Thank goodness the sun decided to put in an appearance for my first French flea market of the New Year! We have had nothing but rain for the last two months, and lots of proposed flea markets have been cancelled due to the parks and fields being waterlogged.
So, it was with great anticipation that I set off nice and early to the village of Villeperdue with its lovely Chateau de Boisbonnard. When translated the village has the strange name of ‘Lost Village’, however its origins arise from its Latin name of Villa Perdita - meaning ‘tucked away’ or ‘hidden.’
The private Chateau de Boisbonnard was built between the 16th and 17th centuries - you can just see it peeking out from behind the towers on the left on my photo.
The two towers and the medieval moat are eleventh century, and they are all that remains of the fortress that once stood on here. In 1994 when the moat was being cleaned an oak door was discovered under the water level, this was found to be the entrance to a tunnel between the chateau and the village church - probably for a quick escape in times of trouble, or more romantically,
as I like to think, maybe used by the Mademoiselles to meet their secret lovers!
The water was really high on my visit, so no sign of the secret door!
I parked by the Chateau - I love the anticipation when I park and then head off in the direction of the hustle and bustle. I didn’t know what treasures I would find, and I started to panic a little as despite my early arrival there were people already leaving with baskets and bags stuffed with treasures... so I quickened my pace!
I needn’t have worried as my first stop was at lots of wooden crates covering the grass; wooden crates usually indicate a house clearance as the ‘regular’ stallholders have a more ‘sophisticated’ set-up with at least a table! The crates are the best places to find the best treasures, as nothing is sorted and delicate china dolls can be nestled next to old wood working tools or bundles of fabric...
... and so my first treasures of the year were two wonderful sconces. They were identical which is always a bonus, and wonderfully heavy.
They have lovely intricate details - a bound rope effect holding the arms in place and two fantastic
ribbon bows – so unique!
My next find, and in a surprisingly clean condition seeing as they were nestled in with an odd array of dusty electrical switches, was this batch of fabulous bonbon sacs!
Made from greaseproof paper and with ‘Bonbons Fins’ printed in a lovely blue scroll - I couldn’t leave them behind!
It’s finds like these that make hunting for French treasures so rewarding – although only simple paper sacs, they hold so much history, they were probably sat in a local village sweet shop waiting to be filled with wonderful chocolate truffles or delicate minty Bêtises de Cambrai – just sublime...and so they are now ‘winging’ there way to New Zealand to their new life with a friend who collects anything and everything that is French and made from paper!