Saturday, July 19, 2014

Summer Brocante

Ahhh, summer in Beaune and Brittany!  So much to show you and tell you, though I haven’t had time yet to blog about it, I will be posting a lot, soon.  Each day has been busier than the last, and chock full of gorgeous French imagery.  In a few minutes I will be off to the big Saturday open air market here in Beaune, to do my shopping for the week and record the summer bounty.  The last few days have been 100 degrees here, and the afternoons have been passed with good friends and cold glasses of wine.  Next week, though, I will be back in California to style the wedding of my niece, near Carmel.  I have found a lot of great antique items this summer, some of which I can bring back to California with me.  So today, here are a few items which are now for sale and can be brought to California with me.  If you do not live in Southern California, I can ship to you within the United States (buyer to pay actual cost of shipping).  Are you ready to shop???

[Note: There is a Paypal button below each item; since I am in France the button is in French: to Purchase, click on the Acheter button.]

1.  Set of six vintage horn knives in a very vintage box $45~  SOLD


9 3/4” long, with the blades in good rust-free condition; I will clean these a bit more before delivery~


Three of the handles are round and three are squared off; all in good condition except one which has a small split, which is common in horn-handled vintage knives.  The viroles or collars are shiny but I do not think they are sterling.  Generally, a great set of vintage French knives!


2.  Set of assorted silverplate flatware: 26 pieces in total $25~     SOLD

There are 12 forks and 14 large spoons~


The patterns, sizes and weights are all slightly different; this is great French picnic-ware~



3.  Set of two vintage French butcher or kitchen knives $60~


These are beautiful knives with fine wood handles and copper finishings (the three rivets where the blades are attached).  The longest is 15 1/4” long, the other is just a bit shorter.


4.  Set of 24 milk-glass type plates $50~ SOLD

These plates are very pretty!  They are probably 1960’s-‘70’s and are stamped “France” on the bottom.  Similar to a milk-glass kind of a look….The smaller set is 7 1/2” in diameter, and 9” diameter on the large plates.  More picnic ware!  I’d love to set a table with them~


Nice set of 24 plates~!


There are twelve of each size.



5.  Grandmere’s Mirror.  $75~

Classic French mirror from the early 20th Century.  Unfinished bamboo-style frame; the glass measures 10” x 14 1/2, with a small chain for hanging.


I always love these mirrors!  The glass is in perfect condition (I did not clean it yet) and the back is covered in cardboard.  A few small wormholes give you a clue as to age. 


6.  Heavy cotton and linen sheet $20~  SOLD


There is a faded red monogram I can not identify; approximately 80” x 100” ….I would use it for a picnic blanket but you can also use it on a bed or for a sofa throw.  It’s very heavy and good quality cotton and linen blend.




7.  Shabby Chic milk or water pitcher $25~  SOLD


This pitcher has great lines and patina,  It is white enamel, which has started to peel off to reveal a green undertone.IMG_3820

Approximately 16” tall and 8” wide at the base.  Traces of blue paint on the interior and this greenish paint on the exterior can be left as is or can be soaked off to get it back to all-white.  This is from Brittany.


This would be so pretty with flowers in it!





8.  Vintage French Malle or Trunk $450~

This is probably my very favorite purchase this summer.  It dates to the late 19th or early 20th Century and at one point had a cream liner which has since been removed. 


There is a leather tag on the front which reads “Malle Francaise Marque Deposee” which means French Trunk Trademarked.”


I have been using this the last few weeks as my coffee table, though it was originally someone’s suitcase.  Just think of where this trunk has been!  IMG_3827

There is a brass lock on the front which is missing the key; at a later time someone added a second lock.IMG_3828

There are handles on each side.


There is wear on the bottom edges, consistent with age and use, which does not detract from its beauty.  I will have this shrink-wrapped and bring it back on the plane with me.  Remember, local pickup or buyer to pay actual shipping…but at least you don’t have to pay the shipping from France~


10.  200+ French wine corks $20~

These are all French corks, from Burgundy or Bordeaux; the bowl is not included!!

Great for your crafting projects; I just pile them around pillar candles in hurricane vases for an authentic souvenir of France~




11.  Early 20th Century Copper Basin $300~  SOLD

This was originally made for making jam or preserves, but it will be beautiful on a kitchen island full of fruit or as an ice bucket full of chilled wine.  14” diameter on the basin and 16 1/2” wide to the edge of each handle.IMG_3833

I bought this recently in Brittany while antiquing with my friend Guy.  It’s a beautiful piece and not too large to find plenty of use.


The rim is heavy and rolled; a fine example of vintage French copper~


The handles are flat, with copper rivets~



I hope you enjoyed a little bit of shopping; look for more posts soon~

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My French Bike

Now that I got some of the basic house cleaning out of the way, it’s time to get out around Beaune a bit.  Yesterday was the first market of my stay, and though it was the Wednesday market, which is significantly smaller than the blockbuster Saturday market, there was still plenty of goodness to be found.  This is my favorite vendor.  I bought some of the most beautiful and delicious escarole from him, as well as a few tomatoes and haricots verts (fines, of course).  We had a fabulous salade nicoise for lunch, with everything from the market and a can of tuna.


This time of year, you want to buy everything.  I started with some cherries, which you can sample~


The variety above is the one you find in the States; but they also had this one, Hedelfinger, which is more tart but also slightly larger than a normal cherry; a very meaty bite.  Amazing is all I can say~


We’ve been eating a lot of apricots; the variety that is abundant now comes from the Drôme region and is tinged red~


Soon I’ll be exploring the squash varieties, which caught my eye today~


And the tomatoes; this plum variety is called “Cocktail.”  I used a small striped heirloom variety in the salade for lunch, and it was one of the most flavorful tomatoes I’ve tasted in a long time. 


For breakfast after the market, we had local fromage blanc, which is essentially an unsweetened yogurt.  In the bottom of the cups are sliced strawberries, the small and extremely flavorful French variety Mara de Bois, and cherries, topped with cassis berries.  I asked the cassis berry vendor where the berries came from, and he said simply yet cheerfully, “From Us.”  Us being a farm not far from Beaune.   More strawberries, raspberries and a sprinkle of coarse French sugar topped off my flavorful little cups.  The new vermeil spoons are perfect for breakfast~ 


After breakfast, I went for a long walk, around the ring road, which took 45 minutes to walk around once, but I got a little exercise in.  Then it was off to get R’s favorite daily bread, a demi pain gros.  As I walked in the bakery, a man was coming out, and he put his bread in the spruce produce crate on the back of his bike and off he went.   I had to fumble for my camera for a minute, but here he goes; don’t you love the green bike?  I look longingly at these bikes all day, with their cool colors and vintage chrome fenders.  I tell you, the older people here have all the cool stuff: the best vintage bikes, the best vintage baskets.  These vintage French & chic items are precisely what I’m looking for each day at 1:30 pm when I hit the Emmaus thrift store.  All day long here you see elderly people biking around.  All this good food and clean air and water, a little exercise on the velo; it’s a good long life here.


It took me 15 minutes to walk to Emmaus, but to my great happiness, I was able to bike back, in five minutes on my latest favorite purchase….meet my new vintage French Bike.  I’m calling her Mathilde.


She is originally Italian, a blue Motobecane one-speed with blue and white saddlebags.  Though a 3-speed would have been better, I think she’s perfect for me.  And with the one-speed, I get a little exercise in.  I wasted no time fixing her up a bit by giving her…what else….a basket for the front.


Of course, I have never met a vintage basket I haven’t loved, and this one came from a deballage a few years ago.  I am sure I paid no more than 1 Euro for it.  It’s been holding magazines, but now it belongs with Mathilde.


I used some satin ribbon on hand to attach the basket to the handlebars.


And later in the evening, I went to my secret lavender field to fill the basket with cuttings, which will soon come in the house.  To me, French homes should smell faintly of furniture wax and strongly of good food and lavender, at least in summer.


The only problem is that as I was hurrying to leave the field, I clocked my forehead squarely on the gate.  And I do mean clocked.  I think I was just super excited to finally have a bike and to then have a basket on it filled with freshly cut lavender.  But in addition to the bike and flowers, I also came home with an enormous goose-egg on the head, which R very kindly iced for me.


I don’t care, it was worth it.  Do you know how happy I am to look out the kitchen window and see Mathilde on the terrace, now with the table I hauled outdoors, and the folding garden chairs, primed as they await their final coat of paint this week?  Very happy, I can tell you….She and I are going places together this summer, to the vineyards, running errands and maybe starting with a few round trips to the recycle.


R is going off this morning to get her a lock, then he’s taking her grocery shopping.  I may get a new brown seat and saddlebags, but for now, she’s just perfect as she is.  I love Mathilde, my French Bike!