Friday, 20 August 2010

Stroll along the seashore with Sandra B.

Most of France remains on vacation for the duration of the month of August. It usually entails a mass exodus to the shores along the coastline. Of course Brittany receives a huge influx of vacationing visitors. Wouldn’t it be a welcome respite to join them....even momentarily?
So let’s use our imagination and step into the shoreline scene depicted on the large HB Quimper platter shown below.

Let’s stroll along the seashore together with the Breton sailors and feel the warm sand between our toes. The tidal waters of the bay lap against the shore and leave treasures for us to examine and explore. As we do so, we notice some seashells which have washed up along the beach. Could they be actually made of faience?
Of course! We are on an imaginary tour and as faience collectors, what else could they be made of, if not French pottery?

Along the tide line amidst the seaweed we first stoop to pick up a little nautilus shell.. It is spotted, speckled and sponged with the colors of the ocean. What an interesting form indeed. It is rare to find this Porquier species of seashell laying in the sand.

Walking along a little farther, we come upon a perfectly formed scallop shell. It is of the HR variety and seems to have a “pearl” peeking out from its’ opening. What a charming find!

As we wander along the shore, another HR shell captures our attention. We bend over inquisitively and pick up a periwinkle. Now this is a real rarity. A delight and a true treasure.... escargot for lunch anyone?

Next we notice a movement in the sand just up ahead. It draws our attention to a crab crawling into a Jules Verlingue shell. Surely the little crab is inquisitive and wishes to explore the depths of this Boulogne-sur-Mer marvel.

A larger shell draws us farther along the shore. This is a another lovely surprise as it is an unsigned AP wall piece designed perhaps to hold pipes or even toothbrushes! It has washed ashore from Neptune’s bounty and landed right here for us to see. Many ship wrecks dot the Atlantic coastline and hence a panoply of interesting items can wash up along the beach.

Perhaps from the same doomed ship, we next see a door push plate with double seashells at the top and bottom. This must have been from a cabin door of a cruise ship, as it is so elegantly painted by HR Quimper.

The sun is beginning to set, as we head back home. Yet, as we turn to leave, we spy two black glazed plates by the artist, Guy Trevoux.
Would that we could find more of this dinner set embodying the treasures of the Breton shoreline.

It has been a wonderful afternoon’s stroll along a beach in Brittany. Now it’s time to return “chez nous”.
What seashell treasures can be found in your collection?


  1. You have transported me to the beaches there in Brittany Sandra! How I'd love to be there in reality, but this is the next best thing. Some lovely pieces too, from your collection.

    Keep up the good work, we enjoy your posts!

  2. Sandra, I so enjoyed the walk along the beach. I love sand between my toes and picking up shells along the way. Thanks for a delightful stroll. Great job! ~ Sarah

  3. Sandra, I love the way you wove your "shells" into the story! Each piece is splendid in its own way and the Verlingue with the little crab is so appealing! Love that stylized AP piece, too. The door plate reminds me that I have a set of Quimper doorknobs..hmmm.
    Thank you for another fascinating and lovely blog!