Sunday, August 08, 2010

The French Type

After digging through countless brocantes, vide greniers and antique shops here in France, I've found plenty of linen sheets, old mother of pearl rosaries and boxes of buttons. I've bought way too many rolls of ribbon, hemp convent nighties and embroidery books from the turn of the century. But still.....we continued to stop at each and every flea market we ran across - never knowing what we would find next. When we arrived in Toulouse this week, I was still in search of the piece de resistance - the one item I didn't even know I was looking for. Something that would bring me inspiration and joy just by the mere sight of it. I think I found it: Lettres Peintres - an old typography book printed in 1902, full color, with 38 plates of different French type. What is it about French type that makes me think the French might have created the art of type? Beautiful, rich colored letters and numbers - filled with artistic swirls and shadows - I can almost see the brasseries signs in Paris painted with these letters.Sofia and I tried to bargain - the dealer wanted 50 euros - we offered 40. He shook his head and said no - you will never see a book like this again. And so I ran to the bank for more euros and happily handed him what he had originally asked for - something I rarely do at the brocantes. I carefully brought the 14x12 book back to the Hotel Albert and studied each sheet of letters. After Molly and I had counted and recounted the plates, and photographed each one, we agreed - we would never see a book like this again. I can leave France happy - I've found it!

8 comments:

Rachel said...

Now THAT is an AMAZING find!!

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

Fabulous old French type! What a wonderful find....
...you just never know what you will find...and that is the fun of all of this! :)

Mary C said...

very interesting find and it really hit home for me because recently I started accumulating fabric with text and/or numbers in it to make a quilt that showcases the text. I ordered some charm packs of French General fabric to see which of them I'd like to include in this project. maybe you'll design fabric with text. Hope to hear more about the book . . .

Janet said...

What treasures you have found! And the woad dying workshops sound like heaven too.
The joy of the hunt for your treasures really appeals as I too search for things like you describe and then pass them on to others.

Fiona said...

Just gorgeous you lucky thing.....

Dominique said...

Can't wait to see what you do with this!

Stacy/Creativemuse said...

HOw wonderful! I love old books and print work partly because of thier great flourish and detail.
Great buy!
warmly
Stacy~Creativemuse

Mike said...

I'm a huge fan of art that uses numbers. It's just a nice change from either art with words or art with colors.