Friday, 16 November 2012

An Egg Carrier from the Pomelkophile and Mr Cranky

Every Friday, the weekly Brocante rolls into Menton with about 25 antiques vendors, their wares in tow, hoping for a few good sales to make the day worthwhile.  

Their prices are usually crazy high but sometimes when there aren't many buyers, which happens when the weather is cool or cloudy, you can often negotiate your way into a pretty good deal with a bit of hemming and hawing, some chin rubbing and a, "je ne sais pas" thrown in for good measure.  Today was one of those slow days so I bagged a bargain on a charming vintage aluminium egg carrier.

The vendor, Jean Baptiste, told me the carrier was made in post war France.  I always take whatever the vendors say with a grain of salt, especially about the production date they estimate for the treasure in question.  It didn't really matter today since the egg carrier was something I could actually use and not just display on a shelf.  

Jean Baptiste was asking 35 for it, so I pulled out my bag of negotiating tricks and I battled him down to  €20.  We were both happy at that price.


Jean Baptiste also had a huge collection of vintage and unique tire bouchon or bottle openers.   Some were screw pulls and some were to open pop bottles.  Believe it or not, the  French have a name for someone who collects them:  a pomelkophile.  You learn something new every day!

There were other goodies on offer.  Some pretty copper jelly moulds which I was considering until the crusty old vendor rushed over and told me in no uncertain terms to "stop taking photos of his things," smoke puffing from his cigarette while he yelled at me.  I guess he thought I was some sort of copper jelly mould spy.  "Poof" went that sale for him!

Well, it was a good day for the polite Jean Baptiste and I at today's Brocante. The egg carrier will be a practical, green, and modern way to safely transport 6 eggs from Gilbert, my Monaco egg vendor to the market delivery people, to me.  From now on, I'll ask him to put my eggs in my nice new vintage carrier instead of the disposable plastic egg cases he normally uses.  

It's a win, win, win for everyone.  Except for the cranky guy.


Hannah said...

This is so cool. I'm a total nerd for antique and old-fashioned cooking paraphernalia, so browsing through such a vast selection would have been loads of fun. Even though I'd never put eggs in it, I would totally go for that egg carrier too, just for the novelty value!

Barbara Lilian said...

Love the egg carrier, a tad pricey , but it goes with where you live.
I guess the grumpy :( stall holder missed a sale. Hope for your sake he's not there next week.
Enjoy your weekend. Barbara.

Karen Barnaby said...

Cooper jelly mould spies are everywhere. One can never be too careful.

Gustia said...

People like Mr Cranky don't bother me any more. In my 20's I would have cried! I think he missed a few sales yesterday - I wasn't the only one he yelled at. I think if I ever see him again I'll give him a big hug!

Lost in Provence said...

You know, I actually could very well imagine you going up and giving a big hug to Mr. Cranky! I never understand when I get yelled at for taking photos at Brocantes--what? Is the merchandise stollen or something?!

There is also a Madame Cranky at the Arles brocante who once snatched a piece of vintage silk out of my hot little hands because I dared to touch it to discern its quality! No sale for her either...

Bon Weekend!

Delana@dujour said...

Yes, take the vendors explanations with a grain of salt. A friend of mine (American) was shopping the brocante in Lourmarin. She found a painting done by a mutual friend of ours and feigning ignorance, asked him questions about the painter. He explained that the painter was French and very well known and then gave her some exorbitant price. In fact, our friend is American, has only been painting for 3 years and has sold only a few paintings! It was probably a painting she donated to something when she was just starting out! It was worth a laugh for all of us.