vendredi 22 mai 2015


Last year I was so tired of the chateau garden looking like a building site that I tried to create a garden as best I could. 

Although the renovation work still continues and we have hoards of building stones, timbers , concrete mixers and scaffolding that little part of the garden is flourishing.

I have had lots of very kind donations and cadeaux of plants and some even seem to have arrived by themselves!! I didn`t plant foxgloves but they are very welcome!!

I certainly did plant these though as I love them.

Each time I go out there something new seems to have arrived.

I planted so much so quick that I have short plants tucked behind tall plants so some work is in order!!

I had a wonderful present of some amazing grass with what looks like tiny Chinese paper lanterns from Lizzie Drake. It has thrived hidden in a corner!  I was told by Ben de Papignies today that it is called "Amourette" ...little love.

Have a wonderful weekend mes belles filled with "Amourette" !!

jeudi 21 mai 2015

Chez nous.....

Back at the chateau now and I don`t think I could even start to explain what a whirlwind truffling trip it has been.

The studio is laden with treasures and a wonderful hush has settled over the chateau now that Tartelette has departed for Provence!! It was wonderful to meet Monsieur Tartelette Jeff and there has been so much laughter as we travelled. 

Tartelette and Monsieur Tartelette in truffling mode.

( I think she turned him down...the "bling" in this ring was too small!!)

Tempting as it was to carry on down South with her I needed to come home to my Diggers and Charlie and to try and make some order of the hoards of treasures now in boxes and bags all over the house.

But this guy is mine and I have the perfect shelf for him.

My listings will commence again tonight and here are a few photographs of the haul before we even open the boxes!!!

A la prochaine mes belles

lundi 11 mai 2015

Oink !!

Many years ago...more years than I care to remember I answered an email from a Ebay buyer who had been my number one client for 18th and 19th century Vichy check. 

The email read " I am coming Paris could we meet up?". I politely refused but she worked on me with more emails until she caught me at a weak moment and I gave in. Kind of like a Chinese water torture thing. 

She came clutching treasures.....

It soon became apparent how similar we are, almost "sisters from another mister" and we have been firm friends ever since.

So....brace yourselves for again we are awaiting the arrival of Tartelette Amy from Oregon and then we are off truffling!!

Last time we set off on a trip we found so many things that I had her packed so tightly in the car that all you could see of her was one hand!!

To say the least she is a live wire with boundless energy, a wicked sense of humour, a very good eye, a knack for talking me out of my own personal treasures, she cooks her own pasta, tries to poison me with Mexican food, never stops talking,  and has a heart of gold. (But don`t tell her said the last bit I have to keep her on her toes!).

Charles le Baron du Breuil is going in to hiding as we speak

Sir Digbert Fanshaw Brownshaw is waiting patiently as she brings him chicken chews USA style!

She is always first out of bed for truffle trips and I have known her disappear out in to the darkness at 4 a.m from a hotel room as the call of what she might find is simply too much to bear.

She is the only person who managed to entice me on the Paris Metro at rush hour. Not only that, but we were pulling a trolley loaded with treasures she had found at an early morning market. Most of it fell off at regular intervals and we had to carry the trolley up endless steps! 

She is also the only person who could entice me for a "tuctuc" ride up the Champs Elysees with some poor guy pedalling away in front of us as she waved like the queen on an official outing. But we were going to Laduree for gateaux so she is excused.

At the end of the day we usually have to do " show and tell" where we get to truffle through each others finds. This usually ends with a bout of stealing from each others bags, the odd scuffle a few Chinese burns with a little begging thrown in.

I managed to talk her out of this wonderful gilded Sacre Coeur last time and I am going to hide it so she can`t take it back with her this time!!

I remember well one day turning a corner at an early brocante I found her sitting on the grass in a huge pile of antique ballet costumes. She looked up at me and said " I don`t know...which one shall I have?". 

I panicked as looking round I could see Paris textile dealers approaching from every angle. I dragged her to her feet yelling  "The LOT take the LOT...all of!!!" We proceeded to stuff it all in bags before we got mobbed and we were followed back to the van by a host of ladies ( I use that term loosely as they were heat seeking missiles in sling backs wearing shoulder pads)  asking to look and buy what was there.

So, we are off to a huge brocante that runs for 6 kilometres through a forest. It is so big that last year after walking it for the third time I demanded to be airlifted back to the hotel!! 

I hope the weather is good to us.

I shall keep you posted as the trip goes on. 

I forgot to say that I received an email from a Ebayer with nothing better to do who gave me a ticking off about using the word "truffling"  saying it was "artificial speech intended to impress - adopted for merchandising purposes"'

 As most of you know I have used that word for 30 years to describe my hunting for treasure like a truffle pig. So to that lady I say a firm "OINK!!!"

A note to Dee, Blanche and Mo....I am still alive and kicking...not missing in action just in full truffle of the truffelerati....xxxx

A la prochaine

jeudi 23 avril 2015

Madame....I am undone.....

After a week of fawning over the sewing box of the Countess I have managed to force myself away from it to take some photographs....

I wonder what she sat and stitched by candlelight?

I am listing it tonight and keeping all the contents inside...who could bear to split them up? Not me!!

I have no idea what this is...have you? It operates like a pair of tweezers with the end clasps.

This little  silk brocade needle case is so charming...

And as for the needle case with the seed pearls and the gold wire embroidered crown........

In the words of Johnny Depp in the film  Chocolat....madame I am undone!

A la prochaine mes belles

jeudi 16 avril 2015

Everything comes to those who wait.....

It must be over 3 years ago that I was called to a charming old house to value some items that were part of an estate. There was a large family of relatives and descendants and the house and contents were to be sold and shared between them. The elderly titled owner had been in a rest home in Paris and had not returned to the Summer residence for many years.

I valued what I could and I left a quote on some of the items I would like to buy. I never ever expected to hear anything and to be honest I had forgotten all about it.

Then I had a very surprising call from a local lawyer to meet him at the house and to see what, if anything, I wanted from the little that remained.

I expected to find just the total rubbish was left but instead I was delighted.

Oh are going to adore these treasures mes belles!!

I shall say one thing .....the silk monogrammed and crown embellished stockings of a still my beating heart!!!

I shall start listing today and below is a peep in some of the boxes.

And the sewing box of the Countess? Well that`s something I shall tell you as I photograph it!!

A la prochaine.....

dimanche 29 mars 2015

Monsieur Brossard at Chateau Chinon............


Truffled this morning.. Wonderful old invoices and cheques dating from the late 1800s and early 1900s. All addressed to Chateau Chinon. They came from an old quincaillerie hardware store in Autun. Wonderful old sepia ink scrolled script. I shall leave them in the batches I found them in!!!

Does this mean someone is truffling in the attics of the Chateau Chinon?
Me thinks a little detective work is in order.. Dons cloak and sneaks through turret door..

a la prochaine mes belles.....