Monday, July 25, 2011
The heat abated slightly on Sunday so I ventured to the flea market. I was hoping others would stay away so I would have my pick of the good stuff and I did manage to find a few treasures. My rule of thumb for the flea market is to buy what I love and always have a price in mind before I approach a dealer.
The first thing I bought was at the parking lot flea market on 25th Street. The powder box on the right was very dirty but I could see it's beauty underneath. The dealer dropped it as he was trying to decide how much to charge so I got it for $1. It has hairline cracks on the top but at least you can't see them. The box on the left caught my eye the minute I saw it because I love that robin's egg blue color.
It's marked on the bottom T&V France. It stands for Tressemanes & Vogt which was a porcelain factory in Limoges, France. I loved the color so much that I didn't even turn it over. According to the mark, it was probably produced 1892-1907.
My pièce de résistance purchase is this Marie Antoinette print. It was the robin's egg colored mat that caught my eye and I thought it was so beautiful that I had to buy it. The dealer had a tag on it marked $58 but I talked her down to $45.
The dealer told me that it was probably from the time of Marie Antoinette which I of course took with a grain of salt.
A little internet research yielded that the engraver was Jean Charles Levasseur (1734-1816) and it might actually be from the 18th-century. I found another example online here, which alerted me to the fact that there is also has a companion Louis XVI engraving.
I think an appraisal is in order soon. But first I have to drop it off at the framer so I can hang it on the wall.
I also love the tag on the back of the picture. I am wondering if it was reframed at some point so I can't wait to find out. I wasn't going to buy anything else but on my way out of the Garage flea market, I noticed the cane bench in the top photo. I was thinking that a bench would be nice in front of my entry bookcase so I could sit my bag down when I entered. The $25 price was right so I took it home too. It was very dusty and when I turned it over to clean it, I noticed a tag from Heywood Bros. and Wakefield Co. San Francisco, Cal. Turns out the company is very well known which means that I probably won't paint it as was my first instinct. The bonus of buying what you love is that it might actually be worth more than you paid. Bonne chance!