Signs and symbols- traditional decorative motifs in the Languedoc #1

IMG_20160525_114129I had every intention of featuring some of the decorative motifs on this beautiful town house in Carcassonne, but Poshbirdy beat me to it, and with a proper camera, unlike my phone;

So see her great photos here, thanks P!-

So, Posh, we are not only having a womance, we are dangerously close to sharing our single-minded restoration obsessed braincell!

The open rose motif features heavily here in local wrought iron work, stone carving and on decorative painted motifs.

Our early 19thc cave door has itcave doorright

Then, when going through items bought for the French house, I noticed this recurring motif on many of them-

IMG_20160606_133936Par example- my antique Moroccan window-left-

Some of the classic North African decorative motifs such as the open rose or flower are drawn from both French colonial and Arab symbolism and history. Elsewhere we see them in Asian motifs.

Then I noticed the open rose featured on my French cherub mirror and my dressing table for tulip bedroom that falls amusingly between Art Nouveau and high Rococco!IMG_20160406_131726

And here, hiding in plain sight in one of our favourite cafes!

Mulling over this, I wandered down to the Rive Aude and was stopped in my tracks by an ancient climbing rose wrapped around a tree on the bank.

A single rose with an open gold heart and Alizarion crimson petals looked at me. That’s the rose I want traditionally climbing up the front of our house, twined with a grape vine!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI ran to get my phone to capture it. When I returned it had gone, I SWEAR!

So, you must suffice with the nearest I could find on the web today-

About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Antique and Vintage finds, Art, design and inspiration blog, Renovation and restoration diary- France and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Signs and symbols- traditional decorative motifs in the Languedoc #1

  1. Osyth says:

    The rose is a beautiful motif. I am fascinated by symbolism. Do you have Fatima hand door knockers in your village?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not in our village , but many of the slightly grander villages and towns around. LOADS in Limoux!
      I think Campagne has only ever been a poor, working village since it’s heady Knights Templar preceptory days many millenia ago!!

      Talking of knockers, we met a lady with a gorgeous brass Indian door handle which suited her old (13thc ) house very well .
      I have finally settled on a vintage (natch) trout door knocker as we have a river full of them a few steps away!
      However, as we have no central panel on front door, I have designed a small sympathetic central panel to hold the knocker.
      It’s on Trev’s list, maybe his B or C list!

      Many of my paintings have been in my style of Narrative Symbolism.
      I have a set on the the boil right now (male archetypes, with my spin on them , not quite Jungs) but no time to indulge myself on it

      Liked by 1 person

      • Osyth says:

        When I lived in discretely Streatley (on Thames) in my cheese mongering days our house was called Jessamine Cottage but no-one in the village ever referred to it by name – it was always ‘top of the street, blue door, fish door knocker’ …. It was an antique knocker donated by husbands Uncle who described himself in Millers Antique Guide as ‘a fine and rare example of an antique fishing tackle dealer’ …. He would approve of your choice 😀


      • Osyth says:

        PS: glad to hear you are painting 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not, just thinking about it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Osyth says:

        Haha …. Story of my life – I have several opus magni in my head!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. francetaste says:

    Thanks for pointing out the Poshbirdy post. I also stalked that house. Among many others. And didn’t hesitate to peek in the window when the shutters were open!
    Some friends have a little owl carved into the stone of their house. And many have the dates of construction. I have to admit I haven’t seen very many roses.
    Which café is so light and bright? I am kind of regular at one or two, which means I don’t go explore much. You can’t be a regular AND hit everyplace unless you spend all your time in cafés. Which, unfortunately, I am not rich enough to do. Work intervenes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bizzyella says:

    What a lovely house motif. If you could find a stone mason to carve a slight relief into that curve to the right of the blue door, that would be so cool. I know, budget, budget, maybe in another lifetime, but it would be pretty. Maybe a stencil?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very well spotted; our minds work in similar ways also..That’s the last visible trace of the large and ancient stone half arch (neighbour had other half but crepied over it) that once led through to the courtyards at the back.
      I will find someone to do it one day: we can always barter our respective skills.
      I won’t let JM render over that relic


  4. poshbirdy says:

    Love the rose emblem. Our conjoined brain cell is working hard, isn’t it! I also have a drawer knob which is a rose and which I have taken to the house to make decorations to echo the plasterwork overt the salon fireplace. And, weirdly, I was going to do a post on roses!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Do it P!
      I noticed your place had roses in motifs and ironwork.
      I am v interested in traditional motifs and our 30’s sideboard being upcycled as kitchen unit has rose knobs also. Now I look, they are everywhere in my stashed “swag” !


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