Vichy, Please !
One of the things that I love about Brimfield is seeing old friends, many of whom started out
as, and remain, favorite dealers. A Wednesday treat is seeing Jackie Lantry of Bliss Farm
Antiques who sets up in the third pavilion in the New England Motel field. Although mainly
a purveyor of wonderful French antiques, which she shops for right at the source, it was the
German grain sacks that pulled me into her booth the very first time.
This time, she brought a fabulous collection of diminutive straw baskets (above), each
containing a glass to hold the health-giving Vichy water that, since 50BC has been luring
those seeking to “take the cure” to Vichy, France. The backdrop in these photos is of old
French linen-bound books and French linen cloches, more of the treasures that went
straight from Jackie’s booth to my truck. Not shown here is the lovely daybed, one of many
special pieces of furniture I have been lucky enough to snag from this friendly and fun
dealer over the years.
I had a few little straw things of my own (above), the Vichy basket on the right a previous
purchase from Jackie.
Because she loves history and loves what she sells, Jackie is among that vanishing breed
of dealers who really knows what she sells and, even better, has the gift of telling the
stories in such a compelling manner that, in spite of heat and other many distractions, I
remember them later! The baskets (above) in the photo on the left, with the tops that
slide open on their leather straps, are better, have more value, than the ones on the right
with the hooks. But, in the photo on the right, the cork lining in the open basket on the
left, makes it the best of that bunch.
Blown glasses are best. Colored glass is better than clear. An etched Vichy label (above)
is better than one painted on (below). The numbers on the back side (photo above, on
the left) would allow just the right amount of water to be consumed according to a
Victorian doctor’s orders.
I am certainly willing to overlook this clear, painted-labelled glasses’ lesser value in favor
of the charm of its cute little handle!
My collection is beginning to be quite abundant, thanks to Jackie’s French sojourns. But,
maybe just sitting here looking isn’t enough. Maybe I should be asking Jackie to bring back
a case of that Vichy Water on her next trip to France. Taking the cure might be just the
thing for breezing through the crazy heat and humidity of Brimfield in July.
–If you feel the need to take the cure, the antique cure that is, it won’t be necessary to
go all the way to France. Take a quick, easy trip to www.blissfarmantiques.com instead.