la Brocanteuse

Jun 24, 2012

French linen to choose from...

We left the French Maison early to be in time for our first appointment on this trip with one of the dealers that  source old French linen  for me...

 A few hours drive on narrow winding roads through beautiful villages,past majestic castles,  and deep into rural France..

The style of architecture  differs from one village to the next  and yet the same...

We had some rain along the way..luckily clearing up as we reached our destination.

The brocante sign indicated that we are still on the right road, reassuring since there were deviations , at least three more villages and we will be there...

...past more packed stone walls

 Arriving at the farmhouse of mr and mrs brocante where we have been choosing linen for three years now... There is a little store stacked with boxes marked "Colette"

Dd peeping inside the boxes awaiting us

...before running off to greet Patou

The sorting and choosing of chanvre, metisse, linge and dentelle has begun...oh how can I explain the excitement!!

5 hours later,  chosen, boxed and ready to be loaded..

The road back home..Dd has fallen asleep, Mr LB is concentrating on the road with deviations... and my mind is in the boxes...monogrammes...more monogrammes and gorgeous old French linen of all different textures and weight.

We stopped along the road at a little bistro for plat de jour, and arrived home tired but pleased. 26 Boxes stacked until further admin. French  sheets, all monogrammed,blanc et rougetorchonsservietteschemises....  tins filled with lace and buttons on original French cards.
I think we have found almost a third of the linen I would like to take back.The coming week I will focus on finding special orders on the list from  clients, make another trip to find  more  old French linen, and also look for vieux French documents..When all is found and more, we will  rent a  big truck to take all to the Paris warehouse  for shipping back to Afrique du Sud...phew...5 days gone, we should have enough time to fill the order and make time for a little holiday in between...each trip the order to fill is bigger, which of course is good, but more challenging to find. I love a challenge!

at the Maison:
those handy banana boxes again...
one strong banana box can pack 8 - 10 heavy French linen sheets,
or 100 torchons, or 18 chemises, or 80 - 100 serviettes, or at least 15 bistro table cloths...

I know you want to see what is inside....just a small preview:

Next: Brocante at Sille -Le-Guillaume

I have not been there before, but it  promises to be good with 180 dealers expected, and then off to three others while in the  Angers and Le Mans vicinity.
that should keep us busy for a day...

a Bientot


Deborah said...

I'm right there with you and enjoying the trip! Beautiful linen and photos.

helle said...

Such treasures you got in France, how lucky you are to have a business partner here that collects all these beautiful linens and things.

I have been planning to go to France for markets and brocantes, but it is a bit confusing to search for them when you do not speak french. Do you have some ideas for me?

Greetings from Denmark

Splenderosa said...

Dd is beautiful with Patou. Just that would make anyone happy. But. All those boxes of linens, trims, buttons...WOW. I would be in heaven too, Colette. Keep the photos coming, it is so much fun to travel along with you guys. xx's

Deborah said...

It looks like such a beautiful place and the lines are just gorgeous! have a happy week sweetie

Bee happy x
Have a delicious day!

Anonymous said...

Oh my,
Those boxes of vintage French linens make my heart ship a beat!!!
I would have loved going through all of those beautiful treasures!!
Hope you have a lovely day.

Acquired Objects said...

I know your excitment Colette I feel it every time I go see a dealer as well. I can't wait to see some of your found treasures!

Happy Sunday!

Burlap Luxe said...

Colette your beauty is endless, leaving me so taken with your holiday and buying I want to tear-up with the feeling of you are living my life :)

Such beauty soulfully you share and we thank you for your passion and beautiful photos' that take us right along with you :)

Lots of U.S love to you my out of the country, out of this world friend!


Every Little Birdie said...

Ohhhhh, I love old linens!! Loved this post!!

Every Little Birdie said...

Ohhhhh, how I love old linens!! Great post! Really enjoyed it.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Be still, my beating heart! I may drool at the mention of macarons, but I become almost faint at the sight of these linens! So glad to see Dd and Patou - she looks wonderful!


sharon santoni at my french country home said...

You have a very good supplier there Colette, those sheets look totally stunning!
Hope the weather is being kind to you
best wishes

The Blue Farmhouse said...

That's seems like s much fun and of course it's work too...and I have several questions whirling in my head. I'll save them for later. Hurray for beautiful linen and a beautiful post!

French said...

Wow I love the way you shop, Col!! The linens are all beautiful!

helle said...

Dear Colette

How sweet of you to take the time and share some of your experiences with french markets with me!! It has been very useful to read both your reply and your lovely blog. The bare sight of banana boxes stuffed with "gold" makes the heart of a romantic soul beat faster.
Thank you, I will definately go!

Warm greetings


La Dolfina said...

Mon Dieu Colette, this post, your life, it's charmed! I adore how you write about this sojourn of yours, it's so idyllic. And those linens, it's mind boggling, I want to dive head first into those boxes.
Your daughter is beyond precious!
What an amazing trip you are on, a dream for all of us in blogland... thanks for taking us along with you... so Fun, a true fantasy!!
Much love always,


Veronica said...

Dearest Colette. Thank you so much for your regular lovely visits. What a treat to come here and find all this.... where to start?? the beautiful villages, the daring Dd, and the contents of the ever faithful banana boxes... the lace is exquisite and the mono's... wow! thank you for taking us along!! Happy hunting and safe travels. Enjoy the lil holiday as well!

Sending love and hugs


Sharon Lee Johnson said...

It sounds exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time! What exquisite looking linens and the countryside is so beautiful. I think you are in heaven! x Sharon

Mélanie A. said...

Beautiful treasures. You are the best french antiques hunter

céline said...

Oh la la c'est magnifique ! Par chez moi c'est rare de trouver encore autant de beau linge ancien ... Je suis déjà heureuse quand j'en trouve un peu !
Très beau post et quel voyage ! Finalement toute cette belle chine est méritée !!!
À bientôt, Biz

Carol said...

Oh Collette, it all looks so lovely, I can't wait to see more. Have a wonderful time.



Carol said...

Oh , it all looks so lovely, what treasure you have found. I can't wait to see what else you discover. Have a wonderful time with the rest of your hunting.


Curtains in My Tree said...

My heart is beating very fast, only dreaming of owing some of those linens

Mystica said...

I love all old linens and that embroidery and cutwork on the linen is exquisite. The pictures are beautiful. Thank you.