The festival vide-greniers was back in the medieval square again this year.
So atmospheric. But I’m very glad we don’t live right on the charming Promenade de Château Fort ourselves; the stall holders literally set up right outside the doors and windows of the houses!! (So I felt for you, Chris, at “Our French Dream”)
It called to me, siren style across the square.
“Hello Gill” it said “Take me home now please!”
It was early in the day, stallholders were getting what they wanted for their stuff, they could afford to wait it out.
I circled it like a prowling cat, I approached whilst it’s owner was engaged elsewhere so I could poke and prod it in peace. I did just that….then Monsieur appeared and flipped it over deftly to show me that a couple of spring mounts were loose and one missing.
I feigned disappointment and asked the price. Thirty euros was very cheap even for a repro that needed attention.
I said I would consider and sauntered casually off to retrieve Trev for a second opinion.
Needless to say he was not impressed by the dirt and the dozen worm holes and the upholstery and the price for the repairs.
But it was a classic “os de mouton” ( “sheep’s horn”) frame – so called because it is said the shape of the stretchers were inspired by the legs of spring lambs)
These chairs were one of the first to have upholstered seats and backs. Designed in the Louis xiii period, so late 16th – early 17th century. How old is this one? Difficult to say but we can narrow it down.
I did, but I had to use all my aging charm and persuasive powers to get it knocked down.
I dragged it back down the street in triumph. This triumph increased measurably when I got it into the courtyard for proper inspection.
As it was a very hot and cloudless day I knew I could scrub it all over with dilute bleach in hot water as the sun would dry it before any damp damage might be caused.
I did just that; it cleaned up brilliantly. I even decided I could live with the 1940’s reupholstery for a while.
Then we sprayed it comprehensively with anti woodworm stuff. Our mantra is to spray everything wooden that comes into the house, new or old.
Trev began to show more interest as it emerged from tat to treasure. We noticed there were no screw fixings, not even covered ones. No visible nails. It had never ever been varnished and the patina was perfect.
It wasn’t repro. The newest the frame might be is early 19th century. I would stake my antique furniture knowledge on it being older.
It might be pear wood.
I love it