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25 May, 2014

Country French Style...My Vintage French Favorites

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French FavoritesI am excited to join the Country French Design group for our monthly share…this time with an emphasis on vintage French!  So today I am sharing my favorites with you…my French treasures that I have collected over the last 40 plus years. Yes…I have loved France and all things French for that long! Some are tiny and some are very old…but all of them have special meaning! Warning! Warning! The French teacher in me may be just about to come out! lol

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French Favorites I love these wonderful spools of thread…a gift from a sweet friend. They have a sheen that modern thread doesn’t have! And the little antique acorn-shaped measuring tape is from the late 1800s. It’s made of vegetable ivory…the tagua nut from the ivory-nut palm, a popular material during that time period. That’s my mom’s baby bonnet in the background. You can read more about it here

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French Favorites This fabulous antique Jeanne d’Arc brooch is another favorite find. It dates from around 1910 and represents my favorite historical figure…Saint Joan of Arc…dressed for battle in her armor and holding her banner and her coat of arms. On either side of her you can see the cross of Lorraine...the region of France that she called home and the same area where I lived! It truly is a tiny little treasure…only about an inch and a half wide.

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French Favorites This vintage wicker-wrapped demi-john was a fabulous Goodwill hunting find at $3.63! Whaaaat? Yes! I had been wanting one for a long time but was unwilling to pay those hefty prices! I believe it dates from the 1950s.

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French FavoritesThese tiny fly-fishing flies (mouches) and bobber have special meaning. They were a little gift from me to my Dad from my days at the University of Dijon in France waaay back 1971. I grew up fishing with him and wanted to give him a little reminder. Can you see that it’s a tiny bee, cricket (grillon) and grasshopper?

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French FavoritesHere they are beside a penny so you can see just how tiny they are!

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French Favorites If you follow my blog, you know that I collect Quimper pottery from Brittany, the Breton region of France. I have stumbled across quite a few pieces (that’s the way I like to collect…by happenstance) and I try to add unusual pieces to my collection when I can. So I was thrilled when I came across this vintage cup and saucer at a local flea market! I love the dragon head handle!

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French Favorites And I was also excited to find this wonderful Quimper candle holder in an Atlanta area antique shop, as well as this booklet of antique postcards from Carcassonne!

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French Favorites It is a medieval city in the south of France with its walls still completely intact. I love the beautiful pastel colors! The shop owner said that they came from the estate of a couple who had traveled there in the 1920s. I was especially happy to find them because I had visited Carcassonne as a college student. And…they were only $5.00!

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French Favorites In another shop in my favorite little town for antiquing, I found a small stash of antique Paris postcards dating from around 1900. I used the one of my favorite Parisian monument, la Sainte-Chapelle, to top off the vintage book bundle that I made. You can see how I did it, plus find the postcards for you to copy for your own projects here.

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vignette with Cat Not to be outdone by all of this vintage frenchiness, Miss Kitty decided to pose beside the book bundle to create her own antique post card!

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French Favorites I was thrilled when I came across this in yet another antique shop…a bound copy of all if the issues of La Famille from 1896! That’s la Belle Époque…a long period of peace and prosperity for the growing French middle class. And in each issue…advice and recipes for young wives, fun magic tricks to entertain your guests when the conversation lags at the dinner table, a summary of the news, financial advice, directions for creating lovely handwork, a chapter of a continuing novel…

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French Favorites..and, sadly, an account of the first visit to France of the newly crowned Russian Tsar Nicholas II and the Tsarina Alexandra along with their little daughter Olga. They are reported to be a charming and gracious couple. This was hard to read, knowing what a grim future was hidden from them and their yet-unborn children.

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French FavoritesOn a much lighter note, it is also filled with fabulous fashions with tiny waists, the signature of la Belle Époque! What fun to witness French history as it was recounted week by week! You can read more about the book here.

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French FavoritesAnd I have saved the best for last…an antique book that I found at the bookstalls along the Seine River in Paris years ago…a gift for my Mom. It is L’Office de la Semaine Sainte…the services for Holy Week. Isn’t it wonderfully old and worn?

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French Favorites It is written in Latin and in old French and is filled with personal notes from the previous owners.

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French Favorites The frontispiece is beautifully engraved and you can see from the little pencil marks in the upper right that I only paid 15 francs for it…as I recall, that was about $12 at the time.

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French Favorites But the best thing is the date of publication! Can you read it? It says With the Approval and Privilege of the King and is dated 1741…over 270 years ago! America wasn’t even a country yet! The king who would have given his approval for its publication was Louis XV.

Please excuse the French teacher in me who could not be suppressed for this post!  I hope you enjoyed seeing my favorite vintage French treasures as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you!

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT My Favorite Tips  for Adding Country French Style And just in case you missed them, be sure to check out my other posts in our Country French Design series, my favorite tips for adding County French style

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Collecting...French Style …and my thoughts on collecting…Country French style!
COUNTRY FRENCH DESIGN BUTTONAlso head on over to visit these beautiful blogs from my very talented fellow Francophiles to see what wonderful vintage frenchiness they have to share with you!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed seeing my vintage French favorites! Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants. 
Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party , Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday , Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday , The Stories of A2Z for Tutorials and Tips Tuesday , Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday , A Stroll thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday , My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Inspire Me Tuesday, Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays , The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursdays , No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays ,  French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday , Common Ground for Be Inspired on Fridays , The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday , Craftberry Bush for the Inspiration Gallery on Friday
See you next time! À la prochaine!
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  1. Wow, Debbie, I knew you would have some unique items since you lived there for awhile. I just love those tiny fish bait hooks. My dad is a fisherman, too.

  2. Debbie, I love your collections and the stories behind each one. It would be hard to choose a favorite, you have so many wonderful and authentic items. Thanks for sharing.

  3. You founfd some really fun stuff! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I really really enjoyed looking at your treasures. And I really like the French teacher-voice explaining the stories.

  5. I always love EVERYTHING you share with us, Debbie! You bring the romance of France alive!

  6. You have some wonderful and unique vintage French pieces. I love the flies and the broach.

  7. Wow, Debbie, you have some wonderful vintage French treasures. That demijohn has got to be the steal of a lifetime! Love all of the stories behind your pieces.

  8. Deb it is always so fun to see any of your treasures, but especially your French treasures. You have a wonderfully keen eye for finding just the right elements for your lovely home. I love shopping with your vicariously and in person too!!!
    xo Kathysue

  9. Hi Debbie, You have such wonderful French items in your home and I love your collection of Quimper.

  10. Beautiful brocante pièces.
    Lové all you inspire in all things French.
    Inspiring visit


  11. Debbie, I love the French teacher sharing interesting asides to each of these items. The fishing flies are charming, and so sentimental that you brought them back for your dad. The same with that amazing book for your mom. Little treasures found while traveling make excellent personalized gifts. Thanks for sharing your treasures!

  12. Debbie, this was FABULOUS!! I loved every minute of it, since I am fascinated by French antiques. Love, love every little detail.

  13. Debbie, I remember seeing most of these items on your blog but not all of them. It was great fun to see your French treasures and the stories that go with them. Love that last book, truly amazing!

  14. Beautiful, unique wonderful collection!
    Happy Memorial Day,

  15. Debbie, my favorite, by far, is your demijohn. Now, if I could stumble upon one of those... ;)

  16. They are all beautiful pieces-and those dishes... soo pretty!!

  17. What a FAB collection
    I love Quimper and the bundle of old post cards!
    Completely enticing!

  18. I just now read your wonderful post--I'm a few days behind in my blog-reading. Thanks for sharing your favorite antiques--they are all charmers! Always enjoy your blog and especially all your neat projects--they are quite inspiring!


Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie