Comtoise clocks’ rich history

These intricate gorgeous clocks, known as Comtoise, Morbier or Morez clocks, are a style of longcase clock made in the Jura region, mountains on the French–Swiss border. Production of these clocks began in 1680 and continued for a period of about 230 years. During the peak production years (1850–1890) over 60,000 clocks were made each year. […]

Read More

Fleur de lis

The “fleur-de-lis” (flower of the lily) is a stylized lily or lotus flower. Traditionally representing French royalty, this association arose from a legend that an angel gave Clovis, king of the Franks, a golden lily upon his conversion to Catholicism. In the twelfth century, one of the French monarchs began using the fleur-de-lis on his […]

Read More

In praise of the tureen

Perhaps to honor French military hero Marshal Turenne this distinctive dish came into use in the seventeenth century in  France. Most of the silver tureens of that era were melted down to finance King Louis’ wars and survived only in paintings. 500 years ago, most common meals in Europe we’re stews, chowders, broths or soups…and […]

Read More

Volières, tres chic!

As is today, early bird cages were built to house, display, keep birds safe from predators and prevent their escape. They were were simple handmade enclosures of wood, rope, woven reeds or bamboo. In northern Chihuahua, Mexico, Paquime Indians bred scarlet Macaws and housed them in elaborate adobe aviaries. Once upon a time tiny cages […]

Read More

Fragrant soaps cheer the spirit

No concrete evidence exists as to where and when soap as we know it was first made or used. One account has it originating in Mt. Sapo, where remains of ash and animal sacrifices washed into the river and women noticed their clothes washed up cleaner wherever these substances accumulated. Soap-like material as well as […]

Read More

Bright, beautiful, charming chandeliers

From the French word “chandelle,” chandelier literally means “candle holder,” and when they first appeared, that was about it. The first known chandeliers date back several centuries and were of simple design: crossed wood beams with a spike at the end of each to hold a candle. The chandelier evolved from candles to gas and eventually electricity […]

Read More

We love Nativity scenes!

Cresche, (from old French) are the focal point of many Christmas displays. Whether they’re made of chalkware, silver or painted plaster, these holiday centerpieces are always a special part of traditional Christmas decorations.      

Read More