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06 December 2007


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What moved me most about this post was 'Return item without value' and the intense look of the little boy. I am intrigued by the story behind this...(the cloth envelope is beautiful).

How beautiful Corey. I can only assume that you rescued him from his confines and took him home.Does the envelope reveal a date in the postmark? Does he not look so darling in his little beret.

This is just lovely and he is very sweet but I have two other takes on it.

I thought Echantillon meant "Sample". If the postal system was like it is now one must pay insurance on valuable things. This looks like art and art is considered priceless and irreplaceable and thus the value is set at zero. Or sometimes people will simply undervalue something so that they don't have to pay the fee. Funny how we do that.

My other theory is that M. Andre Gasquet is a framer and the lovely frame/mat is a sample which he is sending to M. Vincent in hope that he will buy some. I would be so curious to walk down to 31 Rue de la Republique to see what is there now.

Thanks for giving me a good morning daydream.

Hi Ellen

Yes, it is a returned sample. I will correct my translation.

What a beautiful little boy, and from the look in his eyes, what a story he has to tell.

This photo is so intriguing...

What a find. He has a very serious look about him....and the beret is charming ;)

The look in his eyes makes me very sad.

What a sad, forlorn look he has.

Ohhhhh! My heart sank for a moment. I am intrigued about the story behind it as well...but I wonder...was it a test print of the photo...so that it is why it was a sample???(I am trying to cut the photograph some slack!). But the child does have a sad look....

I think the most important thing about this is why the envelope was never opened.

I think having one's photo taken at that time was a big deal. We rarely see people smiling or relaxed. He seems to be willing the photographer to be done, so he can get back to his friends and play..!
Hi S

....That is true. Looking at the photo like that gives it a different edge. I like that.

"The things left unsaid speak the loudest... when held within."

"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." ~Luke 2:19

Yes, Corey... yes.

How very sweet and special
Love you

His expression is worth a thousand words. I would say the envelope indeed held value! =)

My little tale for you, Corey:

Little orphaned boy. His photo being sent to distant relatives went undelivered one hundred years ago. The boy turned into a man, with many secrets, and passed from this earth. His silenced voice still wanting to be heard, found his way into Corey's hands. With guilt, she opened the envelope, and the boy was finally free, finding his way into Corey's heart, no longer an orphan contained within an envelope.

Wouldn't it be a wonderful detective story to track down this boy's identity?

Everything has value. And this child was/is priceless. As are you.

Corey, thanks for your most recent visit to comment at my blog. Your words meant a great deal to me. I'll be setting up shop this weekend. I simply could not ignore your sound advice........smooches. If I could send you thanks it would be a big bag of chocolate chips and tortillas !!

I adore this story! It inspires me to sew-up a gorgeous envelope with secret contents and send it out into the world to be opened by someone who needs an unexpected blessing!

his sad eyes make me want to reach across the years & hug him!

Wonder the story of the life of this boy.
Hope your season is joyful so far Corie.


I can't believe you opened it. I would have never done that ..You know it
But great you did it . it was worth it

You actually opened it!What secret lies within the contents of this mysterious unopened envelope....what is in store for you now that you have broken the seal and saw his face!!! I would sleep with the light on for some time now!

Each day is a blessing, and one of the most difficult things to remember is to never take TODAY for granted... Perhaps he is reminding us of the fragility of life? You are the perfect soul to embrace his value!

I'm afraid that I must have a very practical mind, but I must agree with one of the comments above - smiling just *wasn't* the done thing in photography until after WWII - look at any old photographs and people are positively glowering, if not looking downright miserable. But that's just the way of it. The fashion today is to smile, that's all.

But nevertheless, what a fabulous find! I would have hesitated so long before opening the envelope, but I'm glad you did.

Can you gather whether the frame is the sample or the photograph?

100 years ago... he is completely anonymous and long dead. Strange how we can just disappear like that, although of course he didn't just disappear from his own world (probably has hordes of grandchildren living all over France), just ours.

i am breathless and speechless. what a treasure to uncover.

a wondrous find...cloth envelope with sewn label...how fun that sounds...blessings, rebecca

How special Corey!!

The envelope and the lettering on it are so beautiful and refined. I love the look of it. And the boy's photo in that beautiful frame are so intriguing. This looks like it could be the beginning of a movie... or perhaps a book. I think it would be a fantastic story to find out about the person who addressed that envelope with such beautiful handwriting and who the boy was and who he became. Maybe it is just a sample of the picture frame or it could be more. It's wonderful and kind of sad but also inspiring. Thanks!

your post about this little adventure is very moving... so much mystery, and loveliness about it...

One could only imagine the story behind this photo.
No value indeed, at least not the monetary kind. An absolute treasure I'd say.
I love the lay out for the photo of the photo. You add such a *kiss* to all you do.

Oh! My fabric senses are tingling...
The little boy looks familiar. I want to hold him and hug him!

Wow! These are the kinds of things you find at French flea markets! I want to live there too! :)

I did a bit of "googling" and here's what I found so far.
The Chateau de Pinet near Reillanne was this letter's destination. On the chateau website, http://chateau.pinet.free.fr/index.html which is now a "gite," is the contact: Anne de Salve, which matches the name (I think they go back to French royalty). There's a phone#, so who's calling? Double-dog dare. Maybe they'll be able to make some sense of this picture - I'm sure they won't mind that you opened it ;)

Greetings Corey!

Oh this is so hauntingly beautiful..and your words echo through this picture and are in this boy's eyes.

Be still my heart! What a wonderful find! You know, Corey, I think you I are being inspired by similar finds these days. We're traveling the same wave length an ocean away from one another. You see, I'm signing up for my silkscreen printing class again in the New Year and the image of old vintage envelopes is one that I'm hoping to silkscreen onto fabric. Hmmmm...maybe you are telepathic?

PS - I'd love it if you were my neighbor, too. Wait a sec - I'd rather be living in the South of France so I'll rephrase that: I'd love to be your neighbor, too! ;p

So beautiful Corey!

So beautiful Corey!

Hi Corey! What a fabulous find! The little boy is almost haunting don't you think? This is the kind of thing that really sparks my imagination. Who was this little boy? What is his story? I love the detail work on the frame as well. Another great post!

Oh Corey, your blog is always so delicious; I love stopping by.

Thank you for such kind words at my blog; you are such a class act!

blessings to you and yours,

Beautiful brown eyed boy with a story to tell. I don't think he looks sad. I see a smirk just begging to be let loose. Is that the same as seeing the glass half full?

It's a lovely photo and a beautiful frame -- maybe it was preserved better by being in its envelope? Such a cute little boy -- wonder who he turned out to be?

He looks actually relieved to me to see who the person was who was brave enough to ignore what was written on the sealed up envelope that held him trapped for so long...and he also holds a question in those eyes as to what happens next!

Hi Corey,
Hooray for you, the brave one who dared to open the envelope and free the sweet child within.

How could that photo with those soulful eyes be marked as 'without value' - that sample was probably once worth the world somebody. I'm so glad you found him, and gave him a place and value again...

You were brave opening that letter. I'm not sure I would have been able to. The photo has me well and truly intrigued - I can't decide whether he looks like he's about to burst into tears, or if he's fearful. I suppose we'll never know. What a find!

What a wonderful find! And how exciting to be the one who opened the envelope after so many years!

He looks so grave , maybe he didn't like to have to sit still to have his photo taken ( and he had to wear the béret !) or maybe something in his life gave him this profound and serious look . The frame is wonderful -is it paper ?- does it have any name on it . Any kind of information ? Such a moving portrait ....

such a beautiful post

thinking of the things left unsaid...

sample without value...

the eyes speaking volumes...

a package left unopened...

pondering the mystery...

what this might say

to each of us

many stories,



like a diamond

and now its value to so many...


xox - eb.

I am completely intrigued by that cloth envelope. But I don't think I would be brave enough to open it up. My mom made me way too supersticious! :)


Oh my goodness Corey, you have no idea. Today I received an e-mail from a lost love. That story didn't end well. Not at all. Just reading his name again literally knocked the wind out of me, confirmation that I had not healed. I found myself frozen in the moment trying to decide whether or not to reply. I needed a distraction from this decision, if only for a few minutes so I decided to catch up on your blog. Your blog feels like a warm hug to me and I really needed a hug right then. It occured to me to ask for a sign that would point me in the right direction and your posting gave it to me. You wrote "the things left unsaid speak the loudest...when held within". Thank you for your words. I won't be writing him back.
P.S. Unfortunately, he was my lost French love from Normandy.


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