Happy Valentine’s Day! Today I am sharing the vintage French couple figurines I picked up at a thrift shop in early winter. I am a day late sharing this post due to losing electricity during our winter storm, more about that end of this post. For now, let’s have some fun learning more about the figurines, as well as enjoying a little Valentine’s Day tale!
As soon as I spotted these figurines at a local thrift shop back in early winter, I knew right away I wanted use them in a Valentine’s Day vignette. Upon researching these types of porcelain figures I found that prices vary greatly, and it is hard to tell which ones are of real value. They can range from 100’s of dollars to just a few, but I find the value is in their charm and I am not concerned with how much they are “worth.” I paid about $7.00 for the pair.
They are each marked “Japan” on the bottom, but I can’t find any definitive information on the age. They’re vintage, and that’s all that matters!
You might remember this lovely thrifted pair from my “little French tea party” post. I have always loved these types of porcelain figures and find it hard to resist starting up a whole curio cabinet full of these “granny chic” treasures.
Une Petite French Tea Party (Pour Moi)
This fabulous couple belongs to my friend Debra of Common Ground. Aren’t they beautiful? We share a love of the same types of treasures.
I really liked this couple because of their neutral ivory and gold colors. Because I am a music teacher I also particularly loved the lady with her harp. I have noticed that many of these types of figurines are carrying some kind of musical instrument.
Based upon the clothing, I think my figurines resemble characters from the late Baroque- early Classical period in music.
When playing around with how to style them, I tried placing them in my shabby lantern “gazebo.” They were slightly too large and took on rather humorous look when crammed into the tight space together. Oh and look at those adorable (albeit nosey) little porcelain dogs! So cute! I imagine they are interested in the noise being made by the lovers having a little tiff over one matter or another…
Perhaps it went something like this…
“The soprano notes are UNSINGABLE, Reginald!” You expect far too much! Heir Mozart never composed such excessive and vulgar passages for the fairer species! Such flourishes and shrill tones! Impossible! And every time that wretched a minor passage begins with such erratic notes ringing on the harpischord, poor Pierre and Babette’s tender sensibilities are disturbed. Oh how they howl in the most painful of protests!
“The notes are EXACTLY as they should be, Esmerelda! It appears your “lessons” from Monsier Von Good for Nothing do you no credit! Furthermore…to bring me here, to this lovely garden, on false pretenses!!! I, believing to finally steal just one small kiss from thy tender lips on St. Valentine’s Day…only to hear those same lips scorn with such false and loathsome critiques of my very own art!” And my word! Can you not part from those meddlesome mutts for more than a mere second!
Meddlesome Mutts?! Peirre! Babette! Come along mes bebes! Let us walk further through the garden and leave the ARTIST alone with his grandiose musings!
Manuel de Garay – The First Rendezvous
In fact, Esmerelda had lured Reginald to the garden for a tete a tete of an antagonistic nature to discover whether or not she was his first love, or in fact it was his own music that he loved more. Having found her answer, (Reginald was certainly suffering from the all too familiar artistic trait of narcissism,) she knew she must proceed to plan two. Although never considering herself a femme fatale, Reginald was taking his precious time asking for her hand in marriage and she must take matters into her own hands. She had heard the folklore, and knew just the garden spot where legend told of Cupid awaiting to bring about an end to some lover’s quarrel, invoke passion, or seal destiny with the release of his arrow. Knowing Reginald’s pride was insufferable, he would follow her into the garden if only to draw attention to himself by sulking.
Esmerelda”s plan succeeded (with the help of Cupid), and within a fortnite Reginald had composed a new song for Esmerelda, dedicated to “the dearest and most talented soprano in all of France.”
“Mon Cheri, I have composed these lyrics just for you! In fact, it is my heart’s truest desire. Share with me, a cottage with country views where Pierre and Babette can nestle near us by the fireside each evening. They are truly the most remarkable canines!
“Your voice is as pure as an angel, and each note is now composed only for you! I feel quite wretched for insulting sweet Pierre and Babette, those most innocent of creatures! You must know by now that I am most passionate about my music, but alas, I am more passionate for you! I know of the superstitious tales of Cupid’s garden, so I recognized right away what you were playing. At first I was quite enraged by your schemes. But my love for you is of my own natural volition, and realizing that you would go through such measures to secure my love, assures me of your own true affections! And, mon cheri, je t’aime! I suggest that you should marry me!”
And so she did, and they lived happily ever after, with shrill high notes ringing through their country cottage accompanied by the yapping of annoying little dogs.
As for my own Valentine’s Day, it has not been without it’s own challenges! We have spent the last two days without electricity and everyone in the house has been on edge! We are in the middle of an ice and snow storm, but my husband still managed to surprise me with a beautiful bouquet of pink roses and tulips! It has been too cold and dark in our house to really style them, but I think they look so pretty just placed in a gorgeous thrifted vase with the little French couple adding a touch of romance and whimsy.
It was so dark in the house so I braved the chill outdoors for one quick picture. Notice the ice on the plants in the background! It is already a mess with the snow and ice we have, and now we are predicted to get 4-8 more inches of snow and more ice accumulation tonight! No worries now my friend… we are settled in somewhat comfortably, due to finally finding a generator. We have heat again! We have food, and we have each other, and that puts things into perspective. All this truly makes it a special Valentine’s Day worth remembering!
I hope you enjoyed this bit of Valentine’s Day fun featuring my thrifted vintage French couple. Are you familiar with these figurines or do you have some of your own? I love hearing from you, dear readers! Thanks for visiting today!
Thanks for stopping by!
Bravo, Bravo, dear Amber. I love your heated conversation between the lovers!! The doggies add another layer of fun and interest. I did think at first maybe he was just a little miffed because the lovely harpist is just a tad bit taller than him. haha! I think they’re perfect in the lantern/gazebo! I’m hoping your electricity stays on. We’ve been getting automated phone and text messages from our City Utilities telling everyone to conserve gas and electricity. We’ve turned down the heat and waiting to do laundry. stay warm and safe!February 15, 2021 at 3:40 pm
How beautiful and sweet!February 16, 2021 at 12:24 pm
Glad you had a generator to weather the storm! I guess you’ve heard about the record-breaking lows here in Texas–so thankful I didn’t lose power, but I know so many who have. Thanks for sharing your sweet French figurine vignettes at Vintage Charm!February 22, 2021 at 7:42 am