Thursday, October 29, 2009


Knock-Knock jokes aside, I only have these two metal door-knockers left...[having sold all that I find, I have hung on to these two favourite ones]
The elegant lady's hand holding a ball ["une main de bienvenue"] is always popular [enough to be still reproduced], but this one is the real deal - unfortunately, the screw on the back has been broken, thereby making it too short to insert into a door, but it is still very decorative as a paperweight or part of a collection of smalls...

19th century; can't remember which brocante it was found;
11 x 4 cm [4 cm length of back screw]



this silvered metal knocker with the double winged creatures is a one-of for me, not having seen another one again since... I have used it on our front door but was afraid to have it stolen!
"A V *" mark is etched onto the back screw post
19th century
8 x 8 cm [7 cm length of back screw]


Thursday, October 22, 2009

a songbird and a spider dance

I found this lovely little watercolour [with the frame] at a mad jumble of a brocante in an unremarkable suburb of Paris... I love the fresh spring colours, the spontaneous brush-strokes and the naive quality of it...[the slight white line just right of center in this image is from a reflection in the glass and is not on the painting]

Unsigned and undated [my guess is pre-1960's, judging from the frame];
watercolour on paper;
12 x 16 cm / 17.5 x 22 cm framed in gold-painted wood



"Printed in Oil Colours
By G. Baxter
The Inventor and Patentee
XI. Northampton Square"
is stamped on the lower left hand corner of the backing paper;
found [with frame] at the brocante fair at Chatou outside of Paris;
10 x 7.5 cm / 17 x 13 cm framed in gold-painted wood


G. BAXTER is presumably George Baxter [1804-1867] and there is a website about his life and work, with a complete listing of his oil colour prints. There is mention of the Tarantella Set [1850], of which this print must be a part of, but there is no accompanying image to confirm its belonging.
[The Tarantella dance is a rapid whirling folk dance that originated in southern Italy from a dancing mania, also known as tarantism, supposedly caused by the bite of a tarantula spider!]

Thursday, October 8, 2009

a drawing and an engraving

The what-goes-around-comes-around Aesop's fable of the Fox and the Stork is beautifully illustrated in this fine drawing of the Stork finally enjoying her lunch while the Fox sniffs around the jar in hunger and frustration...

I found this framed drawing at the wonderfully atmospheric brocante fair at Chatou over ten years ago now, and still am slightly reluctant to let it go...

"Le Renard et la Cicogne"
signed "Gve GAUHEY" and dated 1826
[I have tried researching for a Gustave GAUHEY but no luck]
graphite pencil on paper [with some damage in spots around the drawing];
24 x 18.5 cm / 37.5 x 26.5 cm framed [wood painted black; original glass]



"Les Disciples de Flore"
"Peint par Bonnieu Peintre du Roi"*
"Gravé par Amb. Orio"**
18th century; found at an antiques fair in Paris
24.5 x 17 cm / 41.5 x 34 cm framed [found in wood frame and original glass]


*BONNIEU peintre du roi is mentioned in one book "Mercure de France"
**AMBROISE ORIO has his name on another engraving that I googled - "Vue du Grand Marché à Bruxelles" by Bernard RIDDERBOSCH, 1783