A miniature treasure hunt
This past weekend we have been out treasure hunting. We started in Lille, France at the biggest flea market in Europe, about 150 to 200 kilometers (yes!) of the roads of Lille center given over to pedestrians and stalls. Parking around the area is crazy, but as long as you don't obstruct traffic, you can park anywhere you like, no parking tickets are issued. We were very lucky to find a parking space only two minutes after leaving the highway, at only a three minutes walk from the start of the Braderie.
It was wonderful. So many goodies to look at. I was hunting for miniatures of course, and I especially wanted a miniature portrait. After only 15 minutes I found her, a lovely miniature painted on ivory. She is a beauty from 1943, very finely painted. After a bit of haggling I got her for a very good price. I am just thrilled with this lovely portrait. The frame of course is too big to hang in my dolls house, so I'll have to search for another one.
Oddly enough, almost all of the treasures I bought are ivory pieces. Old of course! The little ´bucket´ you can see on the right is ivoire de Dieppe (ivory from Dieppe), it is a little match holder or ´pyrogène´ from around 1880 in excellent condition. I thought it would make a nice umbrella stand or something like that.
I also found two little books with ivory covers. The biggest one is a 19th century little prayer book, with prayers and illustrations to guide you through the week. The smaller ivory one is missing the book inside, as you can see it used to hold fables.
On Sunday we decided to leave Lille to the masses and visit Gent (Belgium) instead. And wouldn´t you know it, it was the weekend of their annual flea market. More stands to look at and treasure to find! I found a little silver and silver guilt salt sellar, which would be perfect with a big plant in it. On another stall I found another ivory piece. This time a little statue of Maria with Jesus on her arm. I like the way the folds in her dress are carved.
At one stall in Lille I saw two lovely ladies holding a miniature metal and glass armoire, just right for a dolls house. I decided to wait and see if they would put it down, but they liked it very much and tried to get a price on it. The stand holder was not very helpful, and as the ladies didn´t speak French, I helped them get a good price on it. I know it has found a good home with a fellow miniature collector.
As you can imagine, after seeing hundreds and hundreds of stalls, it is not so easy to find something suitable for a dolls house, but I am so happy with my finds!