brocante and roses

by Sharon Santoni

french brocante by my french country home

While visiting a local antique dealer here today, I came across these beautiful volumes of natural history, covering  plants, animals and birds.

french brocante by my french country home

  Many pages uncut, the books are actually still in what was meant to be their temporary bindings until they were bought and bound in the colours of the new owners library.

french brocante by my french country home

These volumes apparently never found the right owner but I think they are wonderful just the way they are.

french brocante by my french country home

The antique dealer is a friend and he lent me the books for my photos … all 57 of them!  And then he thought I’d need a backdrop to display them at their best and he lent me this stunning piece of gilt and carved wood, almost certainly 18th century and probably from a private chapel.

french brocante by my french country home

I found the roses on my own, here in my garden, I hope you like the way the whole thing comes together.

brocante, myfrench country home,

If you are interested in the books or the wooden altar piece, I am happy to put you in touch with the vendor, and give you all the details.

french antiques, brocante, 18th century gold altar piece

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend, thank you for reading me.



annie July 4, 2014 - 6:18 pm

beautiful…i love them just the way they are too!

Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon July 4, 2014 - 6:59 pm

How very interesting. I did not know anything about this. We will not have anything like this in the future since it is all going digital.

As always, thanks for sharing your flowers. They sooth the heart and lift my spirit. 🙂


Lory Bernstein July 4, 2014 - 8:07 pm

The books are wonderful. Fascinating that that’s how it was often done in the past – that the purchaser selected the binding (I would love that option!). Have you read “The Language of Flowers”? Wonderful book that touches on the way flowers were documented and categorized in Victorian times. Love your vignette, as well. How lush your roses are and displayed amongst the gilded frames and that altar piece – perfect!

Colleen Taylor July 4, 2014 - 8:25 pm

Absolutely wonderful & quite incredible Sharon. These books are just priceless, I know since I have some uncut books similar to this. Your roses are breathtaking! Happy 4th of July from the USA!

Antoinette July 5, 2014 - 12:22 am

Oh how beautiful! What a coincidence, I am currently reading Antonia Ridge’s “The Man who Painted Roses” and it covers the dedicated painter/botanic author of various flowers, Pierre-Jacques Redoute. Who knows, maybe some of those books you have captured with the stunning roses are his “originals”. Wouldn’t that be amazing!
Anyone who is slightly interested in roses would really enjoy reading, for starters, Ms. Antonia’s “For Love of a Rose”………
Love your pics…..I can almost smell the roses and the historical books etc. all the way here in Australia.
Many thanks and keep up the great work!

Antoinette July 5, 2014 - 12:25 am

oops, sorry , that was to be “Pierre Joseph Redoute”…..Jacques is my French language teacher!!

Libby July 5, 2014 - 3:53 am

Truly beautiful. Yes, I would like info on the vendor for the books.

Betsy July 5, 2014 - 11:51 am

Lovely, Sharon! I didn’t know that was temporary binding so thanks for teaching me something new! Beautiful illustrations in those, too.

Cindy Vetrano July 5, 2014 - 12:09 pm

Just beautiful as always. As I work for antique print dealers, the books are of course, fascinating! Would you kindly send me the information about the dealer? I would love to learn more about those books and maybe grace one of my shelves with a few! Thanks, Cindy Vetrano

Holly July 5, 2014 - 1:46 pm

Wow….beautiful photos. What beautiful books. 🙂

Karena July 5, 2014 - 3:30 pm

Dear Sharon, these books of illustrations are such a special find! Love the beauty of your flowers against them!

The Arts by Karena

Emm July 5, 2014 - 4:37 pm

Those books are beautiful. And while I’d love at least some of them, another 57 would probably collapse my already book-burdened floors.

Mumbai July 5, 2014 - 7:00 pm

So wonderful decorated …well done Sharon and enjoy your pretty roses too

Lisa Sweeney July 5, 2014 - 9:16 pm

Please let me know the contact for these lovely books!

Leslie in Portland, Oregon July 6, 2014 - 1:27 am

Glorious tableaux…you are such a wonderful artist! I would love to have these books just as they are, too.

Esther George July 6, 2014 - 2:35 pm

Hi Sharon…beautifully put together and gorgeous photography as always. Thank you for sharing beauty. Regards Esther from Sydney.

Karen (Back Road Journal) July 6, 2014 - 9:21 pm

What a thoughtful friend. Your photos certainly did his treasures justice. I hope the books find a new home.

Beth July 9, 2014 - 2:12 am

Sharon, your blog is so fabulous. The content is so lovely, especially this post. Thank you for the gorgeous pictures.

Amy falconer July 11, 2014 - 9:07 pm

Could you please pass on the information for the books. Thank you so very much.


Leave a Comment