The truffling bags are filling up nicely................
Four days into my truffling trip and the bags are filling up nicely. The weather is SO hot it`s almost unbearable and last night out of desperation we bought an electric fan en route as we knew our hotel would not have air conditioning. Despite this it was almost impossible to sleep and at about 4a.m. out of desperation, I had to lie with my head as close to the fan as possible to try and get some air. I woke up with a start at 6am with my hair looking like I had been riding on the back of a motorbike!!
The truffling bags are almost full and it has been a very succesful trip so far. On board there are 2 mannequins, a divine soft rose pink dropper chandelier with matching sconces, the wall plaques from a royal chateau residence, hoards of textiles, some toiles,lots of pretty picture frames, 2 bed canopies,a girouette weathervane, porte chapeau hat stands,ticking, silks,and a host of boudoir trinkets and treasures.
Within the last hour of the huge deballage trade fair today a van arrived to unload. This was very unusual as all the other sellers are ready for the off at 8am. I waited along with the throng of buyers to see what he had and my heart grew wings and flew as the boxes were opened. The whole contents of a Paris haberdashery, all 19th century, all untouched and in wonderful condition. Most of it had the original labels too. Old silk pin cushions, rolls of ribbons,buttons on their cards, sewing items, trims, lace in bundles, bolts of textile ..... I could list the items for hours. He also had two trunks filled with original ladies and gents Summer Panama style hats with their labels intact. They were amazing and had not seen daylight for over 100 years.
There were some exquisite rolls of silk ribbon with rose decoration, very small rolls but very beautiful. I asked the price "150 euros per roll madame" was the reply. Had I heard right? I asked again "150 euros per roll madame dernier prix". No discussion, no discount - his prices were enormous...so enormous no one could buy anything!!! My heart stopped mid flight and crashed!!!
I wondered for a moment if he was still working in old Francs so I stood and listened as he gave more prices to the other waiting dealers. Some people had gathered large bundles in anticipation. I watched as they stood in disbelief at his prices and slowly returned the items to the boxes and walked away shaking their heads. It was so frustrating to see such wonderful items that couldn`t be bought.
The dealer was becoming increasingly frustrated too as he was being asked prices and not selling. One lady had gathered a pile of 10 old panama hats and his price was so huge she almost collapsed! But all credit to her, she tried to negotiate hard and the seller kept saying "NO...no discount...that is my price". She tried again and the seller grabbed the hats from her hand threw them back in the trunk and waved her away. But this lady gets full points for perseverance as she went back, pulled the hats out of the trunk and tried again. The seller simply snatched them from her hand, threw them back in the trunk and walked away. At this point the lady`s husband approached him and tried to negotiate as she retrieved the hats again. Wow, all hell let loose.....was it the heat, the sellers frustration at not selling or was he just a lunatic? He flipped, snatched the hats and screamed at the top of his voice at the man and his wife to leave the stand. We all stood in amazement.
Truffling for treasures can be wonderful, it can be frustrating,it can be tiring, rewarding, disappointing,exausting,amazing and absolute heaven.....but it is never ever boring!!!
I shall be back later in the week with my new treasures.