Thursday, August 13, 2009

La diva et la dentelle

Blogging can create amazing connections, can't it? Over the last few months an extradinary link has developed between France and California, springing from two posts I wrote about this mystery photo which I bought at a Vide Greniers in the spring.The lady above appears to be an amateur singer, who, one presumes, had taken part in a competition to sing 'Desclauzas pieces'. Marie Ernestine Desclauzas is the singer you can see below - she was an incredibly successful mezzo soprano who had many light opera roles written especially for her, and performed them both in France and the US.Unbeknownst to me, a charming lady named Shelley in California had her own Desclauzas mystery. A while after I'd written my posts, she found them (presumambly through Google) and emailed me with the following information: 'In 1954, my father purchased an art object (in Saigon) shaped like a baton. It was engraved in sterling silver with Madame Desclauzas' name and the words: Diane de Chateau Lansac, souvenier du 17 October 1880. I have lots of questions: Is there a chateau in Lansac with this name? Was the baton given as an award for a singing competition or event?'Well, I discovered that there is a chateau in one of the three French communes named Lansac (near Bordeaux, in a famous wine region, like the one where Shelley lives!). It was ruined by that date, so I really can't work out who Diane was, but it's another little clue in Shelley's quest.
As we continued to email each other with updates on our Lansac/Desclauzas/baton activities, Shelley mentioned that she had noticed I collect vintage lace, and would I like some? Would I like some??? What a kind offer!
I was delighted and very grateful to recieve this lovely parcel in the post from Shelley this week - what a kind and generous way to mark the link that we have made through Marie Desclauzas!
Some of this delicate crochet was made by Shelley's great aunt. It really is some of the finest that I have in my collection.
The Honiton Lace, above, is a lovely surprise. I grew up as a teenaged lace collector in Devon, which is the home county of Honiton lace (it was named after the Honiton coach, which used to take it up to London for sale). I'd love to know how it got to California!
This amazingly long curved piece was probably for a ruffled collar, do you think?
This one is probably French, I should think, but I need to learn more about this kind of lace.
Here's a colourful selection! What do you think the sweet piece with the cherries was for?
I can't quite work out how this would fit on a piece of clothing, but I imagine it somewhere on a little girl's dress - she would have loved it!
Here are two very fine cuffs, not totally unlike the cuff I have on my blog header.
And then Shelley added buttons (oh, she has read my blog carefully!). Look at the three little Mother of Pearl ones there...
And some vintage bling! What a lovely blue earring... I have also been thinking of buying some frogging to fasten some cushions, and balking at the cost, so now I have some! No excuse - got to make some more cushions now...
Here are two adorable French poodles. Look at the differences between how they've been made - I love the detail.
And did Shelley know that our black and white cat is named Chanel? These two pieces seem very appropriate...
So that's one of the sweetest blog connections that I have yet made - isn't the internet a wonderful way of getting to know people and sharing with them? Thanks so much, Shelley. Next question: British coffee cake has coffee in it, and American coffee cake has no coffee, because it's for eating WITH coffee. So, does Shelley's wonderful-looking wine cake have wine in it, or not?
Just a note about my mum, to whom I often direct my posts - she's in hospital for a few days, so I'm feeling a bit lost as a blogger! I am so glad to have all of you as friends, but if my posts seem to lack something at the moment the answer is that it's my mum. I hope she will be back at home soon, but meanwhile, I want to take an opportunity to thank all of you other readers for being such a great, vibrant, supportive community.


Shabby Chick said...

I hope your Mum is all better soon Floss.

That's a lovely collection of goodies, how nice to have made such a connection from afar. The cherry section might have been for a nightdress case perhaps?

Mel xxx

Michela said...

Hi Floss!I'm sorry to hear about your Mum, hope she will get better very soon!
How intriguing the story about that misterious lady! Les dentelles que tu a reçu sont très jolies! I'm very curious to see what you will make with them!

Elizabethd said...

What a wonderful connection, and an equally wonderful parcel!
I do hope your mum is well soon, it is a worry not being near, isnt it?

Cal said...

I hope your mum is better soon Floss.
What an amazing collection of lace and gifts and such an intriguing story. Will be interesting to see what you do with them.
Cal x

Ticking stripes said...

Hi Floss - hope our mum is better soon. What a gorgeous selection of goodies and an interesting tale.
Back to good uses for old t-shirts -I saw that one crafty blogger was chopping off the bottom couple of inches and inserting it inside the bottom of rather too short t-shirts to add a little extra length and give the impression of the layered look. Haven't tried it yet but its on The List!

Lululiz said...

It is indeed quite amazing how friendships can grow across thousands of miles. What a fabulous story this is, delving into history to find out about this mysterious lady in your photo and connecting with someone in California, delving into the same sort of slice of history. And what an incredibly generous person she turned out to be as well, those gifts are just wonderful.

If you speak to your mum, do pass on our best wishes for her, we all hope that she will get well real soon.

Maison Douce said...

Bst wishes for your mum!! Wow, isn't blogland incredible?!!! The connections you make are wonderful!! Great collection of lace!

MelMel said...

What an amazing connection...blogging is brill!
I really enjoyed your post today Floss, the lace is beautiful......
Hope your Mum recovers soon...

Thank you for the lovely comment...:>)xx

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Hope your Mum recovers soon.
What a nice gift you received.

jeannette stgermain said...

Interesting life you are leading, Floss! I am a Dutchman living in Los Angeles. Originally because of my studies, and I stayed.
Mostly because of my children, who've grown up and two of them have married here. Part of my mother's maiden name is St.Germain, which I took for my artist name, you know has definite French connections.
I love lace, but not to the point that I'm collecting it. the Honiton lace is beautiful! Glad I came over to your blog:) said...

Hello! Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog! I love your blog, it's wonderful! I have responded to your comment on my blog! Suzie. X

Sarah said...

Oh your poor Mum! I hope someone has brought her internet connection to the hospital. She would certainly perk up with all those delicious goods you have displayed for us.

Yes those cherries do look sweet don't they?! Love the cuffs especially though. Aren't they just georgous? You lucky girl getting such a lovely pressie.

Olga said...

Dear Floos, say hello to your mum and I hope she will be better soon. She is a real part of this blog and it is sad to see her ill and you sad because of that. Thank you so much for this post it is a true reflection of your great blogger spirit :) your story about getting to know Shelley is truly amazing - so much to learn from other people and the world again proves to be so small. I loved the black lace from your new collection, it looks amazing on the photo, and the pudles - wow, they seem to be really something out of ordinary! Thanks so much for the link of a tree artist :) I will definitely check out the blog!

French Knots said...

Hope your Mum is better and home soon.
What amazing treasures, such fine delicate lace.

Mami said...

Glad visiting my blog and comment. thanks.
You have lovely laces! pretty!!

And i hope your mother will get well and go home soonly.

Ele at abitofpinkheaven said...

Oh, how interesting and fun! The laces are GORGEOUS!!!