Have you ever suffered from Chateau fever?
Symptoms are insomnia, palpitations, severe sensations of extreme excitement and a fierce desire to get up at an ungodly hour, in the dark, and drive for hours until the gates of the chateau are once again in sight.
Yep - we all had it bad!
We forgot any best laid plans to follow what the heart desired - another chance to discover what treasures lay within - this time with daylight on our side
It called for fearless rummaging... no trunk could be left unexplored
...and believe me every single trunk, stacked at times five high was filled with goodies.
An incredible 18th Century altar silk, with sumptuous silk embroidery - incredibly intact after all these years.
A nondescript flat wooden box revealed itself to be a complete set of early 19th century school stamps
Paper lovers out there - you would have fainted if you'd seen the rolls of old maps and stacks upon stacks of letters, newspapers, ledgers and leather-bound books.
I fell hard for these crumbling jewellery displays, the black lacquer glaze on one flaking off and revealing silk underneath - simply delicious.
As you can see many of the rooms where still quite dark and it lent an unmistakable magic to the hunt.
We opened an unusual looking trunk to discover this beautiful 'grisaille' hand painted wallpaper lining....
Another dark mysterious room with the most incredible wallpaper and a stack of old painting frames stacked up against the wall
Lace and trims poured out of antique hat boxes - I felt like I'd stepped through a portal and into a 1900s costume designers atelier - I felt vastly under dressed surrounded by such finery.
Dissolving beaded dresses - remnants of a deeply more glamorous age.
Baskets piled as high as the ceiling.
The French have names for every single different type of basket. I spotted a 'panier de filature'; a 'panier aperitif'; a 'panier de couture'; a 'panier de pain de boulanger' and a 'panier verseur'. There were baskets for everything you could think of - wine bottles, walnuts, letters...
Even torn, age eaten silk is undeniably beautiful
An 18th century toile was unravelled to reveal a trio of beauties
Take me home and make me whole it called
A little emerald corner of loveliness to rummage through
Broken glazed Provençal pottery - I couldn't resist bringing them home no matter how damaged they are
A handmade lace masterpiece still attached to its original salesman card and ready for framing.
A pair of beautiful tole bird-cages
A 1900 baby toiletry set with silver comb, brush and cup
The French Muse has exclusivity to brocanting (and visiting) this spellbinding castle (and we are also planning for another 'vide-chateau' later in 2015) so if you want to organise a French Muse experience or a private buying trip with friends drop us a line for more details.