Most of us have warm memories of cooking and baking; the kitchen is often our very favorite room in the house. Because of renewed interest in cooking and entertaining at home, culinary antiques are becoming some of the most sought-after by collectors. French country culinary antiques appeal to younger collectors in particular, who love how 19th-century artifacts complement their farmhouse-style kitchens.
These simple country antiques connect us to a time when we all allowed for leisurely food preparation, and dining was an event. Many collectors fill their homes with French country kitchen antiques to remind them to sit and enjoy lovingly prepared meals with their family and friends, treasuring their company.
What to Buy
There are French country culinary antiques available for both the casual collector and the serious connoisseur. Whether they come from the “below stairs” kitchen of an elegant chateau or a quaint country village bistro, culinary antiques are the perfect complement to your grand pursuits
Discover your Passion
There are many different types of French country kitchen antiques, and collectors generally fall into three groups. Some collect only one thing, striving to find better or rarer pieces. Others collect a category of objects, such as everything made of copper. Yet other collectors look for a little bit of everything, either to recreate a country kitchen from the late 1800s or early 1900s, or to decorate their home with pottery, enamelware and other kitchen items from France.
Basically, what you collect will depend on what you can’t resist! There is a wide range of French country antiques: enamelware, pottery, dishes, baskets, copper pans and pots, to name just a few.
Country culinary antiques were useful objects and are often collected for sentimental or decorative reasons, so they don’t have to be pristine. Nothing evokes the Provençal countryside more than things that have lost some of their paint and polish. A little chip here and there, a crack; these features show that country kitchen antiques have been used. Many collectors actually prefer pieces with well-worn patina and visible wear.
How to Display Kitchen Antiques
Using French country antiques in your home and kitchen creates a link to a culture and time when every was created with care, by artisans who cared about each detail. Eye-catching, culinary antiques connect the dots of that past to the present.
French pottery from the Provence and Alsace regions makes every kitchen speak French. You can use these old treasures to brighten up your kitchen, but they look just as stunning displayed as a piece of art amid a collection of antique books (cooking or not) or as a centerpiece holding a handful of flowers or herbs from your garden.
Antique kitchen or tableware is meant to be enjoyed, used and shared. These pieces are precious but were made to be hardworking and sturdy. They are not just relics of the past, so please don’t be afraid to use them!
Collecting kitchen antiques is based partly on knowledge, but mostly on love. These antiques represent a lifestyle in the past that we long for, one that embraces time spent in warm kitchens creating special foods to feed those we love and taking the time to enjoy meals with treasured family and friends.
For more on Lidy Baars and French country collectibles, visit French Garden House Antiques.