Friday, May 25, 2012

Antiques in Wine Country



Now, that title got your attention didn't it? I thought it would. And yet, I have to admit to a slight exaggeration, a bit of tricherie. Let me explain.


Yesterday found Remi and I, along with our faithful Golden, Ben, bumping over the cobble-stone streets of Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux... 


...when the sight a giant octopus of a Murano chandelier stopped us in our tracks. We turned to look at each other with an eye-brow raising "Are you seeing what I am seeing?" expression as we are used to seeing rusty bedpans on offer for 500€, not such exquisite creatures as this.


My internal radar started beeping. It is the one that leads me to fine eats and good bargains. I love that radar, I can tell you and it makes my heart flutter. 


As soon as we stepped in to À la Chine d'Antan, I knew that we had, as the name suggested, stepped into a store that was antiquing as it used to be. Upon spying several items that caught my interest with my first glance, I knew that it was time to put on my Poker Face. Especially when I saw the prices. I immediately started making imaginary purchases in my head. 22€ for a gold embossed Limoges porcelain perfect for a vanity table. 37€ and 28€ respectively for two very fine 18th-19th century prayer books (although one might have been in ivory, so nix that). 


38€ for a gorgeous heavy gold-tassled Art Deco mirror. You can't even find Art Deco in the South!


Only 30€ for this miniscule brocade covered seat, not ancient but perfect for a coiffeuse. If I had absolutely any use or space for this, it would have come home with me.


This well-framed lithograph of a sneaky spy-looking fellow redhead caught my eye at 68€.


And this sweet lavender evening bag with its row of pearls for only 38€? Change that brass clasp for an upside down triangle and hello, Prada. N'est ce pas? 


By now, I knew that I had to calm down as we weren't at all in the area to be shopping (we were there for one of Remi's photography projects) and that I had better hurry up for the same reason. Alas, it wasn't about me! 


The space is gorgeous--all vaulted stone--and the owner, Samuel, clearly enjoys creating his vignettes. Incense wafted gently and jazz tooted. We struck up a good conversation and would have stayed much longer if only time had permitted.


I was a bit on overload. There is so much that I didn't even take in until I got home and saw the photos again. The perfect Napoleon III mirror and the Thonet style dressing glass, for example.


Remi and I both left with several items on our minds. I know that monsieur would have walked out with the fantastic maquette de bateau under his arm if only he could. And me? Thump thump thump (that is my ticker going again)...le lustre! Regarde...cet...lustre. Why oh, why is it that I always find exactly what I have been searching for (and many of you know how very long I have been looking for it) right when I can't afford it? Le Sigh Douloureux.


Time to fess up. Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux is not exactly in wine country, per se. But at an easy as can be, under an hour drive from Chateauneuf-du-Pape (and only a half hour from Cairanne), it is as the over-used saying goes, worth the detour. Not to mention the surrounding countryside is sublime. More about that another day.

And as for the lustre? Hmm...shh...I am still dreaming so please don't wake me! And you will notice, I did not mention the price. That, my friends, is a secret that I am keeping to myself.

À la Chine d'Antan
Rue de l'Esplan 
26130 Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux.
samuel.escudero@orange.fr

Unfortunately, they do not ship, internationally or within France, but I did ask...


Wishing you all a wonderful weekend full of moments that make your heart beat happily!




22 comments:

I Dream Of said...

Heather, So much temptation, I'm dreaming right along with you, and am drooling all over my laptop. Wish I could just jump back on a plane to France. Do you think my husband would notice I was gone if I ducked over for a little shopping? Probably. Sigh. Hope you have a beautiful weekend. XO

Lost in Provence said...

Jeanne, I would be worried if he DIDN'T notice! ;)

Wishing you a wonderful sunny weekend in Seattle...

Murissa Shalapata said...

My dream is to take my parents and go antique hunting in Europe. My grandmother did and found so many neat things at Italy "garage sales"/ markets which she brought back (not furniture!).
Lovely post!
I do that to my readers sometimes too lol. I had once attended a German Christmas market in Vancouver, Canada. I named it German Christmas Market. The fist comment it got was a woman saying how she had always wanted to go to Germany for an xmas market.....goes to show who actually reads posts sometimes.

The Wanderfull Traveler

Glamour Drops said...

Oh, my giddy aunt, thank goodness I wasn't with you or you know I would have bought the little lavender evening bag. And the entire basket of silverware. And would have talked you into buying the light. Or if not, then I should have bought it for you. Or for me. xx

Belle de Ville said...

Uh oh, now I want to go on a shopping trip to France!

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

Suddenly the kilometres from Haute Marne to Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux have just melted away!
Bon weekend.

Lost in Provence said...

The grass is always greener Murissa because I would LOVE to go to Italy for their garage sales too. I read of one in Venice that looks fantastic!

Lost in Provence said...

My dear friend, you do know that I took the photo of the evening bag for you and you only don't you? :) If they had taken credit cards, someone would have had a present winding their way to Australia. And do you see the upside down silver cup with the blue/green sheen to it? I wanted that! As for the chandelier, that is a mighty generous gift, non? As expensive as your wonderful new camera!

Lost in Provence said...

That means I am doing my job, Belle. :)

Lost in Provence said...

Yippee! I have three letters for you Elizabeth: TGV.
Bon weekend à toi aussi et gros bisous...

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Heather:
What can one say? Bliss, pure bliss!!

How very fortunate that he does not ship abroad for we should become so tempted and our bank balance would, in the event, take a steep Titanic dive!

robin said...

Oh, Sister - what a find!! I LOVE the necklace and the purple purse, but more than anything I love the space!! Wow - did you guys not leave with anything?? That is unbelievable, and a testament to the powers of will. No BBQ for me - spending time as I am with vegans/veggie types - but talk of a visit to a lake and bicycle riding, so it's all good!

Poet Whale said...

Wonderful post, Thank you!

The chandelier hanging in the window has been on my dreamind since I saw one in a magazine well over twenty years ago. Alas, no dream home to hang one.

Lost in Provence said...

Yes, I can imagine many of his more elegant pieces in Budapest! Not to mention the chandelier could go above the bath as I suggested long ago...

Lost in Provence said...

I just might have been given a little gift by my honey...

Lost in Provence said...

They do need a bit of space and oomph don't they? I wish the photo had turned out better. It is so magnificent in person.

Tabitha said...

What a fantastic shop, you'll never believe it but I bought a similar pineapple ice bucket last week!

Tabitha said...

Ha, yes! I shipped an antique sideboard back from LA once!

Lost in Provence said...

I absolutely believe it because we nearly bought that one ourselves. :)

LA CONTESSA said...

You must have the chandelier..........................what can we sell to get it?!!!!!!!

Lost in Provence said...

It's a beaut alright but we are actually afraid that it might make our tatty old ceiling fall down--it's that heavy! And all cristal too.

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