Going to brocantes is starting to be a real habit (dear friends, do you think it should be a weekly feature of the blog?). It doesn’t help that there seems to be one every weekend. Case in point, it was a rainy weekend but there were at least 2 or 3 in the city. I thus decided to visit one that I’ve never been too. Boulevard Grenelle where this week’s brocante was held is all the way in the 15th arrondissement, across the river. The fifteenth is mostly residential and is full of young families. It is a quiet area with no major sites except for a few museums here and there so perhaps it is less interesting to tourists. But it is full of restaurants and cafes that can be quite good. I was thus unsure whether the brocante would be worth the trek it took to get there. It didn’t help that there was a constant drip of water from the unrelenting rain.
Surprisingly enough, there were a number of interesting things to see at the brocante. For starters there were two big stands carrying secondhand books that ranged from hard bound art books to 1 euro pocketbooks and their selection was pretty good.
A number of stands featured beautiful paintings and furniture and while it is supposed to be a brocante, the prices were comparable to those in some antique stores I’ve been to. I lucked out when I found this great stand carrying all sorts of pretty things. Their selection included gorgeous hand embroidered linens from Auvergne, mother of pearl buttons, hats and bags but by far the most interesting was the lady’s collection of hat pins. She has over 700 in her collection and she had started to sell them. There were real beauties in her collection including some fairly old ones from the turn of the century. Thanks to her, I learned that traditional hat pins with their long and dangerous pointy end were banned sometime in the 40s because of they were considered weapons (some of them looked deadly despite their pretty appearance) and that ladies continued to wear hat pins until well into the 60s albeit in much shorter, less deadly form.
|An impressive collection right?|
|A closer look|
|Old fashioned patterns for children's clothes|
|Pretty knobs to use for doors and drawers|
And here it is, my find from the brocante......a gorgeous mother of pearl covered opera glasses from the turn of the century. Aren't they gorgeous? Now I have to find the perfect moment to use them...