Friday, September 26, 2014

Haute Couture Atelier Treasures

After reading Haute Couture Ateliers I was inspired to dig out several beautiful things I've found over the years that look like they could have come out of the Craft Ateliers of Paris, France!

I just found this incredible Chinoiserie Sewing Box last week at a vintage sale.

 I picked it up first thing upon entering the sale and carried it under my arm for at least half and hour before I found a spot where I could set my things down and inspect it.

Imagine my surprise when I opened it up and saw a jumbled up version of this!

As I was contemplating the contents I looked up to see a very tall woman staring down at me.

 I asked her if I was in her way and she responded, "no, I'm just watching you."

A few minutes later she reached down and picked up one of the small bone accessories and held it up to her eye.

She eventually told me what it was and that it was supposed to be screwed into the umbrella piece,

 which turned out to be an antique bone needle case.

The extraordinary part is the teeny pinhole in the umbrella handle which is called a stanhope or optical bijou.

When it is held up to the light, you can see several images of Paris!

Amazing discoveries like these fuel my thirst for treasure hunting!!!

I think I found something pretty special and am thinking of getting it restored as many of the intricate bone accessories are damaged and not in their proper places.

Check out this yardstick!

 I don't know about you but I've never seen a curved one before.

It's for a tailor or dressmaker and I love how its owner identified it as belonging to them!

I bought this beautiful pair of suspenders several years ago at another vintage sale.

The incredible workmanship seduced me and I wanted to bring it home and just stare at it!

The provenance couldn't be more perfect!

I wanted to be its caretaker.

I rarely get to see things of this quality and I felt blessed that it landed in my hands!

I go to an amazing tailor in Berkeley who loves it when I bring in my textile finds to share with him. Someone of his talents can really appreciate this art form.

Several years ago I scored a cache of old ribbons to add to my growing collection.

Now I ask you... who can resist ribbon


Vintage tuxedo buttons? 

And, what about feathers?

I saved the BEST for last!

Some of you might remember the post I did when I scored this fabulous beaded cape that once belonged to the infamous Angelina Alioto.


 I personally could never wear anything like this, I just want to treasure it and take care of it!

Like I said, I'm a lover of beauty!
How about you?


Karena said...

Terri I did not even realize the size of that glorious box until you showed the curved ruler. Amazing little umbrella pinholder with images to view!

Now I would wear the Alioto cape if there was an occasion that called for it....after all it should be seen!

The Arts by Karena

Jill S. said...

Hi dear a find. I especially found interesting the umbrella and what you were able to tell us about its use. I love all things French and often order pieces from a friend's brocante which is part of her blog. I find myself wondering if you have any of the fabric pieces displayed for you have some beauties. It is such fun to pretend one is in a French atelier so, I thank you for sharing...Jill xx

Sarah said...

Oh, my did my heart skip a beat at the sight of your wonderful sewing box. For many years I searched out sewing items at the markets. Needle cases, scissors, buttons, etc. were my main interest. I have a bone or ivory fish shaped needle case, though the stanhope photos are missing. Thank you for sharing this fabulous sewing box and its contents.

helen tilston said...

Hello Terri

The sewing box is a treasure and lucky the tall woman was there to explain the sculptural pieces. I would not have known. I collected antique knitting items and knitting patterns but now just have a small collection. We moved and downsized and I parted with many items.

French said...

Terri, you find the best and most interesting stuff!!! Can't wait to see you in a few weeks! xxoo A

La Dolfina said...

When you come visit I insist you wear the cape!!!!!

La Dolfina said...

What a lovely surprise to see this comment from you here!
Bravo my friend!!!
So happy to be back in contact with you:)
Much love,

La Dolfina said...

Oh Sarah how I wish you could see it in person!
Someone like you could fully appreciate it!
Please share your sewing collection with us!!!

La Dolfina said...

Helen you are so right!
At first she intimidated me but she eventually warmed up and shared her knowledge with me after she realized that I was going to buy it.
Please share your knitting treasures!!

La Dolfina said...

Oh Andrea, and what about you my friend!!!!
Chris and I have been devouring your recent blog posts and getting so excited about your soirée.
We are in total agreement with your friends about you blogging more often. It is just cruel if you don't!