Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Brocante au Printemps- HELP! What is this thing???

We had one day to settle in and prepare for return to normal life. Each of us had an idea of what to do. Andre' took a very long run, finally conquering another of the hills surrounding Besancon. It is fun to go places with him in Besancon, these days, because he is continually pointing to a distant, misty covered hillside and saying either - that hill is fort x - I ran up that or that is fort y - my next big goal. Around here, all the hills seem to have a fort.

For Griffin, we all played trains as a family. He loves them. He even had Cecile (his tutor) playing trains with him last week. For Zander, he wanted to blog about our vacation and for me, I wanted to go to the Brocante au Printemps. It was being held at the local convention center (Micropolis). I saw the signs for it when we went to Luna Park 2 weeks earlier. All I knew is it was some kind of a sale. I was hopin' for a flea market. Callie decided she would like to play a game at the flea market. Each of us got one family member's name and 2 Euros to get them a gift. Well, it turned out the Brocante au Printemps was no flea market. It was a giant antique show. Well, right when we walked in the door, we saw a dealer with a giant, round bottle.

Before we left Philly, our neighbor Michael, brought us a giant bottle and told us that, if we ever ran across one, to buy it because they were worth tons of money on Ebay. He claimed we'd see them everywhere when we got here. So far, I hadn't noticed any but this WAS my first antique show. When I saw the bottle a lightbulb went off in my head.... I think this is it! This is the bottle I can buy and re-sell to get my riches! I haggled a bit with the vendor and walked off with one giant bottle for only 15 Euros. Although most of the stuff was too much, we had lots of fun walking around and looking. Griffin got a couple of genuine 1970's era Matchbox cars, Zander an ancient lock and we scored 2 more giant bottles for low, low, bargain prices. Callie was very sad there was nothing for her. Unfortunately, the cute and fuzzy bunnies were all hard as rocks (antique you know) and cost 50 Euros or more.

So, since it was Sunday and the bus only comes every 1/2 hour, we decided to let her go on one ride at Luna Park. This made her happy but, when we went to leave, Griffin freaked out cause he wanted to go on a ride. (keep in mind, I did offer him a ride and he said no. It was Sunday, and, if we missed the bus, we would miss our chance to get the kids to bed on time. So, I scooped up Griffin and Andre' scooped up 3 giant bottles and we ran for the bus. We made it, but one of the bottles didn't... sadness (especially when you consider these things are - according to one seller - 200 years old). It couldn't survive an hour with the blundering Dhondts!

Of course, we figured we could find the bottle on the web - but, to our suprise, we can't! We spent an hour or more each trying to read up on bottles, looking at classifications and scanning google images. The closest thing we can find is an onion bottle - which is similar in shape but doesn't have a flattened bottom - here is a link to an onion bottle (ours is a different color, a different size also has a cracked off or burst off lip). Ok, so it's not really the same at all.

Obviously, my faith in the web is deep... since I now turn to you, my virtual community. So, I know we have French readers, and perhaps just people who know this stuff. What are these things???? Here are lots of pictures. I show the kids so you can get an idea of size. Sorry they are so dirty. The brown one came within a basket with 2 handles- the dealer said it was used for juice and the clear one was supposedly used for booze? They both had kind of broken off tops and you can see bubbles in the glass. The clear one has these lines on it and a number - perhaps indicating early mass production? The brown one is smooth all the way around, with no marks at all (except a ridge kind of thingy you can see a bit in the pic taken by Zander of the inside of the bottle). (Just so we remember, fondly, the other one (that broke) was larger than the two pictured, clear, with a flat bottom and no side lines)

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