Every brocante treasure has a story – glimpses into lives past

At the brocante in Villeneuve les Avignon, we visit vendor after vendor and find a staggering number of 18th century and early 1900s prayer books, diaries, papers, copper, silver, old jewelry, paintings, pottery, old French linen and cotton knickers — you name it. It definitely is a passion.

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My friend Nancy in Atlanta would drool over these doors. I kinda did too.

Every vendor can tell you something about the provenance of the things they are selling. Old silver “coin purses” were worn on one’s belt or tied on with ribbons. An 18th century copper chocolate pot is engraved with the chef’s name and he must have been right-handed the way the copper is discolored on one side. I hope he used it every day to create delicious confections, I like to think of the pleasure on the faces of those he served. The pot pleaded with me to take it home.

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I knew exactly where I wanted to use these 18th century silk sashes. Such precious handwork and colors in the tassel fringe. Now enjoying a new life on Madame du Pompadour. She was a little self conscious about the stain on her neck anyway. King Louis XV was starting to ignore her.

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This handsome fella had paintings lying all around in the blazing sun and I spotted one I just had to rescue. After some clever and talented negotiating by Corey, I got it for almost half of what he was asking. He shows me the book where the artist’s work is documented for having sold at various auctions in recent years anywhere from 1,600 to 65,000 euros. The brocante is definitely the place to get a steal. He chatted away and I only understood part of what he was saying in French, but I think he wanted to know if I was married and perhaps could I take him back home to the U.S. with me?

Alfred Casile, 1848-1909

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Then we move on to L’Isle sur la Sorgue, one of the most beautiful and picturesque villages in Provence.  Gorgeous place to walk around, and some new places to look for treasures or just be inspired.

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And at the brocante there is live music and an elderly white-haired gentleman with cigar in mouth begins to dance with a dark-haired beauty in heels. It is a joy to watch because they are having so much fun dancing outside on a beautiful Saturday. I long for a life filled with more impromptu fun and more dancing. How about you?

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Watch them dance in the video on my Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/suzette.bannister.1

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