Monday, May 19, 2014

The Antiques Fair at L'Isle sur la Sorgue



Why, hello there. Would you like to go shopping with me? It's a beautiful day out, why not? What? Oh, for antiques of course. Is there anything better? 


For you see, while we were up at the world's most peaceful mazet recently, the twice yearly Foire Internationale Art et Antiquités was being presented at a mere ten minutes drive away in the always beautiful L'Isle sur la Sorgue.

So what say you? Shall we swan along together? A tiny bit of time travel will be required but just wiggle your nose Bewitched-like and we're off...This week's posts will be dedicated to a little virtual wish-listing. And while I am sure that Remi will sigh in exasperation at my including too many photos (as usual), I wanted to make sure that there was something for everyone...


Of course, all of the usual suspects were present, such as charming old pétanque balls...


...eye-blinding bling...


...la vannerie that would look very smart slung over a crooked elbow at the farmer's market back home...


...plus - the perpetual favorite - pots à conserve whose prices finally seem to be going back down...


...as well as grain sacks waiting to be plumped into expensive scratchy pillows or upholstery in upscale boutiques around the world.


But there were a lot of unusual items as well. 

I was especially fascinated by these oriental molds for printing wall paper. Wouldn't they look lovely mounted in a group in a hallway or in a bath? 


Similarly, Remi and I were both drawn to this set of silver molds until we saw that A) it was 287 Euros and B) it was made of ivory. Ahhh, non et non.


For the intrepid, there were many tables crammed with interesting and inexpensive bric-a-brac to trawl through. Alas, patience is not exactly my middle name...


No, I was drawn by the bigger gestures and especially the stands that offered an intact aesthetic, such as with this seller's juxtaposition of French provincial with Asian antiques. Now we are talking.


These six sculpted Chinese flowers might have gone home with me in better days (ahem) and I loved how beautifully they complimented the gorgeous faded colorway of the dresser.


Of course, there were plenty of smaller pieces that caught my eye.

Who can ever have enough crackly old suitcases to stack at the end of the bed...


...or passmenterie to pull back those extra long linen drapes?


Pieces with authentic or even exaggerated patina were still in abundance, even while the "whitewash everything/Annie Sloan chalk paint" look is fading into the past.


Simple seems to be the order of the day, which is just fine by me...


...as well as using basic items or materials creatively, such as these stacked (albeit wobbly) vegetable crates as end tables...


...or sections of old Indonesian boats to form a perfect outdoor sofa (although I will pass on the hot pink plastic Rhino head, thank you very much).


Not all of the faire's 250 vendors (in addition to the permanent shops) are in the old goods business. 

I knew that I had seen the yellow mid-century style console before and sure enough, everything at this stand was the work of two young women from Arles. Eve and Soriana, created their company En goguette (which means "a little bit drunk") in 2009 and since then have been creating their designs out of cardboard. The results are precisely well thought out, fun and environmentally friendly. 

Which is just wonderful. For while it is always a delight to puff up the dust of the past, how important it can be to keep one eye squinting directly towards the future...


Have a wonderful week everyone! More soon...
And thank you kindly for all of your interest concerning Vickie Lester's "It's in His Kiss"...it tickled me pink.

55 comments:

Gina said...

Dear Heather, What a wonderful invitation. Thank you. I will take all of the baskets, please. Will say no to the scratchy linen sacks which, for some strange reason have become the darlings of Interior designers. I was hoping for a photograph or two of hand painted and antique ceramics. Is there such a photo? ox, Gina

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Heather,

Well, it will surely be no surprise that we should love to tag along with you to visit this glorious fair. When it comes to these affairs we can have the patience of Job so you might just have to seek out a cafe au lait whilst we rummage around for an hour or two.

The furniture would definitely be coming home with us if it is at the right price. We can place the armchairs and the chests and, yes, the suitcase with no problem at all. Minimalism is an unknown concept in the Hattatt household so more is more is fine with us. But, we have never gone down the linen sack looks chic look. They just look like old dusty musty sacks to us.........no budding interior designer here alas!

david terry said...

Oh, I was onto that scratchy-sack upholstery trick at least twenty, maybe 25, years ago. A friend of mine owned an Indian restaraurant, and I used a staple-gun & about ten basmati-rice sacks to "uphoslter" a torn-up couch that the dogs all used to sleep on. I shoved old pillows into a few more sacks, sewed up the ends....and, voila.....future-chic (I now gather) dog bedding.

At least I had the good sense to keep that couch and cushions out back in the garden-shed (a prime squirrel-watching spot for hyper-vigilant terriers).

As for the ivory silver-molds? As I expected would happen (I should emphasize that I don't have a psychic bone in my body...just a load of common sense), I recently heard a report of all the immense trouble/difficulties/anxiety currently being experienced by, of all folks, professional string-instrumentalists and pianists. Almost all old pianos still have the original ivory keys....so, be careful if, as a professional pianist, you buy a beauitful old Pleyel or Bosendorfer while you're living for a couple of years in Tokyo, Berlin, or Paris. The same goes for the bows (and string instrumentalists are, as you may know) VERY choosy and protective about "their" individual bows; the tips of practically every one of them (at least the old ones) are made of ivory.

So, oopsie, if you were thinking of bringing your instrument back into the United States (although, paradoxically enough, you can readily take it OUT of the USA). Unless you can provide the proper "proof" of the ivory's provenance, your 1890 Bosendorfer or the-bow-actually-used-by-Paganini(!) will end up living forever in a warehouse somewhere in outside of Newark, Dallas, Altanta, or Baltimore.

Advisedly as ever,

David Terry
www.davidterryart.com

Kayni D said...

It would be lovely to walk and peruse these antique shops. There's something about the old that smells nostalgia. I agree...no thank you to the hot pink plastic Rhino head.

Heather Robinson said...

Ah, as your home(s) have the innate elegance that many a designer dreams of, there are none needed! Let alone, how many people have had books published about their gardens? If that isn't the proof of true design sense than nothing is.

And that is fine by me. Just prop me up in a corner somewhere in the sun with a pitcher of rosé and I will be all too happy to wait while I people watch.

As for the prices? They were much lower, really noticeably so across the board. There were bargains to be had for those truly looking. We were just there for "le plaisir des yeux" - and what a pleasure it was!
Sending bisous,
Heather

Heather Robinson said...

Oh Gina, I should have thought of you and taken some photos of ceramics expressly! However, I looked at the posts ahead and all I have to offer is the sixth photo down in today's post. And those pots are nothing extraordinary, even if collector's do love to snatch them up. I promise to think of you next time!!

Heather Robinson said...

You can take them OUT? But not in? *scratching my head in surprise* Well, this is good to know, David. Who knows, maybe you have just saved someone a fortune in their reading this. What do musicians who don't want to use ivory do?

And yes, today you would be able to sell your dog couch for several thousands!

Heather Robinson said...

Are you sure Kayni? I could offer to you as a "Welcome to Lost in Arles" gift. Plus it is on sale! ;)

Marsha Splenderosa said...

These are the places I could spend hours looking for the amazing in the piles. Seems I have an amazing amount of patience at that time. Great post, Heather-Poo.

Mumbai said...

What's better than walking through a brocante especially in Iisle sur la Sorrgue on a sunny day and having plenty of time to appreciate. Would also had an eye of the ivory moulds as I collected already some from India in timber.Bought recently the same sofa as you show in one of the last pictures for my terrace here in Spain. Do you
remember the price it was? Would be interesting to know.

Jackie and Joel Smith said...

I was right there with you Heather, fingering the future pillow tops and imagining where to place just the right piece. You've sparked an itch in the travel bug. . .thinking a return to your lovely area is far too long overdue!

Kayni D said...

Lol...oh please, no. I love pink but not on a plastic Rhino head :).

Heather Robinson said...

You have to wonder...what were they thinking??

Heather Robinson said...

Merci Marsha! hehehe

Heather Robinson said...

I'm not sure but I remember thinking that it was reasonable...everything was on sale. Maybe 350 Euros?

puppyfur said...

Je suis jaloux.i am always on the hunt for the decent antique fairs and the better brocantes, although some of the not great ones can still yield a prize or two. But I've yet to find anything as extensive as that one near here. Guess it's a matter of time, and patience. But a petanque ball for €48? Non. Thanks for the great (and abundant) photos. :-)

Suze said...

My darling, *how* can you pass on the hot pink rhino head??

Srsly, though I enjoyed the post entire immensely, I felt 'at home' at the bric-a-brac table. My dad has owned a thrift store all of my life and the hot lick of wonder that comes over me, never knowing what might be among the odd totschkes (sp???,) is just a quiet, tiny anticipation to savor.

I love how your lens plays with angled sunlight, btw.

david terry said...

Well, Modern bows are made with plastic tips....at least since the 70's or so. Quite aside from aesthetic considerations, most replacement keys for pianos are made from plastic, also (we've come a long way since the days when Bakelite was the latest advancement in technology, and a key's surface makes no difference whatsoever in the sound that's produced....trust me, I studied paino formally for fifteen years). Still.....isn't it weird that you can take ivory (at least that involved in instruments) out of the USA, but not back into it? I think the final fact is that there's no risk, so to speak, in taking it OUT with you, but there's a definitie risk (dealt with the TSA folks anytime since 9/11?) getting your violin bow back in........you never know when some prissy-butt TSA employee has had a bad day and wants to give someone a difficult time.....

---david

Loree said...

Those petanque balls and the pottery would have had to come home with me - well, some of them. I adored the old suitcase too and that garden bench. I would have loved to tag along.

La Contessa said...

OH< take me back there..............I have been THREE times and loved it!
Is the restaurant with the falling water still there......I believe its a woman's name?LOUISE??
I so wanted to do that back here...........it sits on the canal with the swans!

Glamour Drops said...

a little bit drunk…that is the most wonderful name for a creative business…and anybody with a sense of humour will always do well it seems….

rather adore the wallpaper moulds…can still see the marks of the tree's lines under the pattern

Karena Albert said...

Heather I see many items I love, the artifacts and oriental molds are so interesting!!

xoxo
Karena
The Arts by Karena

simpleimages2 said...

The show has everything for everyone, Yes, “something for everyone”. Mrs. Abstract’s sister like antiques and will love to browse this one. And who could resist looking at old things. They have a certain charm.

I like the petanque balls and the silver molds.

Joan McKniff said...

Lovely. I'd be looking for wonderful small bedside carafe with glass to use as lids. And trying to resist the wall paper stamps. Thanks for the wonderfull stroll.

joyful17 said...

As an antique 'junkie' ( and dealer for umpteen years...along with being an art dealer) I am totally in love with those Chinese flowers! Small flea markets around the world offer similar and distinctive treasures.....some old, some not so old, and some just plain 'must haves'!
So much to tempt a compulsive collector...even the smallest found item can be a forever treasure.
Thank you for wonderful photos....never too many.

GSL said...

I would love to go to one of those fairs although I'd probably lack the discipline to stay within my budget. I certainly would have been tempted by those Chinese flowers.

silkannthreades said...

I always enjoy your market/fair trips; so much enjoyment and I don't have to spend a cent. I used to own a cardboard chair, in the 70s. It was wonderful.

david terry said...

Dear Joan,
"And trying to resist the wall paper stamps.....". One of my favrotie things in this old house stuffed with fifty years of my things is large bowl filled with what look like knobby, black, ends-of-branches (each about five inches long and about half the size of a soup-can?) that someone's snatched from a fireplace. What they ACTUALLY are?????.....My longtime friend, Suman Bhatia (she of the Indian restaurant where I got my Basmati bags back in 1986 or so) brought 8 of them back from India for me.....twenty years ago?.....and each rough piece of wood is sawed-off cleanly at the end, and someone has carved intricate floral designs across the flat end of the piece of wood. They were used to "print" designs on cloth. Essentially, they're just like those "Wallpaper stamps" Heather's found.Suman found them just tossed-into-the-gutter (they do, eventually wear down and wear-out) of some village in the Punjab (she's from Delhi and was home for a visit), picked them up, and brought them back to me as a present. I used them for years to create the "Indian" borders on her ads and menus (I got my start in my current, Brilliant & Gorgeous Career by volunterring to do the ads for her restaurant when I was a broke, highly dissastisfied, gradstoodint laboring away on a obligatorily "Feminist" dissertation on Thomas Hardy).

In any case, I tend to love things which are beautiful ande could be passed off as mere bibelots, but which once had a highly practical function (My older brother, who was in the navy, made a practice, there for a few years long ago, of stealing the brass, top portions of ships' telescopes for me; they all sit on amantle now....gleaming brass cylinders with odd screws and strange magnifying glasses in them; no one can ever figure out what they actually WERE, once upon a time).

Well, enough from me now. All I want now is to go a-looking with Miss Heather (unlike the Hattats, I know when to quit when it comes to stuffing the house with things, as though it were an infinitely-expandable Christmas stocking).

----david terry
www.davidterryart.com

Bill Facker said...

Nothing at that Fair was any more Creative or well executed than your post, photos, and dialogue .. fantastic job. You just keep getting better and better. Bravo!

robin said...

Ooooooo - love these treasures!! I was just at Treasure Mart yesterday and nothing can compare to this stuff! I especially love the wall paper molds and the patina door, but it all looks wonderful! The burning question: did you get anything???? Maybe you are waiting for Treasure Mart....IN EIGHT DAYS!!!!! AHHHHH!!!!!!!
p.s. I'm going to go search for your birth certificate - I'm pretty sure your legal name IS Heather Patience Robinson.

Kayni D said...

I was thinking the same thing.

D A Wolf said...

Fabulous... There is little as relaxing as antiquing for some of us... so tactile, so many stories of the objects could speak, so much pleasure in their worn surfaces and usefulness. Love, love, love those pétanque balls. (I would have had difficulty resisting them, like several others.)

And that's the only trouble with antiquing. The temptations can be overwhelming. (Cue one already overstuffed little house, and my mother's and grandmother's treen and other odds 'n ends going oh-so-far-back.)

xo
D. A.

Heather Robinson said...

Yay! I mean...didn't you two just get back from an epic voyage? hehe ;)

Heather Robinson said...

I know, I saw that too! So perhaps you could buy just the one but that would not a game of petanque make!

Heather Robinson said...

Your Dad owned a thrift store?!? Oh my that is just so amazing and explains a tiny bit of your sparks of wonder kindled swiftly and with a pure heart. Wow.

Heather Robinson said...

You are welcome for a visit whenever you would like Loree! :)

Heather Robinson said...

Hmmm...could it have been Marguerite?? I know what you are talking about though and it is still there!

Heather Robinson said...

I wondered what you would think of that company, V! and the wallpaper moulds were more beautiful than my photo...

Jennifer Connolly said...

My fingers and toes were twitching just seeing your pictures. Nothing I like better than French Brocantes. I've never seen a blue confit pot before. And you show two!!! I need to get over there more often.
Love those linen grain sacks. I make custom dog bed covers out of the softer variety. They launder well, are Eco friendly and sturdy. Such great fun. The French never seem to throw anything away, they just keep reselling them.

Pat said...

I think I'd have gone through the stuff on the table. Did I see toy soldiers? BTW I mentioned your blog, with a link today.

Silke Bauer said...

"...to keep one eye squinting directly towards the future..." Are you looking for objects to furnish your new home? (;

"En goguette" is very interesting. I very much like the objects and even more the idea behind it. To create environmentally friendly objects, handmade and fairly produced is something I appreciate a lot. Their website is also fun. But I did not see any prices. I have a lot of respect for young people who start a business like this!

I would not mind joining them (:

puppyfur said...

:-) even for bowl decorations....oh, la la!

Heather Robinson said...

There is more to come Karena but thanks for being here! :)

Heather Robinson said...

Everything tells a story. :)

Heather Robinson said...

Joan, you know I don't see those anymore! Now, you have to buy them new, with glass so cheap and thin that you know that you would break it while fumbling around in the middle of the night.

And David, yes, only looking for us. Although Remi was seriously, seriously interested in a stuffed water buffalo head - that thing was massive! I said "No."

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you. You were an art and antiques dealer?!? I bow down before your greatness! :) Wow.

Heather Robinson said...

I hate to tell you but I think the flowers were 1200. :( Otherwise I would have bought them myself. They were far finer than my photo shows.

Heather Robinson said...

The young owners of that company acknowledge their design forefathers on their website. Did you own a Knoll? How neat!
And yep, looking is freeeeeee.... :)

Heather Robinson said...

Merci beaucoup Bill! That is really kind of you! Sending my Best to you in beautiful Hawaii!

Heather Robinson said...

Hehehe Sister you know it ain't! ;) Ahhhh Treasure Mart, heeeere I commme!!!!! Whoooohooo!!!!!
PS. Yep, that patina door/hatstand thingy would look awesome in your new house.

Heather Robinson said...

How wonderful that you have things from both your Mother and Grandmother, DA. And yes, I have to be firm in my head that "we aren't buying today" in order to have the relaxing experience of which you speak.
Bisous.

Heather Robinson said...

That is so true. And it is why you would never buy shoes at a second hand store here - they will be worn until utterly worn out!

And I have seen other colors before - dark red, green - but only at the professional deballages (http://lostinarles.blogspot.fr/2011/02/antiques-at-crossroads.html) - oh, you would lose your mind!

Good thinking for the dog beds - I love that!

Heather Robinson said...

Pat, thank you so much! I will be right over. :)

Heather Robinson said...

Oh, they would be so very lucky to have someone as talented as yourself on their team!!!

And definitely not! We have so much art, too much of everything... ;)

I Dream Of said...

Okay Heather. You know I absolutely have to come back one of these days just for the antiques fair and you must come with me. What fun we would have.... XOXO