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Monday, February 21, 2011


Apparently, my fireplace mantel is prime real estate!  Last month, there were those lovey-dovey Valentine people living on my mantel.
full mntl
This week, the French villagers have taken over my mantel (as you may have already noticed in my header).
full fplc
Some of you may remember when my husband bought me the fisherman and old woman Santons at an estate sale.
Santons were originally used in nativity scenes in Italy and in France.  Village people, depicting various occupations, surrounded baby Jesus.
This is the fisherman my husband bought me for our wedding anniversary.
His mate is my idol.  Since she doesn’t depict any occupation, I assume she is a “stay-at-home” grandmother, and that is what I aspire to be! 
Santons are probably primarily sold to tourists these days.  Since I can’t take a trip to France, I buy other people’s souvenirs when I go to estate sales!  This past weekend, I was so excited to find three more Santons at an estate sale. They are just a little smaller than the two I already had, and I have no idea about the quality or the maker, but these were not nearly as expensive as the two my husband bought me.  I assume this next Santon makes jugs for a living.
jug maker
His wife, is carrying a rouet, which was used for spinning.
Apparently, this next Santon is a single man.  So, if you are in the market for a basket maker, I’ve got just the man for you.  These Santons were marked $15.00 each, but when I asked, the sales person said she’d take $30.00 for all three of them.  I’m not sure if that is a bargain or not, but it sure is less than my first two.   If you think you are seeing dust on these Santons, you better clean your computer screen!  (They did not charge me any extra for the dust that came with them!)
bskt mkr
To balance the mantel, since the basket weaver had no wife, a shepherdess (purchased at an estate sale years ago for $10) along with her dogs (purchased at a flea market years ago for $2.00) moved in under a cloche.
Y’all know how I love for all nations to live happily together in my home.  The decorative plate in the center of the mantel was also a purchase from an estate sale this weekend.  I suspect that the children on this plate are American.  Other than numbers, the only thing on the back of the plate is the word “Wedgwood”.  In researching, I did find that Wedgwood made some souvenir type plates of American life, but I couldn’t find an example like this one.  This plate  may not even be very old, but it loudly yelled my name more than one time, and it was almost as loud as my box of Valentine candy.  When I first picked it up, I KNEW that, no matter how loudly it called my name, I was NOT paying their asking price.  After going back to pick it up a third time, the sales person asked me if I wanted to make an offer on it.  I told her that my offer might be insulting, because I’ve never bought a single plate that cost even half of what they had this plate marked!  She said, if you are willing to pay half of what it is marked, you can have it!  I paid $40.00 for this plate, which was probably waaaay too much (I know it was too much for my budget), but it just wouldn’t quit calling my name, and I do Red heart it.
plate midl
A doll-sized French Quimper plate rests in the middle of each of my ivy wreaths on each end of the mantel.
doll plates Some of my Mother’s old books are stacked among the villagers on my mantel.
So, here they are – the French villagers all settled in.  I think they look pretty comfortable in their new surroundings.  I may let them stay for awhile.
I will be linking to Table Top Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life,
I’ve never done a post that would Wow anybody, but I’m linking to Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style, and I hope someone will be wowed by the fact that I have a village living on my mantel!

and I hope I remember to link this post to these Friday parties too:
Junkin Finds Friday at A La Carte,
Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground,
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage, and
French Obsession Party at Le Chateau Des Fleurs by Frenchy.


Thank you for visiting my little blog.  laurie


Terra said...

Laurie, you have created a fabulous mantel display, and I learned a bit about Santons. Thank you.

Karen said...

I love your mantel and all of your figurines.
The old books... you have "Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch". Somehow our old copy from when I was growing up was thrown out. I read that book when I was about 10 or so. I loved it. Then I skimmed over it as an adult and was surprised at some of the story. I hope you hang on to that book!
Take care.

Ladybug Creek

Jewel Sauls said...

It may have been more than you wanted to pay, but that plate is wonderful! Absolutely love it! AND it plays well with all the French villagers, so I think you were meant to have it!

xinex said...

Oh Laurie, I love your matel! You decorated it so nicely and very interestingly. So much to see and enjoy. Love the Santons. What is the material made out of? The plate is one of a kind. It's really fantastic!....Christine

Diann said...

Hi Laurie!
Your mantel is just wonderful! All those pretty figures and the plates are just so fun to see. What a fantatic collection you have!

Unknown said...

I think you got a great deal on that plate! It is gorgeous! Your whole mantel looks wonderful! :)


Linda @ A La Carte said...

Laurie I must say this is a very interesting mantel you have created. Love the Santons and the stories. Thanks for joining JFF this week. hugs, Linda

Slice of Pie said...

Love the way that looks! The combination is great. Thanks for sharing.

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Ooooh, Laurie! You know I love this post! I LOVE your santons! I have only found a few around here at a very high price and in bad shape. I have a set of clay nativity santons, but would love to have the larger ones! I am drooling!!! You are such a lucky duck! Happy week!...hugs...Debbie

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

You just have the neatest things. I have never seen Santos least, I didn't know them if I saw them.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Very Pretty - You did good! Dust ? What dust !?! I hope no one looks to close at my pictures ! :D

Pamela said...

So lovely and since I am a lover of old books I was delighted to see Mrs. Wiggs up there. :-) Love the Santons. I don't need another collection but they do grab a person's heart, don't they?

Sarah said...

Laurie, your Santons are wonderful, and the vignette on the mantel is charming. You know I'm enjoying this Frenchy post! ~ Sarah

Debbie said...

Once again, I just love your mantel. You find some of the best and most interesting things to put on there. I love the French characters (Santons??) I had never heard of such a thing and the detail on them is amazing! I can't believe you paid too much. I think you got a bargain.

And that plate that was calling your name is GORGEOUS. I'm glad you listened to the call.

I'm going to start listening for Debbbie... Debbie... at the antique mall.

Wait. Never mind. That would scare me.

Debra@CommonGround said...

Laurie, your little French people are just wonderful! Your mantle is so amazing! I so love French country. So glad you're linking up to Vintage Inspiration Friday.
big hugs,

vignette design said...

I've always loved Santons Laurie and yours are wonderful with their Proven├žal clothing. I have a couple of large ones from Pierre Deux that aren't really authentic like yours. Love how you arranged it all with your Mom's old books (Little Men!) and those ivy topiaries in the silver ice buckets. You are so creative and I love seeing what you are going to pull together next from your collections! ~Delores

Prior said...

I love your mantel with the valentine's and now with the little folks, they remind me of sculpy people my moma used to make. Lezlee

Entertaining Women said...

I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Santon Dolls. You've created a wonderful vignette for your mantle, and I agree, that it should stay awhile. Thank you for sharing your charming design. Cherry Kay

Anonymous said...

Your French Villager mantel is fantabulous, Laurie!

Susie @ Step inside my home said...

Hi Laurie,
I love your French Mantle, it is gorgeous! The Santon's add such a special touch! ~ Susie

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh Laurie, your french people are just exquisite. I loved looking at them. The old books and the topiaries, everything is just wonderful. Love it. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

KimMalk said...

Hi Laurie, you're French people are so full of life. What a fun display you've created. Even if you overpaid for the plate, the colors are magnificent. Blessings, Kim

Unknown said...

What a totaly different look. Amazing that the same mantle can be transformed into a whole new look. I love it. I too, have learned about I thank you for the lesson.
Have a wonderful week Laurie,

lvroftiques said...

Laurie they're all wonderful!! What amazing deals on the santons! And the Wedgwood plate is fab too! I think worth the cashola *winks* Your mantel looks amazing as always! Vanna

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Laurie, those are great. Love your mantel. You have such wonderful collections. Thanks for joining WUW

Pam @ Our Adventures in Home Improvement said...

Hi Laurie,

I love your mantel! You are so talented. And that new plate is beautiful and probably worth way more than $40!

I used to follow you on RMS and just found your blog. I started blogging last month, so am definitely still learning the ropes!

Have a great day.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Laurie, I love your Frenchie mantel and the Santons. You did get a good deal on these. Recently I was in an antique shop and they had three for $125.

Olive said...

They have a lot of character. I passed up two recently at moving sale due to price...maybe I should have got them. The mantle is charming Laurie.

Donnie said...

Everything is so lovely and those Santos are very interesting.

Christie said...

Your mantel is lovely...and your figurines are so unique...everything looks beautiful. I have never seen anything like these before....I like that stay at home grandma one the best :)
Big hugs,

Savannah Granny said...

Laurie, I love your French Villagers. I was not aware of sentons but it is a lovely tradition and such sweet little people. I personally think you got a deal on the plate. It is truly art. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Ginger

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Laurie, they are so unique and beautiful.

Lindy said...

Your mantle is very unique and wonderful. I love both the before and the after!!!

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Hi there Laurie~ I am WOWed by your delightful mantle! It's beautiful! I love all your plate treasures too! Thanks for sharing this over at Feathered Nest Friday! :)

Unknown said...

Oh this is sooo charming !
Thank you so much for linking up to the French Obsession party !