It all started with this painting of the Eiffel Tower. A Japanese artist tourist had painted it along with a whole portfolio of Paris scenes in a kind of sumi-e (ink brush painting) meets watercolors style. It was the first of many items on an unofficial “French Day” at the Oedo Antiques Fair at the International Forum in Yurakacho. A big trend I have been noticing at the markets, but most particularly at Oedo, is the influx of Western antiques, most particularly French or French style, and a distinct style of displaying, even curating them. Unlike the regular flea market jumble you usually get, wares are set up neatly on a blanket or table and sometimes styled even further with props that are not actually for sale. This European shabby chic aesthetic is immensely popular here and for those of us who love a global mix, it is fun to have a change up from the usual Japanese items. Oedo is about 50% non-Japanese these days and that area seems to be growing.
We saw lace, thread spools and buttons.
Vintage enamel ware, canisters and luggage.
Pewter, grainsack hemp and antlers.
Lace, buttons in a hatbox and ephemera.
White faience (better known as ironstone in English).
Herbiers and boots.
The Alexander Platz booth had more of a German bent and no, that vintage mannequin was NOT for sale!
Botanicals, German candy molds and vintage teddy bears.
There were stacks of French textiles too.
We spied an antique red toile curtain under dishes and some cool accordion sconces. Turns out there were two – making a pair – and the dealer (who lives in Belgium but travels to the French markets regularly) seems to have misplaced a zero on the price. While many of the European antiques can be overpriced, these were an utter bargain. Antique toiles are normally so pricey! In a moment, my friend had reimagined her yet to be purchased Maine cottage to include these as a core of the design plan.
They are trimmed out with the prettiest ruffle and have a charming seersucker lining. I am still wondering if the dealer got his English numbers confused, but he happily took the bills she handed him!
Faded red toile always reminds me of the amazing Penelope Bianchi‘s California bedroom, with its 18th century toile coverlet…
…and ottoman across the room. I really need to add this one to my post on favorite pink bedrooms.
And my own purchases this weekend? Well I scored the mommy mirror to the baby version I found here.
And right before the CWAJ Print Show closed Sunday night I went back for WATANABE Kanako’s amazing print. I had been dreaming about it all weekend which finally meant I had to have it. No idea where it will hang, but the mysterious Alice/Red Riding Hood figure caught me and would not let go!
I am always a sucker for an atmospheric woodcut.