Category Archives: Objets Trouve

Fleamarket finds … in Rome!

I went to Rome a couple of weekends ago, to celebrate a friend’s 40th …. the best part of four days of rambling the streets, stopping for coffee and long, long evening meals. It seems an age ago already … but I’m sure in part that’s due to the evil bug I picked up on the airplane that’s had me flat out on my back for the last week. Sigh. Such is the price of pleasure, I suppose.

Whilst we did tour the Vatican, and see most of the sights (lest you think me uncultured!), one of my highlights was a trip out to Borghetto Flaminio … a fleamarket on Piazza della Marina, just up from the Piazza del Popolo, on the Sunday.

You know how I like a fleamarket?

The sun was shining, it was busy, but not too noisy and overwhelming, and the treasure-to-tat ratio was pretty high. A lot of vintage and second-hand clothes, and a lot of other little delights ….

I was tempted by this Pucci plate … but it was expensive, and I didn’t want to be risking it in my baggage on the way home …. nor risk having to pay excess baggage!!

I think this is the *most* awesome telephone I have ever seen …. I still want it. But there was still that annoying baggage allowance thing.

Stunning orange oriental vanity set ….





A lot of beautiful inlaid boxes … I do love little boxes …. and knick-knacks and gewgaws. Somehow I think my minimalist intentions are doomed to fail from the very start – once a magpie, always a magpie?








Now, I love Indonesian shadow puppets as much as the next girl, but I wasn’t expecting to see any in a Roman fleamarket!

But I was … hoping …. for linen – and I found it. When it comes to old linen and lace, I have no self-control at all. None whatsoever. I know it’s a failing, and probably the sign of some kind of fatal character flaw, but there you have it.

That little dress was so beautiful …. and as for the crochet lace bedspread … big enough to smother a double bed? It took *every* *ounce* of willpower I had to haggle on that one, but I knocked the extremely very nice lady down from EUR85 to EUR45 and I’m calling *that* a BARGAIN.





The other thing I have a weakness for (OK, *one* of the other things I have a weakness for) is silk scarves. So imagine my delight when a good old rummage through a pile of the beauties yielded me this 4ft square of Valentino adorableness?

win, win and win again.

And the last great love of my life … big, impractical rings, the sort that make housework impossible ….. I’ll take two, thank you! The black one in the middle was a gift from my daughter, and two on the outside …. vintage fleamarket treasures from Rome.

Ahhhhh … I can still taste the espresso.

Fleamarket Finds

I’m lucky that I have a BIG monthly fleamarket/collectors fair locally … it’s just as much fun as car boots and charity shops, and the treasure-to-junk ratio is slightly higher …. though sometimes the amount of little china shepherdess figurines is a teeny bit depressing. (Not that there’s anything wrong with them, per se, but they’re really not my thing)

I always go along with a ‘wish list’ of things I’m particularly looking for … it helps me keep my magpie instincts under control.

This time I was looking for a clock for my workroom … I saw an art-deco clock which I ummed over for a while, and then wandered off to have a think about …. and of course, once I’d decided I did want it and went back, it’d gone. And in a failing to learn to strike while the iron is hot, I did exactly the same thing with another clock, not ten minutes later! I’m consoling myself with the notion that they weren’t the RIGHT clock for me.

No such hesitation when I spotted these bad boys …. a pair of rusted old wine crates, covered in dust and spiderweb, but EXACTLY what I needed to replace the nasty old pine wine rack we’ve had since forever.

And the same with these vintage picture frames …. I have a project in mind for these, involving the wartime postcards in an old phot0-album of my grandfathers that I ‘inherited’.

A fair amount of cleaning is going to be needed first, though.

Taking the time to go slow paid off, when I had a good old rummage through the ‘everthing in this box 20p each’ on one stall … I turned up some old linen napkins in varying stages of battered, a couple of embroidery hoops and double-pointed knitting needles …. WIN!

But the star of the show – for me – was a stall absolutely DRIPPING with old linen, lace, ribbon … gloves, hats, oh, heaven! I could have just put the whole lot in my bag and brought it home, but managed to control myself (and I didn’t think the husband would be terribly impressed if I spent the summer holiday fund on old fabric!!)

My stash of linen and lace has grown just that little bit bigger … and do you see that little bonnet at the front there?

It is simply one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen … so fragile, but in such great condition. I can see it playing a big part in a memory cloth, very, very, soon … I have a scrap of a smocked baby dress that it will work with perfectly.

Happy sighs …. and as if old things attract, my lovely mother-in-law gave me a tiny travel secretaire that had been in the family forever, but she didn’t want anymore, when I saw her this week. AND THEN, as if my cup wasn’t already in a runneth-over state, my mum had cleared out some of her old linen and asked me if I wanted it. Umm, bears, woods?

This is one happy magpie!