Treasure hunting is in my genes. In the 70's my parents hauled lots of copper back from Turkey, cherubs that they incorporated into a fountain, and assorted antiques, inkwells, gargoyles, little signs, etc... My Aunt Kate was a dealer at Brimfield, Mass. and the Antiques shows on the westside Piers in NYC. Good stuff!
|Antiquites-Brocante a la Bastille, Paris. Loved that tureen, but passed it by.|
Marche is a market, and is usually for food--meats, produce, herbs and spices.
Foire is a clothing market.
Brocante is a flea market with junk, collectibles and antiques as well.
Vide-grenier means "empty attic" and translates to a yard sale with some dealers mixed in.
Marche aux puces is a flea market.
Troc is short for trocadero, which means place of trade.
Then there are salons de antiquites and salons de collectionneurs...which are self explanatory; shops.
I've gotten some furniture over the years...bureaus, settees, steamer trunks, copper weather vanes, etc... Dumpster Dives and sidewalk finds would be a whole 'nother blog post! My favorite things from "the flea" are little nothings that catch my attention, and that transport me a bit when I see them in the house, whether they are decoration or put to use. I got a neat set of old, wooden handled screwdrivers at a roadside swap meet in Pennsylvania (I use them frequently), small brass weights in St Barth's, Victorian watch fobs and silver napkin rings on Portobello Rd in London, a Le Creuset dutch oven for $25 on the North Fork of Long Island, tablecloths and unique prints for a few Euro each in Cortona, Italy, a Talavera pottery sink and wrought iron stand from Mexico and, and, and...
Our cooking class went to Montreuil Bellay in the Loire Valley for the Brocante that's held every month. I snapped pix the whole way in and out. The market winds along the streets and is in the shadow of a chateau that dates from 1025 A.D. That's no split level ranch with plastic toys, broken appliances and bodice-ripper novels for sale on the driveway! Talk about feeling transported! There was a tea shop, boulangerie, patisserie, and a dusty little storefront selling freshly harvested chestnuts. I could have wandered off for hours!
Due to baggage and weight restrictions and prohibitive shipping that would have exceeded price of the bargains being hunted, I picked up a few little mementos that caught my eye. My cooking class colleague and new bestie Katherine is a French teacher, so the bargaining was even better!
For 20 Euros total, or about $27 US, what was my haul from Montreuil Bellay? I chose eight 1930's postcards from a stack, for the colors and graphic elements. The coats of arms represent ancient provinces from Brittany to the Loire. Katherine bargained and I got them for 10 Euros. The paper was fragile and some of the cards were bent or ripped. I chose 8 of the nicest, and back home I stuck them in frames that had pre-cut double mats and, voila! Instant wall art.
All kinds of rusty stuff was laid out on a blanket. Amidst the jumble, a metal cow's head (about 7" across and 5" high) and a ring of old keys caught my attention. Got the cow's head for 8 Euros and the set of 16 various keys for 2 Euros.
Here's what I did with my little treasures.
|With a metal brush attached to a drill, I buffed off the major rust.|
|Sprayed a coat of primer to inhibit future rust.|
|Sprayed two coats of paint. I chose 'oil rubbed bronze' to mimic well-kept metal. I like the towel around his neck.|
The kitchen at Chenonceau inspired me and I'll be putting my cow on the side of a kitchen cabinet to hold a towel.
Ok, Blogger is fighting me on adding anymore to this posting, as I've just reached the 1GB free storage limit. Au Revoir from the French Markets, for now.