Muse – History, Letters and a French Brocante

This time last week a friend took me to visit a brocante (the French version of our antique and bric a brac shop) which she had discovered in a small village not many kilometres from the Hillside.  I think if anyone had asked me to describe the brocante of my dreams I couldn’t have invented anything better than this enchanting place.

Crammed full of treasures and everyday ephemera from postcards and old books to furniture and rusty bedsteads, the place is a collector’s heaven. The hour and a half we spent there was simply not enough and I intend to return with my camera within the next fortnight as the very kind owner has given me permission to take photographs for a special blog post.I intend to present on his amazing establishment.

I realised looking through my purchases again this morning, how much I have always been fascinated by the everyday objects of yesteryear – old tools, letters, fabrics, clothes, books, documents – all those things which carry traces of history and allow us a brief glimpse of other lives and eras now long forgotten. In terms of my photography, I return time and again to these things for my inspiration.

Here is a selection of the old letters I purchased which I am posting as my contribution to this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Muse.

Brocante letters blue stamps-9

Brocante letters blue stamps-20

Brocante letters blue stamps-17


ALL PHOTOS © JANE MORLEY

If you enjoy the photos on my blog please do visit my brand new website http://www.theartcardpress.com where you will find many more photos, latest news, a host of greeting cards and photographic prints!

40 Comments Add yours

  1. Timothy Price says:

    Your photo collages are wonderful. The calligraphy on those letters is something else. I wonder if anyone produce beautiful calligraphy like that today?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou Timothy! (It’s actually not a collage but a still life! ) I agree with you about the handwriting they did have the most beautiful penmanship in those days – nowadays if you see French handwriting it’s harder to read than a doctor’s writing! So glad you like it!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Timothy Price says:

        I always think of still life for painting and photos of where you have a lot of paper and stuff put together as a collage. I know that technically a photo collage is a collage of photos, but I used to do photos of pictures and drawings and other things all put together for my photo classes, and the professors and students always referred to them as collages, never as still lifes. Photography gets a little goofy in that way.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I see what you mean Timothy! Yes I suppose you’re right, still life does sound more like a painting term than a photography term!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Timothy Price says:

        Still life is correct for photography too, it’s just one of those weird art photography classes that got me thinking differently about it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Luscious! I’m flying over to visit the shop (and you). 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sarah – these, as you will have guessed, are the letters I mentioned to you , there are more and the brocante/shop is just extraordinary – as you will see in forthcoming post! When are you coming, shall I bake the scones?! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. kazg10 says:

    Beautifully presented Jane. It sounded like heaven and I can imagine your delight on entering this Brocante. The discovery of such places is what I dream of when visiting France. The old cursive writing is a dream and adds so much to the photo along with the worn material on the book. A wonderful muse…. I cannot wait for your post on this delightful store.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou Kaz! I have to say I’ve always dreamed of finding a brocante like this one and couldn’t believe it was there all the time not that far away! I’m impatient to get back there with my camera!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Olga says:

    Interesting and informative shots. I have a question. Did you use your photographer’s creative license to rearrange anything or you just took the shot? The position of the spectacles and the dry flower intrigued me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou Olga, the arrangement is mine and not taken in the shop, I need to go back with a couple of hours to spare to try and capture an idea of the brocante itself!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Mél@nie says:

    j’adore la broncante, donc ton post, aussi… ❤ admiration, respect and friendly thoughts… Mélanie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Merci Mélanie – à toi également ! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sue says:

    Oh, fabulous! Totally my ‘thing’….I found some old letters recently, and have yet to photograph them! Bring on the Still Life 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Sue! I can never resist these old treasures, I have some wonderful old bills and accounts too – endless inspiration!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sue says:

        We are two of a kind ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s absolutely beautiful Jane!!! Love how you make your pictures looking so vintage.
    What a shame that writing letters is going lost. Plus, people had so much nicer handwritings than they do today! My father for example had such a beautiful handwriting and would always tell me off when looking at my signature! Good old times… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re so right Françoise, people took the time to do things beautifully in those days, it was a mark of pride to have lovely handwriting, it’s such a shame that we’re letting these things disappear! 😦 Still, I intend to capture as much as I can with my camera!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. love those treasures and the decoration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Herbert! There’s just something about old documents and beautiful handwriting that I love to photograph!

      Like

  9. gaaaah! i want to come with you! wonderful. i ADORE those letters how fun for you. i look forward to your next post on this…i will live vicariously through you. hurray for brocante.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You would love this brocante frenchapple! I thought of you because I also bought an old Remington typewriter ! I can’t wait to go back with my camera!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oooh take lots of pics. Happy for you!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Leanne Cole says:

    I love those old glasses, they are amazing, did you pick them up from there as well Jane? I love old letters and books, but I would have been all over any old cups and saucers, I do love those.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HI Leanne! Actually the glasses I already had, they’re Victorian ‘pince-nez’ style and they do appear in some of my other still life pics with letters and cups and saucers too! You’d love my tea-room! it’s vintage style and the customers get to choose which cup and saucer they want to use, sometimes they buy them afterwards! 😉 Check out this link and you’ll see http://www.galeriedelamaison.com !

      Like

      1. Leanne Cole says:

        Oh yes, I would love that tea room what a shame you are on the other side of the world, I would be there all the time. I love the glasses too, we don’t often see very old things here, which is a shame and when we do they cost so much money.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’ll have to organise a photo adventure to France and call in for afternoon tea !! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Leanne Cole says:

        I will, look out.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Precious photos. I love this old air you give them. Really beautiful!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much Cosme! It seems to suit them more than a saturated look!

      Like

  12. beeblu says:

    Gosh, old letters – how fascinating. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such things sold. So many stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes absolutely beeblu, they hold such history these wonderful things ! 🙂

      Like

  13. west517 says:

    Unforgettable!! I love how you shot these… the glasses are my favorite little extra. You are SO TALENTED!!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are TOO KIND 😀 But I thank you anyway! Delighted you like these – hope to visit the brocante to do my little photo shoot this week – watch this space!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. west517 says:

        Yes! Now that I have a smidge of freer time I will be able to visit more often 🙂

        Like

      2. That will be nice west – you have been missed ! 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. west517 says:

        Awwww thx Jane! xx

        Liked by 1 person

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