What is a brocante? Many things… A place to browse ( chiner in French)… a place to find treasures… a place to have a Sunday stroll. Or all of the above.
The things people horde away in their attic, that one day end up on the table of an antiquaire, are literally fascinating. And what I find so passionate about it, is every item has a story, a history, a past. From old leather club lounge chairs to ladies lace gloves to lead printer letters that were used to churn out newspapers before numerical machines did it all. You can purchase a piece of another time for your own personal wearing, sitting or decoration, and keep the past alive in small ways.
I have found newspapers from an old newspaper that doesn’t exist anymore called Le Petit Journal; cover pages dating from pre-20 th century…for 5 euros! I have found hand crocheted white lace gloves…(also five euros).
A top hat from an old chapelier (hatter) l’Hérissé, who was known for it’s ad campaign and adverts projected into the sky -very high tech at the time!- was my most recent treasure.But more than treasure finding and acquiring, I love to let my imagination run willy-nilly throughout the different stands, imagining whose fingers plunked away at an old type writer dating from probably 1910; or who may have sat an old school desk and chair that has been repainted to look pretty; or an old book of French law codes…
what lawyer flipped through that after client consultation (and maybe he did wear that top hat I found?!?). A record player (that the French call a “pickup“!) probably rocked to some Beatles tunes, and an old English telephone must have heard some interesting conversations! Lamps, mirrors, chairs, signs, books, even a scary mannequin…all had another life in another time. But they aren’t finished yet, and beg to live on in our day and age, even if they are just put on a shelf. The grace of the past doesn’t like to leave them too quickly and we can still enjoy it for years to come.
The antiquité– brocante is a place to disconnect from modern life, and plug into time gone by.
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