French Paper, print & pattern
It's the weekend and that means we go a - BROCANTE - ing!!
Two of the friendliest, most talented dealers in the Luberon. They always raise a smile even on the dampest of brocanting days - they hit our guests with their quadruple wammy; Gallic charm; seductive French accents; beautiful eclectic collections, and unbeatable great prices - we didn't stand a chance!
With yesterdays home sub consciously on my mind - I found myself being drawn to collections, antique crystal carafes; Limoges tea sets...
Crystal carafe stoppers in a pile, twinkling at us to take them home
A wonderful stack of 'Le Petit Echo de Mode', a weekly French fashion magazine founded in 1880... beautiful illustrations, dress and embroidery patterns and the most amusing advertisement campaigns - a pure joy to pour over.
After four hours of treasure truffling, we collapsed down into comfortable bistro chairs at one of our favourite off the beaten track restaurants, hearty, warm French comfort food, a hug in a each spoonful of creamy laden 'Ravioles Dauphiné' - the French version of Macroni & cheese.
Louis XVI looks like he might like dessert even more than I .... Lemon meringue tart gives just the right amount of sugar rush to tackle this afternoons treat - a private home visit and brocante with 'Mr Paper' who collects and deals antique paper & ephemera.
Antique paper is a new love for me, photographs, school notebooks and music books have crept into my heart these last few years, beckoning to me to take them home and love them.
So I was pretty - I mean VERY - excited to visit the home Mr. Paper (as Corey calls him).
Inside his paper man-cave meets atelier my head spun - I spotted a stack of old wallpaper. It's always a mystery right up until you roll it out as to what you will find, perhaps it will be 70s clashing flower prints or 80s chintz... but if you are really lucky then you will unravel a roll of hand printed goache French made wallpaper....
Guess what - he had roll upon roll of incredible goache wallpaper, no two rolls were the same. Deep luscious purples and pinks, teal and emerald - vibrant and commanding and utterly contemporary despite their 100 years.
Books to make every heart skip a beat; leather bound and embossed music sheet books; marbled paper lining; ribbon and lace sample books with handwritten script desciptions - SOLD!
Antique wallpaper and upholstery samplers, each one unique, handprinted and exquisite....how could you possibly just choose one?
Subtle variations for different uses - of course once we had lost our heart to these it felt somewhat a relief to hear that they were not for sale (not yet at least).
I felt a kinship to discover our friend had difficulty bidding goodbye to his most favourite finds. Something so traditionally 'throw-away' as paper and yet certain patterns haunt him and he can't quite bear to part with them. It's reassuring to realise you're not the only sentimentalist in the room!
I picked up a stack of incredible school homework notebooks (cashiers de devoirs) from 1894. Wonderful French literature lessons, arithmetic sums, geographical charts and all with the teachers notes in red in the border.
These are the things I find myself most drawn to recently. Perhaps it is because my own son is now learning 'joint-handwriting' within the French school system and this connects me with the work of these children.
I would nearly enroll myself in order to learn how to write so beautifully!
There was something for every taste. Corey has lots of other photographs on her blog so check it out here for paper & ephemera love.
Another day lived passionately and generously. Tomorrow is another day, with untold exquisite antiques waiting for us as we venture to Isle sur la Sorgue.