Thursday, October 20, 2011

Galerie de la Gare

Oh my, I am having technical difficulties on my end, so all of the posts that I have planned to share with you all are on hold for the moment. Yes, les difficultés techniques are very much a part of living in France and most especially in the South of France, a twighlighty zone where, when things go wrong, they do so terribly that your only option is to laugh. Can anyone please explain to me why the internet in general, WIFI in specific, no longer works when the Mistral winds are blowing (as they are today)? I imagine many a French person would be wise enough to just do a little Gallic shrug over the matter and be done with it but I am nonplussed. If any of my local friends happen to see this, I would love to know what they think of my theory--I swear it is true.

So I will instead keep shopping because isn't that something that all of us do virtually in perpetuity anyhow? I originally took these photos for my lovely friend Brooke Giannetti. Yes, she of the Velvet & Linen blog fame, she the co-author of the "sold out on Amazon for three months" super-seller book "Patina Style" that is alas, still unavailable to many of us in Yee Olde Europe (and no Brooke, that isn't any sort of sneaky plea for a special delivery!). But I don't think that she will mind if I share them with you. They were taken on just a whim actually.

But how can one look at such worn cabinets and armoires and not appreciate their patina? All of the hands passing over their handles, pastries pushed out on their surfaces, the best china carefully handed up to the top shelf. Pieces that have lived and are still living for us if we only give them the attention that they deserve.

All of these objets were found at one antiques shop that I adore, the Galerie de la Gare, located in Molleges, beyond St. Remy but before Eygalieres. Now, I truly don't necessarily love this shop for the antiques (even though they are fantastic and we did buy our one "good" piece here in better times) but and oh, how hopelessly American this sounds, for the experience. Trust me, I am wincing as well. But Remi and I have the best conversations here. Either with the owner, who has been in business for around twenty-five years or his Zen Buddhist nephew, from whom we recently bought a light fixture for our bedroom. There is none of the posturing "Monsieuuur, may I help you?" here but smart talk about the economy and certainly, politics. Taboo at the dinner table but apparently not in certain antique shops. We are usually there for at least an hour chatting or, at least, until a more important customer strolls in.

The shop was emptier than usual when we went to pick up our little alabaster light. A sign of the times. Business has dropped drastically for all of the antique dealers in the region--even on the lower end of the scale according to a friend in Arles. But what lovely things remained--especially those from a dealer on the Côte d'Azur who rents out a corner of the gallery. Photos are not usually permitted so I am being a bit...sneaky. I had asked to take them specifically to take to share with Brooke so please, no Pinteresting, no pinning. One thing very worth mentioning is that the doors inside of the white cabinet are plastered with letters and photographs from long, long ago. I did not have light or time enough to read those forgotten words but hope they were old love letters. Well, they are for me, no matter what they were.

Remi is what he is, that is, a photographer and a brilliant one at that. I was so touched that when we stepped out of the shop, he took the image below, just so I could share with a far-away friend, one that I haven't even met yet, how glorious our light is here. So, just a little side trip but hopefully one that kept your interest--I would hate to lose you! And so, in the buoyancy of imaginary shopping, I will ask--did anything catch your eye? And if any of you actually did have a true coup-de-coeur, I jotted down most of the prices, just in case!


  1. Hello Heather:
    Oh how we should love an hour or two of wandering around this Aladdin's cave of an antique shop. So many lovely things and we should certainly not have too much difficulty in placing anything that we can see here.

    We are so sorry to hear of your technology troubles, such complaints have really taken over as the modern day equivalent of bemoaning the weather. Too hot, too cold, too wet, too windy and now too slow, too unpredictable, too expensive and too complicated!!!

    Remi's photograph captures the golden autumnal glow so perfectly. How beautifully atmospheric and best enjoyed with a delicious glass of red in hand and not an electronic gadget in sight. Cheers!!

  2. It isn't just your mistral winds that cause problems I think it's wind in general. We have the same problem here in NH out in the country, the wind blows there goes blogger! Ok do me a favor and go check out the price of those lamps you've shown above, they're fabulous! I'm so jealous you have such wonderful antiquing around you since I'm dying for a day of browsing and we have nothing, so thank you for the pictures!

  3. So many gems in this antique store! I would go nuts and most likely broke...
    Thanks for sharing,

    The Wanderfull Traveler

  4. The white cabinet is a stunning piece Heather. And made even more wonderful by the love letters and notes. much would the freight be to Melbourne... I just wonder....Virginia xx

    ps - fascinating that it is taboo to discuss economics and politics at the dinner table. Why, my dinner parties would be silent! For such fun can be had sorting out all the world's problems over a glass of good red wine with fine company and witty conversations!

  5. Hello everyone and thank you for your kind words, as always.

    Dear Jane and Lance, I can especially see the giant potteries for you--perhaps in front of the Hattat Castel? Or in the gardens? I am thinking of you both today and hoping the visit goes well. Very exciting business, indeed!

    Debra, unfortunately the lamps are one of the pieces that I felt were quite expensive at 500€ for the pair, or almost $700--before shipping! But they are truly unique--I have never seen anything like them.

    Murissa, trust me there is too much that is tempting!

    Wonderufl Virginia, it was all I could do to convince Remi to NOT buy that cabinet. The fact that it is huge and we are in the process of selling another huge one that didn't fit in this apartment didn't deter him. It truly is exceptional--the "body" of it is carved out of one piece of oak, can you imagine? And yes, the dealer ships to Australia. Actually a gorgeous industrial piece was tagged for pick up on the day of our visit...
    And finally, both you and the Hattats mentioned a glass of red wine--what a fun dinner party we would have!

  6. THE FOUNTAIN with the little mans head!That would be for me!AS you know I can understand your FRUSTRATION about LA COMPUTER!LOoks like your up and running now!
    Where is my photo of the glass??!!!Best probably if you fill the glass first!

  7. I didn't know this place! But I shall go at once! Thanks!

  8. La Contessa. Photo sent and thank you for the reminder!

    Julie, when are we getting together?

  9. Can't wait to visit in July!
    Yes, a little shopping surround by all of that beauty would make my technical difficulties melt away....
    Happy weekend, Heather!


  10. Oh, how I love imaginary shopping! What can I say? I'm a dreamer haha!

    That white cabinet is lust-worthy... sigh...

    ~ Clare x

  11. I suggest that the words and photographs are more important than ME.
    A friend should be a master at guessing and keeping still: you must not want to see everything.
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  12. Chapeau, Monsieur Me.

    I will have to mull over the Nietzsche quote, I am afraid. I don't know if I hold on to my naiveté, or if it has a hold on me.


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