French Attic Style~ Antique Textiles

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Trouvais 18th c textiles

I really love hearing from my “old” readers from time to time. About 18th c shoes that they collect, or whether eight men would be enough to move a concrete table that looks just like mine, or how to strip color out of a Bella Notte duvet. Karin of La Pouyette, an antique dealer for over 30 years and long time blogging friend, has been pushing me to come back to blogging. So…thanks to Karin, I’m back to say hi and play around with what strikes me as pretty or interesting these days. Early 18th c embroidery

As you know…I love 18th c and earlier textiles. By the mid 19th c chemicals where being used to add weight to silks (which, incidentally, were sold by weight) and the advent of the sewing machine made hand-stitched seams unnecessary and looms became wider and more mechanized. Early silks were untainted by the harsh efficiencies of the modern age, and in my mind, vastly more beautiful.

Trouvais Spitalfields

My collection of 18th century silks has been slowly gathered over years. Sometimes the most humble, earlier finds bring me the most joy. It is amazing how carefully they have  been protected over the centuries, and how much beauty remains in their spun threads. I am working on an online store (Trouvais-shop.com) that I hope will be a fun visit. A nice little “attic” space with treasures just waiting to be found. The French Country House

Photo above from Christiane de Nicolay-Mazery’s The French Country House.  The chapter on French attics has cupboard shelves straining under centuries of folded silks and costume and tissue wrapped shoes. Eighteenth century silk dresses hanging on an armoire in a French attic is just my style! There is nothing like antique textiles to add a bit of story and drama to your home. Trouvais 18th c skirt

My eye is caught by pieces that seem to whisper a story. Whether you are a collector yourself, or just enjoy a pretty picture, I will have some beautiful things to share.

Trouvais 18th c French brocade

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There are a few pieces I have been able to let go out of my collection. I’ve sent waistcoats to Italy and beaded handbags to Russia. I love putting things in the hands of someone that will love them. So…just in case you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to…I am slowly but surely shifting from buyer to seller. My shop website is in process here (also see on my side bar)~

Inside my own “attic” armoire…my very favorite pieces…

Trouvais Antique Silk

Magical French Summer Market

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French Kissed French Summer MarketI had an absolutely magical time in Santa Barbara at Jermaine Chastain’s lovely Italian Villa for the first French Kissed and Trouvais French Summer Market. The water fountain outside the open double front doors gurgled, the breeze flowed in past sentinel Italian cypresses…outside a gravel courtyard was all old world grandeur with aged iron armchairs and birdcages and baskets…and wine crates laden with old silver and vintage porcelain.

French Kissed

French Kissed

On every table and past thrown open cabinet doors there was gold edged porcelain and silver..silver…silver..Jermaine’s treasure hunting specialty..

French Kissed

 The gamut of price ranges…but each and every piece fit for a queen…

French Kissed

Hostess gifts and wedding gifts and gifts for…ourselves!

French Kissed

 As always…the best part of these events is meeting the stalwart new and old friends that made the short and long trips to attend! Susan from A Blooming Rose Musings was there to help, and Jermaine and I loved meeting the fabulously charming Rié of the brand spanking new blog Portobello Design. Check out her latest post and you can see more photos of the event. Though being somewhat too far away to attend, my wonderful friend Karin of La Pouyette in Perigord, France wrote an informative post on some of the antique linen I brought to sell that is rare if not exclusive to the US market. Karin sources these wonderful uniquely woven white, indigo and azure striped linen towels from the Basque region. Both Jermaine and I appreciate all the support, far and wide! 

It was a lot of work and pure joy!

French Kissed

Jermaine and I were separated at birth…but you can see who has the ballerina genes…as she modeled a so, so very flattering pair of antique bloomers…

French Kissed

Much, much more to come….