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Friday, October 26, 2012

Fabulous thrift shop finds or Flighty mails of the parlours*

Nothing seemed to go right one morning recently so I thought oh well, just go with the flow. 
I went to my favourite thrift shop and had a look at the picture frames because you never quite know what you might find.
And there was a lovely mounted but unframed print of Victorian fashions with a description in French. 
While I am not particularly into the Victorian era, it was pretty and looked a worthy addition to my rogues gallery so I splurged the 20 cent asking price and brought it home.
It depicts modes of the day from 1834 from a fashion magazine called Le Follet Courriers des Salons* which was effectively the Vogue magazine of that era. 
There are a number of this magazine's fashion plates for sale online on eBay and antiquarian book sites.
I've had time to examine it more closely now and I've realised it has been properly mounted and there is an inventory number on the mounting.
I suspect it may be an original hand coloured print from the magazine - the leaf itself is quite good paper and has been fixed to another backing. Of course it could be a recent print made to look old but why then the backing and an inventory number?
I've done some research online and it is the correct dimensions for an original. Do you own any antique prints? Can you give me any pointers? 
Either way it's rather lovely and I smile to think of some fashion conscious french woman (the only kind) almost 180 years ago devouring her latest magazine analysing the styles the way we have done ever since. 
*If you can provide a translation of the title I'd be grateful because online translators hilariously provided the following:
  • the goblin mail fairs
  • the flighty mails of the parlors. (Hence the title of this post.)

Neither of which seems at all helpful.  
Individual translation of the words came up with "will o' the wisp or passing", "mail or post" and "salon or parlour", leading me my own dubious translation as 'Passing fashions of the salon by mail'.  Perhaps Flighty mails of the Parlours isn't far off.


  1. Wow... incredible illustrations!
    I love the Victorian era and have some illustrations like that! I wish to find here a shop where I can buy some for a low price as well...

    Thanks for sharing!
    (I love your blog - is so inspiring....) :D

    1. Thanks Lelo. I was pretty lucky to find it! I love looking through thrift shops and flea markets. You never know what you might find. I'm glad you enjoy the posts.

  2. So I'm not quite sure about "follet" either - I wonder if it might be a surname? But my translation is:

    "The Sprite" Salon Post
    One may subscribe at the Sign of the Sprite, Boulevard St. Martin, number 61
    Gauze coiffure trimmed with a plume
    Gauze gown embroidered with gold material from Constantinople – Satin petticoat underneath

    1. Cassidy you darling! Yes I can well imagine that as the title. And thanks for translating the rest!
      I can imagine the ladies being all agog with material from Constantinople!
      According to Google Maps, 61 Boulevard St.Martin appears to be a large archway of some sort or perhaps it's the Pizza place adjacent to it. How fabulous! : ) I know! I am such a history geek! heheh

    2. And perhaps the archway is one of the many Napoleon threw up so that his army could march home beneath arches - “you will march home through arches of victory”. See? History geek!

  3. Well the price was right. Good find.
    Regards, Keith.

    1. Hi Keith,
      A bargain is always nice and but especially when it's an historical one!

  4. Great price for a lovely find!

  5. Two verry interesting dresses. Thank you for sharing with us.

    1. Thanks Audrey,
      Yes there is certainly a lot going on there with these dresses. I'm still wedded to the 18th century though. Can't get enough of it!