My French Country Brocante


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My French Country Home shawl

Sharon, from the blog My French Country Home, has a wonderful

eye for beauty, a penchant for treasure seeking, a picture perfect

home in Normandy…and has just filled her online brocante

with some extraordinary finds. As Sharon puts it:

Everything you see for sale here is old, and French.

Each item has a story to tell.

My French Country Home 18th c sleeves

18th c sleeves

Her latest finds come from a fine old family home in Brittany…

Exquisite treasures from the 18th through 20th century…

Like this pair of intricately embroidered engageantes that

would fall in a foot long froth at the sleeves of refined

ladies and gentlemen in the eighteenth century…


18th c printed cotton bodice

A precious 18th century printed cotton bodice

strewn with bright floral sprays

in the Indiennes style…more here

18th c printed cotton bodice

It was wonderful to be able to talk with Sharon

by phone the other day…she is so excited

to have been able to procure such a

wonderful collection…

18th c printed cotton bodice

A similar piece from one of my favorite books, Toile de Jouy

A late 18th century dress bodice in small checked pattern,

the lining was made from an old floral print bodice…

Antique clothing was often reworked into newer items…


Toile de Jouy

Another example from Toile de Jouy

An engageante extending from an

exuberantly floral sleeve…

18th c embroidered cloth

My favorite of Sharon’s pieces…

This breathtaking 18th tablecloth is festooned with

floral flourishes, crowns and dragonflies…

Fine imported cotton…more rare in 18th c France than linen…

18th c French fine cotton embroidered cloth

Pause…deep breath…

18th c French fine cotton embroidered cloth

I can imagine this hanging over a bed…or framed…

as far away as possible from the cranberry sauce!

Just outstanding….


Toile de Jouy Riffel & Rouart

18th century block print of roses and lilacs on cotton

in a sample book at the Musée de la Toile de Jouy here

The enduring love of gardens and the natural

world from across time…

Antique French nightdress

A lovely nightgown…

One of several antique clothing items

in Sharon’s brocante…

Visit My French Country Brocante here

My French Country Home

Sharon carefully launders the pieces

to gossamer perfection…

Her photography captures the

ethereal nature and fine details of all

the items…


Antique French fabric

L’enfant au dauphine c. 1765-81

Also at the Musée de la Toile de Jouy

Peak at the permanent collection here


Oberkampf at the door of the factory shop Labouchere gouache on paper

Reams of dyed linens…

How absolutely lovely…

Toile de Jouy

Printed Textiles in the classic French Style

Mélanie Riffel & Sophie Rouart

Marc Walter photography



Point of View



Recently Paris Apartment here and Gypsy Purple here have

posted this gorgeous photo of a pelmet trimmed, ciel de lit topped,

and luxuriously draped 18th century French bed…

Have you made up your mind about the couple that

lives in this house?

Though it’s made its way through the blog-o-sphere…I cropped

and posted this photo in July of ’09 in Red Burnished Neutrals here.

I was entranced by the gorgeous photography…and narrowed

in as close as possible to study all the details…

Of course…from my point of view…

The advantage of scanning your own photos is that it allows

you to zero in on the face cast in bronze at the table leg’s intersect…

or the artlessly off-center sketched nude beyond the doorway…

The glowing red of an antique leather chair

and voluminous carmine curtains….

Martin Morrell photography

Un-cropped…here is the original photo by Martin Morrell

A striking balance of soothing neutrals and overt avant-garde…

Have you changed your mind about the home-owners?

Another view of the bedroom…an 18th century Italian chandelier…

An ottoman covered in old French fabric and 17th century walnut wardrobe

from Piedmont. A Paula Rego painting…part of the owner’s

large collection of modern art….

Chintzes from the Tree of Life range by Braquenié

for Pierre Frey in a guest bedroom….

Dining room

The ballroom…added in the 1920’s…

More antique linen at the windows, 17th century chandelier

from Genoa and 18th century chairs from Turin…

Almost every view shown is painted with soothing neutrals…

yet adds a tiny bit of drama…

Or maybe not so tiny….

Red glass vase from Venice filled with

flowers from the garden on a stone plinth table…

Tea-soaked antique linen slipcovers…

A Martin Malone painting with 1930’s green leather chairs…

So…opening up the view a bit reveals quite a bit more

about the home’s heart…

What does your home say about you?

Petersham House

The 17th century home of Gael and Francesco Boglione

who created London’s Petersham Nurseries next door…

Petersham Nurseries click here

Vogue Living Australia May/June ’09