As we wait impatiently for the new brocante season to recommence, I thought it may be fun to look at what the French buy and collect. Between now and late spring, I’ll show you different examples of french collectibles, the things that I see the French buy on the antique and brocante fairs I go to here. Today we are starting in a colour scheme that is many peoples turn-to favourite: blue and white china.
Creil and Montereau were two rival porcelain manufacturers, both close to Paris. Each company started in the 18th century, and they joined forces in 1840. They perfected the art of the white glaze and blue transferware design, and won prizes for their work. The best of their production came to an end around 1895.
This is just one of their stamps, which changed slightly every couple of years, allowing experts today to date plates very precisely.
This pattern is called Flora, or sometimes Flora Liseron, and is one of their most popular and most easily recognisable designs.
These photos that I took on the opening day of a fair in Paris, are of a collection that came from one family. The pieces had been bought and enjoyed over three generations, and they were asking a pretty price for the 140 pieces, all in perfect condition. When I returned to the fair the next day, I noticed that the collection had gone, snapped up in an instant.
Of course you don’t have to buy a huge collection like this, I often see just one or two of the plates for sale, remnants of past glory. They look wonderful displayed on a shelf, or hanging on a wall.
I wonder what you like to collect? If I took you to a big fair, what would be at the top of your wish list – do tell me please, I’d love to know.