Sunday, May 30, 2010


Clients somehow spot my dog paintings, even when surounded by scores of others. Their faces light up as if they have found their new best friend.....which our dogs often become.
In April, during my Marburger Farm Antique show, one client discovered the 3 dog paintings I had purchased from a private collection ...when she heard the 3 paintings had always been together at their earlier home in France...she simply could not split up the family and took all 3 to her home!!
For more than 5000 years, artists have portrayed the image of the dog. During the 16th century more and more people wanted to be painted with their pet dogs. The first paintings solely of dogs started around the 16th century, taking off even more in the 17th century. By the 18th century, the importance of dogs to hunting, especially in France, added to the increased number of dog portraits.Artist have portrayed dogs as mythological beings, hunting companions, prized possesions, a symbol of fidelity, and one that greets us with eyes lit up, tails wagging, and never ending love.

My favorite quote....
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi-human.
The point of it, is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog."
Edward Hoagland (known for his nature and travel writing)
I think that also explains the joy of being a grandma.

These little guys have all passed through my fingers....on the way to clients' homes.
I can see all of them licking my face!
Which one would you like to greet you at the door ??

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Delightful Discovery, French Color

As my blog is about French antiques, objects of beauty, and....."delightful discoveries",
I thought Memorial Day week-end would be a good time to add some frolic to my post.
A long week-end is perfect for extra time with family and friends....grilling and entertaining.

On a recent trip to Paris, I discovered these colorful forks at a delightful shop off Saint Germain.
I placed them in my silverware drawer amongst my traditional pieces....expecting to use on occassion or with my young granddaughters. The surprise was, my hand continued to pass over the tradional pieces and go straight for the pretty, colorful ones...pausing only long enough for my inner voice to say "what color do you feel like today?"

I soon understood that now I was enjoying selecting my fork color the same as selecting my clothes for the day. Today I chose purple.

I hope eveyone has a fun and colorful week-end with those you care about.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Importance of Angels

Angels (anges) and children have a special place in my heart. Each one is unique even when they are sisters or twins. Angels have been touching hearts for centuries, inspiring poets and writers to find words to explain their magic...
In "The Angels' Little Instruction Book" by Eileen Elias Freeman,
she writes...
"When babies look beyond you and giggle, maybe they're seeing angels."
and suggests
"Insight is better than eyesight when it comes to seeing an angel."

Terry Southern says "An angel has no memory."
Unknown authors have left their mark..
"Angels are never too distant to hear you."
"While we are sleeping, angels have conversations with our souls."
Artists have been inspired .....
"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free." Michelangelo
And my favorite....
"Friends are kisses blown to us by angels."

To light our way.

A wonderful wood piece carved from the trunk of a tree with carved angels on all 4 sides.
The dealer explained it was a mold for papier-mache.
An angel wing rests on top.

Twin 17th century wood angels..
lost their gilding, but not their soul.
I love their innocence.
I do have a crush on these little guys...and even have one on my business cards.
How do angels affect you?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

French Interior Paintings, Become the Author of Your Story

Some love collecting books, remembering the stories held within.

I would be a collector of
"French Interior Paintings".

Like novels, interior paintings allow us to peer into life in another time.

They give up happiness and pleasurable visions of home.
What better way to satisfy our curiosity of the past!

I recently brought this one back from Paris.

The home is filled with music..
a grand piano and a magnificent, gilt harp await the musicians.

The woman is gazing in the mirror...

Is she readying for a concert ?

Is someone important arriving??

In my favorite book on interior paintings, "at home", Frances Borzello writes of Felix Vallotton..."Vallotton understood the potential of a room in the way that poets do: not much is needed to set a scene that liberates the imagination."

The artist gives us clues and then allows our imagination to write our own story.

What would be your story of this woman gazing in her mirror?
It could be fun to share...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Before Louis Vuitton: Moynat

Today, Louis Vuitton is a household word.
However, in France, there were other important malletiers...trunk-makers,
or manufacturers of luggage and suitcases.
In 1849, 5 years before Louis Vuitton decided to start his own trunk-making business,
Jules Coulembier founded The House of Moynat.
Moynat was especially well known for their automobile trunks.
It was a time long before mini-vans and navigators...
a time when suitcases often rode on the outside of the car.
In the above ad, dated July 11, 1914,
Moynat is proud that they are the only one to guarantee their luggage for 5 years....
and have patented clasps on the ends, not available anywhere else.
The French dealer explained...
the thin, yellow trunk would have been tied down on the top of the car,
and the 2 smaller cases would have been on the rear trunk of the car (domed trunk on top).
I can imagine...gazing at a passing car with the tan, brown, and yellow trunks...
Not only beautiful, but aerodynamically sound.
The yellow trunk reminds me of French sunflowers.
It could wake up a room as a coffee table top!
If you can imagine one of these beauties in your home, send me an email.
I will return to France in a few weeks.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Passion For French Wood Fragments

What calls you to want to
touch, hold, and take home a special French antique??
For me, it is like a soulful connection....a piece will catch my eye, my hands want to hold,
and then if I start to leave...a magnet pulls me back and the piece must come home with me....
it just must!!
This passion is strong when I see and hold an old, worn fragment.
How was it originally used, who has owned it, what has it seen?
Fragments can be used countless ways...
turned into lamps, sconces, over doorways and paintings, even mounted as statues....
but for me, I want them close at hand.
I need one nearby when I work at my desk.....
it will catch my glance,
and then my hands must give it a gentle rub.
As comforting as a child's stuffed animal.
The power of old pieces!!!
These fragments have all passed through my hands on the way to others.

If you would like to add to your collection, please give me your wish list.
I will be back in France in a few weeks.
Do you have a favorite fragment? Where did you find it?
Would love to see a photo.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fashion....Becomes Art

France is world reknown for Art and Fashion.....and last month, I discovered a French artist combining both into one.
At a Paris art show, I found the works on canvas of peinture Isabelle de Joantho.

She had creatively attached wire coat hangers to the top of art canvases.....and then with a combination of paint and textiles, created a 3-dimensional stunning dress.
It was as if the dress was on its hanger, removed from the closet...ready for the upcoming gala.
The colors and design would have been runway winners !

See her creative works on her site

Friday, May 14, 2010

Painting With A Bird's Eye View

Just returned from Paris and attended an art fair featuring several hundred of France's contemporary artist.
I popped in stand after stand ....and then I was captured by the oil paintings in the stand of Perrine Vilmot !
Her view of the world is creative and original.
It was as if she had climbed high in the trees.....and saw the world through the eyes of a bird.
By changing our view, she opened our eyes to details often missed.
A painting of two young children playing pick-up sticks, becomes mesmerizing!
She favored paintings with children and often used bold shades of purple, red, and green.
Sometimes her paintings contained 16-25 small scenes, that allowed the viewer to almost see life in a play.
Treat yourself and view her paintings
click "les tableaux" ( oil paintings)
Did life look different from above ??
(comments are always welcome)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Presentation, The French Way

The French are true Masters of Presentation! Their love for beauty and design are apparent at every turn... shop window displays, dinner is like art on a plate, and dealers showing their wares.
Want to decorate in a French way??
Bring focus to your pieces by the unexpected....a plaster sculpture hung inside an art frame.
Have a collection of loved pieces?....turn them into art and display on a backboard.
Want an eye catching display? Anyone can display chairs standing on the floor....
but the French dealer displayed his colorful collection of chairs attached to the top of the wall.
Then he dug even deeper into creativity and hung 2 chairs upside down !!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Paris Antique Dealer: Farmhouse Tables

Shopping for farmhouse tables ?
Or a table from a monastery in Loire Valley??
Alain Michallek lives in Tours in the Loire Valley. Each week-end, you can browse through his assortment of antique tables, mirrors, and accessories at his stand in the Paris flea market.
Today, I was barely able to take a photo of this handsome Vigneronne table as customers were flocking in to ask questions. The tables were used by vineyards during grape harvest and stored during the winter. When the two shaped ends are added, the rectangular table is transformed into a beauty seating up to 14. The top is pine with the base in oak.
In France, they often mix the old wood table with contrasting modern metal chairs...very chic.
Alain has displayed on top of the table, a collection of 19th century wine bottles...once containing white wine for sale.
On the left, is my ink bottle.
All now can be used as vases, water jugs or ???

Visit Alain at the Paris flea market in saint Ouen
stand 16, allee 1, marche Paul Bert
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