Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Old Stuff and Nonsense photo of lustre plates

St. Amand lustre plate traded for rags
  Buying stuff and linens in France was once easy and very cheap, it really was like a wonderful treasure hunt, and we came home laden in our old Volvo (first cousin to Linda Clift's old  trusty steed, Frieda,)with the roof rack and roof box crammed full,  sitting on old sheets, with more round our feet.! After the last war, the farms and large bourgeois houses passed on to the next generation and they no longer wished to use and store the traditional household linens. So the great armoires, sometimes 6 or 7 in a special store room, were sold to antique dealers who converted them into rich panelling  - but the contents of household linens and other stores,  were often burnt as being worthless,  just old grandma's relics of no value or use.Cotton, nylon and polycotton sheets were cheap, like blankets, and much less work, so the old feather beds, which were by then dusty and dirty, were discarded. They were often collected by the Algerians (pied noir) who came to work in the fields and vineyards. They took them to the local re-cycle depots and exchanged them for china and household goods.  This trade had an odd name which I have now forgotten and I have some of the china which was very pretty porcelain, with crescent moon in silver lustre and pretty pink and blue daisy flowers, all marked with the St.Amand factory mark. The feathers were saleable but the covers went to the rag merchants and were sold for cleaning machinery in factories - tough and strong, they were ideal, but oh dear! what a waste of wonderful stuff!  I think I sold about 2000 of the tickings over three years to all the top decorators/designers you have ever heard of - they had never seen such wonderful colour combinations, and they were something new and original to offer their clients and they could charge whatever they liked for them.  You will find many more Blogs about tickings - I still like them so very much! - and I was nick-named Mrs. Ticking by many dealers.

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