Now what? Life in rural Ariege

Burblings about adjusting to life in the deep south west of France or "la France profonde" as they call it here and the challenges of restoring a ramshackle collection of tumbledown buildings. I mainly write about local festivals, events and celebrations and, most of all, the weekly ritual of combing vide greniers and brocantes for pre-loved vintage treasures.

10 December 2014

A breath of "le printemps"

Winter is closing in around us here in the foothills of the Pyrenees. The leaves are falling, temperatures are plummeting and the mountains are capped in snow. The ski slopes will be opening soon sans doubt and we've had the first flakes of snow here. The glorious warm autumn seems a long time ago now and "le printemps" feels a long way away.

I'm still busily scouring brocantes and depot ventes for stock for Histoires but last weekend I decided to go to a vide grenier in Lavelanet. I don't usually frequent the rather scarce vide greniers or marches aux puces in December as they are usually poorly attended and, to be honest, flipping freezing! Sure enough there were only a scattering of stalls with hardy or foolhardy (depending on your point of view) sellers wrapped up in ski suits and santa hats. I was not optimistic about finding anything wonderful but how wrong I was.

A pair of sisters were busily firing up a grill to cook chunky Toulouse sausages to feed the hungry hordes and had some boxes of china that they hadn't had time to unpack. This beauty was perched on the top of one of the boxes.

It's an asparagus serving basket by the celebrated Sarreguemines factory in the "Carmen" pattern.

Amazingly the box held a complete asparagus set comprising 12 serving plates, each of which are different, plus the basket and tray.

The plates are 1875 - 1900, the tray and gorgeous basket are later, some time after 1918. It was the sisters' grandmother's set and they believed she had it from new.

The pattern has a variety of hedgerow and spring flowers, dragonflies and butterflies. It is rare to find such a collectible set in an unusual colorway (it is more usually seen in blue and white). It's complete and in wonderful condition.

Such a breath of spring on a freezing winter morning.

I think if I still have this next spring I am going to use it, just once. I imagine that tender, steamed asparagus spears must taste exquisite served on these plates.

#sarreguemines #asparagus #french #faience #carmen #vide grenier #vintage find #histoires #etsy

1 comment:

  1. This rare set has now been sold. It's going to a new home in the Alsace region of France. I'll be sorry to see it go