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.
6 hours ago