I didn’t come away from the Vente aux Encheres Publiques (public auction) in Pamiers with what I intended, but the car boot was fairly laden nonetheless. The bidding rose furiously on the lit de coin (corner bed) reaching 250 euros, no doubt still a bargain but more than my budget. I bid 1 euro (!) for an ostentatious soupier, 5 euros for the range of coloured glass and 15 euros for the prints in the pastiche frames.
Best of all, the old luggage (5 euros) was very heavy when picked up and was I discovered, stuffed full of old French linens, some of which are the coveted monogrammed sheets, lots of bolster pillow covers in candy striped colours, and baby clothes and pram sets which are just delightful.
It’s a delicate process restoring the old linens which are often discoloured and stained from many years in musty attics. Who knows how long our cases had been lying somewhere with their hidden bounty. I am loving my foray into buying antiques in France. If you want to pick up lovely old French linens at bargain basement prices, then come and stay in our lovely 18th century holiday cottage or bed and breakfast in the south of France on a weekend that co-incides with the auction – and bring an empty suitcase with you.