Friday 5 October 2012
L'Isle Sur la Sorgue - Market Day
This trip was in the works for a while. I have a magpie mind and when I spot something shiny (=curious, pretty, unusual) I store it away for future use. I can’t even tell you where I first heard that l’Isle Sur la Sorgue was the antiques capital of France, but when I looked it up and discovered that it is a paradise of friperies, ranging from the most expensive of carefully-provenanced antiques to the shabbiest of odds and ends, I knew that I had to go.
Sunday is market day when, along with the usual Provencal-style market, you can browse through stall after stall of bric a brac. Word of caution: the town, being pretty, picturesque and close to Peter Mayle territory, gets very full on Sundays so I’d advise going early if you want to park (or else try going in low season).
I towed the eldest adorable nephew through the market – he has inherited the magpie gene and was very taken with this bell,
but particularly with these clocks:
(Then he got bored and his father took him to the playground.)
I was enchanted by this row of enamel coffee pots (each one upwards of €100),
by the genuine vintage metal signs, by the posters, by the coffee grinders, by the antique table linens … in short, all of the things that are sold at VAST EXPENSE in shops all around the world trying to recreate the French shabby-chic look. While the items on sale at l’Isle Sur la Sorgue were not cheap (don’t go expecting bargains) they were at least sans mark up.
Off the main street are various vintage / antique shops and undercover markets. Again these cater to every purse.
I was very taken with the elephant on sale here,
But even more by this sweet display:
Around the corner I found the motherlode for every rusty metal table and chair you’ve ever seen outside a French-style (or ‘French’) café in any remote corner of the world.
I resisted all temptation until I came face to face with this:
1930s wooden tray, souvenir of Rio, inset with mother of pearl. I mean!!! It was mine for €20 which, all things considered, seemed pretty reasonable.