Designs from the Past

Designs on paper from the 1920's
Designs on paper from the 1920’s
Design with bird and decorative border
Design with bird and decorative border

Design with bird and decorative border

The designs shown are from the five that I bought at the St. Ouen Flea Market in Paris in May. This flea market is reported to be the world’s largest antique market at fifteen acres in size! I always gravitate towards books and paper antiques – I just can’t help myself. I was in heaven…

The St. Ouen Flea Market contains a huge area that has posters, books of every age and title, prints, and anything else you can think of that is made of paper. These caught my eye because they 1. were easy to carry, 2. relatively inexpensive 3. and they combined my love of design and paper antiques. What more could I ask for?

The patterns here were hand drawn on a heavy tracing paper. The designers used pencil and pen and wrote detailed notes about the colours that should be used in the designs.

Did I mention they were written in French? It’s a good thing I can read them!

These images only show a portion of the whole design. They are a good size and I can readily imagine how I might use them. Can you imagine them as a painted wall design using glazes and brilliant colours that flow into each other?

One of the designs (not shown) is for a picture frame. That design is probably earlier C1910 as I sold many frames with the same Art Nouveau shapes when I had my antique store. I can also see them as being fabulous patterns for beaded purses.

And of course, painted furniture! Now you can see why I bought them!

3 thoughts on “Designs from the Past

  1. Hi Johanne!
    I enjoy your e-newsletters and I think I will enjoy the blog as well. As far as huge antiques/flea markets go there is a huge one in Maine as well, “Brimfield”. I’ve never been lucky enough to go myself (at least not yet!) but from what I’ve read it must rival the St. Ouen market for size. It has been covered in “Victorian Homes” magazine once or twice.

    Happy Aniques Hunting!


    1. Vivian: I will definitely keep that in mind. I enjoy travelling in the US. I will be posting some photos of my recent trip to Ontario – antique country! I bought an old metal dog (I am a sucker for dogs) that I had to have shipped home because the proprietor thought I might not be allowed to take the dog on the plane – the tail might be considered a weapon! Sometimes, although I understand the reasons, I feel that these security issues are getting a bit silly. Oh well…

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