Roving Reporter La Reine Recommends Reading This Week

Dear Antiques Diva™,

top:5px;float:left;color:white;background:#781300;border:1px solid darkkhaki;font-size:100px;line-height:90px;padding-top:1px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Your Roving Reporter is slowly recovering from the great NYC heat wave this weekend…we didn’t hit triple-digits, but with the high humidity, it certainly felt like it. I went to our west balcony overlooking the Hudson River and tried to catch some breeze on my chaise longue, while flipping through my growing pile of unopened magazines. I subscribe to Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and Saveur (as well as another 5 or 10 other magazines.) When I lived in Europe I was used to paying around $10 per issue, so when I moved back to the USA, getting a whole year of issues for $10 was such a bargain I couldn’t help myself…now I just have to read them all!

On top of the pile of unread magazines was my first issue of Food and Wine Magazine, July 2008, which I am somehow getting for free. As I slowly flipped the pages, admiring the pictures of all the foods it is much too hot to cook, I came across an article on collecting French kitchen utensils. One of the authors’ favorites is copper pots, which I have spent hours evaluating in brocantes, puces and vide greniers throughout France. While reading the article, I quickly realized that the authors are the owners of one of my favorites web shops Objects Objects. Sadly their list of recommended shopping venues are all in Paris and none in NYC where they too live (I’ll have to ask them for some local shopping tips!), but the article, and the web shop, are a wonderful opportunity for your own armchair shopping or perfect if you’re planning a trip to Paris! I knew Antiques Diva™ readers would be interested to see this article!

If you can’t find the magazine, check the article out online! But note: there are 3 related articles…check them all out to find the full information.

Can’t talk now, have to go shopping!

La Reine

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Author: Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America's largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

  • Cher Mary:
    I can’t believe I forgot one of my new copper pot sources! We bought a small condo in Chicago recently, and while I was able to furnish it almost completely with chairs and tables and beds and dishes and silverware and books and paintings that won’t fit into our NYC apartment, I did need a new set of pots and pans. Naturally my standards for cookware are very high, and I was checking Williams-Sonoma, Sur la Table, Bloomingdales, and many internet sites for a good deal on copperware, when a fabulous deal was magically delivered to my inbox!

    Tuesday Morning etreasures is their periodic eletter than informs subscribers of upcoming sales and special purchases. Then, I can get my GPS programmed and drive all over the state trying to complete a set of Gien la Houx Christmas dishes that is being discontinued. (yes, I did this, and yes, I got them!)

    The following Tuesday morning my husband and I were in the parkinglot of Tuesday Morning in Palatine IL at 7am, and 30 minutes later we were the owner of a complete set of copper pots, pans and lids, made in the South of France. The whole set was just over $150…9 pieces… a truly divalicious deal.

    And, my mother’s whistling teapot had just stopped whistling, and I was able to buy her a very modern hunter green Cuisinart whistling kettle for just a few dollars.

    And since I just arrived in Chicago from NYC with two copper pots in my carry-on (in the move confusion they ended up in the wrong city!) I assure you, cher Mary, that you and your husband could buy a few pieces at a time and carry them back home to France (or force your visitors to pay rent: carry one piece of copperware to France for you!)
    gros bisous a tous
    la Reine

  • thanks. i’ll go there this week. i saw bouchera but didn’t go inside so i know where it is. i didnt realize hey had curtsins and draperies. good tip. love the site. keep up the good work diva,

  • Mary,
    Just a quick note before I pop out the door to go to a dinner party in Amsterdam… I wanted to let you know that you were so close to a secret shopping source today! You can find draperies for a “Parisian bargain” (which is to say the price will not be a Kentucky Bargain by a long-shot)at Bouchera Haussman – 1, Rue La Fayette, 75009 Paris, France. You can buy them pret-a-porter or have them custom made! I’ve also went to the Marche St Pierre in the Montmarte area nearby you and bought fabric off the bolt, added ready-made curtain hooks and built make-shift curtains in a pinch and for a dime!
    Good Luck!
    The Antiques Diva (TM)

  • Thanks so much reine and diva for all your help and the information on the pots. The hubster and i’ve been wanting to see mont st michel so i’m glad to know we can do both. went to galleries L this morning. I bought some cute kitchen molds (in shape of fish and rooster) that were real cheap to hang on the wall for decorating. I also need to get curtains for our apartment. We have tall windows and it is so expensive to buy curtains/drapes here. Checked out prices at L andt about had a heart attack. cost twice what i pay in kentucky for the least expensive pair. That’s Paris for you! LOL! Any tips on that too? mary

  • It’s nice to meet you too! You are an amazing photographer and I love lurking on your blog to get my daily dose of Paris, plus I enjoy reading your political commentary! The other day while out with some International Women’s Club friends I was asked where I get my news & views and in addition to the typical sources such as CNN & BBC your blog came up as well! Hopefully I sent a whole slew of new readers your way!

    Best wishes!

    The Antiques Diva (TM)

  • Hi Mary & La Reine!

    Merci Beaucoup La Reine! That was an excellent answer for Mary’s question and you’ve taken the words right out of my mouth. I don’t have much to add to this answer other than to say that I bought my copper pots in Villedieu-les-Poêles and love them! I bought a cheaper set of pans as at the time I thought I wanted them primarily for decoration, but in fact I use them daily with much success! The trick I’ve found in keeping my copper shiny is to wash & dry them immediately after use! If I forget to dry them they get water spots & need polishing more frequently. An interesting tip my housekeeper taught me is that CIF bathroom cleaner also cleans copper pots beautifully & the cleaner costs a fraction of my copper polish! Also, when I went to Villedieu-les-Poêles it was in conjunction with a trip to Mont St Michel! If you haven’t been, it would be a perfect long weekend getaway!
    Enjoy & Bon Appétit!!
    The Antiques Diva (TM)

  • Mary in Montmarte:
    Do you want inexpensive copper pots for decoration, or for use?

    If you want them for decoration, you’ll find many old, vintage and antique pots at the week-end brocantes and neighorhood shops that are found through out Paris and all of France…many are well-worn from use, and will have cracks, dents and discolorations that will look fabulous whether housing plants on your terrace, hanging charmingly from your kitchen ceiling or window, or cradling pinecones and cinnamon sticks on the hearth of your fireplace.

    If you want them for to use for cooking, there are several options. A good quality, but previously-enjoyed, copper pot can be taken to a copper repairman and be fixed…cracks and holes can be repaired, loose handles tightened or replaced, discolorations cleaned up, re-tinned. However, like a treasured old American iron skillet, be careful that these are carefully repaired and cleaned before using. I have a set of 8 graduated copper pots that I bought at the semi-annual brocante at Parc Monceau, and they cleaned up very nicely…there are vintage, not antique, and I use some for cooking, and some for serving…the very small pots, while impractical for cooking, are very charming on my buffet filled with sauces or dips.

    If you are purchasing new copper pots in France “rosa” is right, there are many options, none of them inexpensive. Good quality copper pots are expensive. However, as you can see in the AD’s previous posting, the Paris soldes will be starting soon, and you can scout the Paris department stores, such as Galeries Lafayette or Printemps, or your neighborhood drougerie or houseware shop, and ask the vendeuse what will be on sale. If you find a potential bargain, be sure to arrive early on the first day of the sales, other smart shoppers will have asked the same questions!

    To prepare for your copper pot purchase, you must to go to the 1er and check-out the fabulous cookware shops, and all their shiny copper pots: E Dehillerin, A Simon, Mora are must-stops shops for serious cooks, who find the cost of quality copper to be very good investment…it lasts years, and is chosen by professional and home chefs for its ability to conduct and control heat…and because its shiny! If you can’t afford more than window shopping at these stores, the trip will be very useful in your education into the benefits of copper pot cookware.

    I have often found great bargains in shops outside of Paris, when I’m least expecting it. In small towns I usually stop in groceries and cookware shops, just for a peak at the local foods and housewares. I found a set of calphalon cookware at 50% off while visiting the great tapestry at Bayeux…fortunately my husband and I drove, so the set fit nicely in our trunk, rather than having to haul it home on the train and metro.

    If you can venture outside of Paris, take a drive north to the town of Villedieu-les-Poêles, long a center for the manufacture of copper and brass pots…again, they aren’t cheap, but you not only get a beautiful copper pot, but you get an fabulous shopping experience, very diva-esque!

    Copper pots are beautiful, practical, and a good investment. They have a reputation of being difficult to maintain, but my cookware requires only annual shining, and my decorative pots I let age naturally…people pay good money for that patina!

    bonnes courses
    la Reine

  • Me too. I’m totally addicted to magazines and now living in Paris I pay a fortune for them. Hope I get a good idea where to buy cheap copper pots! LOL!

  • Thank you for your visits. So nice to meet you! Oooh, I lover flipping through magazines too. I also went a little overboard a few years back and found I hardly sat down to read them when they came in the mail. Go figure. No I’m a little more selective over which ones I purchase. Oh and yes, I too love old copper pots. I don’t think there are many bargains to be found in that department for the most part though. I can’t wait to read more!

  • La Reine, or Diva – do you know any good places to get inexpensive copper pots? Mary in Montmarte