A Commitment to Words and Numbers


I love the old French enamel plaques that you find in the Brocante or Marché aux Puces (flea markets) —  if you’re lucky enough to score such a find.  There’s just no comparison to the temporary versions that adorn offices, entry ways, doors or drawers in today’s world.  Clearly you are making a commitment if you put the name or words or numbers on a metal plaque that was enameled, thereby preserving it with a permanence that doesn’t exist with paper or vinyl or even wood. It was such a more beautiful and detailed way to label the various comings and goings, the numbers of hotel rooms, whether petite or grand, or to give notice where special attention should be heeded.


I found this plaque at a Paris flea market a few years ago, and it’s now above my rear doorway.  Essuyez vos Pieds, S.V.P. — “Wipe your feet, please.”


My friend Wanda gave me this one as a gift not long ago, and it now adorns my terrace garden — Le Jardin.  I love it.


It’s exactly like this one that has a little more age on it, in the home of Kristin in Provence. I really like the way she has displayed it here along with old French sheet music cards.  I have my eye out for a rack like this one.


Thankfully I don’t have a cat (un chat) who is very bad tempered — so I don’t need one like this outside my front door to warn anyone who dares to knock, like this person’s dog (chien) who apparently suffers from a very bad humour.


I will be looking for more of these on my next trip to Provence in a couple of weeks.  Do you have one that’s special, or are you looking for one?

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