Diary

15th August 2016

Memories of Summer

I know we are in the throws of an Indian Summer but I am looking back at my visit to France earlier in the year when I was able to "live the life" with good friends doing what I love best which is visiting some of my Antique Dealer friends and browsing round the local Brocante's.

I never loose the excitement and anticipation for what I might find to buy.  Sadly it is very different for me now as I don't have my husband to transport furniture and mirrors etc. back to my shop in Newark. It has been a difficult 18 months but I have managed to gain inspiration from my visit to Mick and Sue's lovely home in the Correze region of France.

 

I visited my friend Virginie at Antic Deco in Brive and was able to buy a lovely carved Art Deco mirror. (Available to buy from late September)

It is very much the emerging trend for decorators to use mid to early 20th Century pieces.  Many of the Interiors magazine show top Interior designers adding interesting Art dec or Art Neouveau pieces as well as 70's design where the French really come into their own.

I am pleased to be back.  I will have another diary entry next next month In the mean time take a look at my website and enjoy the new stock arriving soon.

27th December 2014

Whats new for 2015?

As we say goodbye to 2014 I look forward to thoughts of what is new for 2015.  The home style magazines favour the mix of contemporary and antiques with french style very much to the fore.

Reproduction french furniture and decorative items have become popular and provide 'the look' on a budget.  However an antique piece with its beautiful patina or original shaby chic achieved by wear and tear of a hundred years or more is unmistakeable and is very much sought after.  The genuine french antique with its original paint and patina has become more difficult to find, consequently prices are high.

The French style of a beautiful antique water gilded mirror, a pair of original French Painted Bergere  in a room of practical, comfortable sofas, in soft greys with a splash of colour, is very much the look of today. 

Take a look at the website, new pieces arriving shortly. We have an 1850's French Bleached Oak Buffet arriving in our show room in January. Stunning!

More news soon.  As spring arrives we will be making our way to France once again. 

4th October 2014

Back Home

It has been a wonderful Autumn both here and in France. We were treated to clear blue skies and a very comfortable temperature in France allowing us to enjoy eating lunch outside. Cahors was its magnificent self. The medieval buildings never cease to amaze me.

 

We visited Bordeaux for the first time and found it to be a fabulouse city. There are fine antique shops near Basilique Saint Michel which provided us with several hours of perusing and negotiating

Without doubt the quirkiest thing I have seen are the old chairs along the banks of the Garonne, there for anyone to use, to sit and chat and enjoy the waterside.    

As always I take great pleasure in buying for my shop. Whilst quality antiques are not as easy to find these days there is always our tried and trusted dealers as well as the unexpected find. A pretty gueridon in a brocante window in Sauveterre. Rosè not included!!!!

My passion for old French mirrors would not allow me to pass this one by. The gilded frame has been painted but does not detract form an early mirror,  around 1890, with original merury glass.

 

Our next trip to France in November will be in the van to pick up a lovely pair of Fauteuil, a mirror, an antique oak buffet,  a couple of tables etc. We dont expect the weather to allow us to sit out for lunch this time but the enjoyment will still be there. 

Visit my news page again soon and experience French finds with me

Maxine

17th September 2014

Where am I??

Autumn in the wine growing regions of France is truely magnificent, be it Cahors where we normally stay or the Bordeaux region where we are presently staying. The grapes are due to be harvested and the vines are begining to change to a wonderful mottled orange and red.

Bordeaux is a magnificent city. Grande archetecture mixed with the hustle and bustle of every day life.I was in 7th heaven wandering through the Quarter St Michel, an area full of antique shops. So much to see -so much to admire.  

 The quirky chairs left along the promenade by the Garonne.

Lunch time in Sauveterre

14th September 2014

Sunday in France

A beautiful autumnal morning in France.  There is something very special about harvest time.  The sunflowers, so stunning during our visit in June, are now a dark crumpled brown with their heads that were once upright facing the sun, drooping down towards the ground as the Combine Harvester works its way throught the fields.  The vines are dripping in red, almost black grapes ready for harvesting soon.  One of my great passions at this time of year is collecting fruits from the hedgerows and picking vegetables from the garden.  I do have a dark side though  I take great pleasure in "scrumping". and here at our Gite in Bordeaux it is a scrumpers paradise -Apples, Pears, Quince, Figs and Damsons!!  I feel a Damson crumble coming on for Supper tonight.

Back to work tomorow. I need to find good quality fautueil and gilt mirrors for our clients. Happy hunting (and scrumping)

6th September 2014

A new idea

A new idea!! I have decided to offer a small range of our french chairs un-upholstered to give our clients the choice of fabric. Whilst neutral colours are a safe option for me, lovely antique linen for example, I have a pair of green original painted chairs that would look lovely as bedroom chairs in perhaps a vintage floral fabric or as hall chairs in a sumptuous silk. The frame is stunning with carved ribbon crest . Take a look

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24th August 2014

New Website Design

I hope regular visitors to my website like the new design and to those that are visiting for the first time I hope you find it easy to navigate and enjoy looking at our stock.

Thank you Russ for coming up with a great design and and something easy for me to manage.

So I guess the delay in writing the diary has been due to spending much of my time getting photos and details on to the website, getting my business Facebook up to date and indulging my interest in Pinterest. Take a look.

We have made several visits to France this summer. The weather has been unusually wet and stormy but we have managed to aquire some lovely French antique furniture, mirrors and frippery. We have visited Brocantes across SW France each bringing their own suprises from a lovely painted marble top table that I was sure could not be for sale as Madam was using it for her takings, to a fabulouse Pierre Vandel table and a carved guilded Rococo style  mirror. I love gilded photo frames especially with the ribbon swag - oval, square  all are beautiful. I found two hidden away at a brocante in Gourdon.   

Our dealers continue to come up trumps as well offering an aperitif after concluding business we have been treated to a full French two hour lunch by Benedicte and Jean Luc. They have lovely things to show us always a dilema as to what to buy to bring back to Newark

19th June 2013

Puces de St- Ouen Paris

Its been quite sometime since my last diary entry.

Life runs at a pace since returning from down under. The family have now returned to England and life feels normal again. Our travels enabled us to spend valuable time in Southern California seeking out like minds in French Antiques, visiting customers and discussing sourcing items from France.

Our business and show room sit comfortably in a very popular antique area of the UK. Newark holds an   Internationally renowned Antique Fair six times a year so our visitors come from all over the world mainly the USA, Japan and Australia.

We continue our buying trips to France and last weekend we returned to Puces de St-Ouen. It never disappoints me, both in the quality of the antiques and the varying personalities of the French dealers.

Monsieur was quick to tell me that he is a direct descendent of Marie Antoinette or was it Marie de Medici? His charm and good looks certainly made his story plausible. I think I would have believed him if he had said Joan of Arc.

The screen in the photo was delightful

I always arrive at the flea markets with a sense of excitement and anticipation. I am never disappointed. We arrived early last Saturday so the traders were just opening increasing the level of excitement. The first thing to catch my eye was a large Trumeau mirror, unfortunately it was sold but that was just the beginning. Beautiful Antique mirrors, picture frames, lovely pairs of fauteuil, crystal chandeliers. If you look closely below you will see a glass cupboard with the most amazing array of fans. Stunning!

A wonderful morning! Our purchases passed to the capable hands of our shipper Franklins to arrive in the UK next Monday So exciting!!

I will post again soon.

5th January 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all our diary readers.

We are looking forward to our next buying trip to France early in February. If you have a particular item that you are looking for get in touch. We may be able to find it on our travels through France.

I must just tell you that my favourite mirror of all time sold to the USA. That is the downside of collecting beautiful things and putting them up for sale, but it was a pleasure to think that the mirror will be a feature in the dining room of a beautiful house in Texas. 

I hope I can find a replacement in February.

Keep looking at our diary page More news soon.

French Antiques icon Decorative Items

“Things are no moment in themselves, only their influence upon our lives is important. They are a means to an end and that end is richness of life.”
- Gustav Stickley, 1907

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