Two hundred year old French plates. You would think they would be hard to come by. Though they are everywhere I look. I usually glance at them and walk by. I hear myself saying, "Weird patterns. I prefer white. If I bought them to sell they would be a pain to wrap and send by mail... If I bought them to keep, oh what am I thinking I do not need plates." End of thought.
Yesterday for some unknown reason I stopped. Turned one over, really gave it a good look. The stories unrolled full and delicious: a meal prepared for a dinner in an old country house where the guests came in happy, hungry and relaxed after a long day...
History spoke, "This is a delicate piece, a traditional family piece, it has survived." Reason chimed in, "Yes but plates like this are plentiful, and nowadays who hand washes dishes, dishwashers don't like old things?"
"I hand wash dishes." I do. I do not own a dishwasher because I like washing dishes.
In the shadow of brocanting memory I heard, "One day these won't be plentiful. One day you won't find them as often as you do now. These plates are French history, culture, home, memories... they speak of families, everyday life."
That made me think of all the things I have seen, and thought were plentiful and now I can hardly find them. Things that I loved seeing, but didn't want to own.
History slips away
if you don't hold it true
giving it a place of value.
Like memories they need to be held.
Crackled, chipped, worn that is often how they are. Rarely perfect. Well perfect comes in various packages doesn't it.
I thought about giving the dishes away that I have that are not at least a hundred years old and start buying some of these... but most of my dishes are at least a hundred years old.
As I put the plates back on the shelves I thought how they were picked up, placed down over and over again, generations of meals, days in and out of being taken from the cupboard, put on the table, picked up to be washed then dried, then placed back in the cupboard until dinner. Plates as most household tableware have been lovingly handled daily for years.
Now they are shoved here and there from brocante to brocante waiting to be loved. Well sort of.
If I had wall space I could hang some more...
Oh how the brocante haunts, teases, plays with my sensitivities. No wonder I have a half empty clothes closet... clothes I can admire and walk on by. But the brocante it is hard to resist.
Do you need plates?
I left them.
My real brocante weakness if I had to limit it to a few would be paper, textiles, ephemera from the 1800s and older.
What is yours?