga (new to me) and white (never seen those) beets; also purple potatoes:
here is part of the mix, on my table; I got some finger potatoes as this is what we had last night for Slow Food and they were so good....
I'm hungry now after this post, and tired after the long day, so excuse me while I go make dinner ....enjoy your Sunday evening!