We have all heard the old saying of, "One man's trash is another man's treasure". But.. when you find that treasure, the one that makes you catch your breath or your heart skip a beat, (albeit, mine does not do that anymore, but you know what I mean) you cannot help but wonder why on earth someone would discard such a thing of beauty. Holding that particular piece in your hands, turning it around, over or both, inspecting it with a critical eye.. you cannot help but already imagine exactly where it will be perfectly displayed or kept in absolute safety.

My favourite source of such treasures is "The Flea Market". They are held around the world and have been operating over weekends or specific weekdays for over 100 years. I won't go into the full history of the term.. mainly because there is nothing remotely romantic about any of its reputed origins and I hate to dissect something that I have come to love, when there is no romantic beginnings.

Back to that beautiful piece that you have just discovered, for myself personally... imagining where it began it's existence and who it may have once belonged to is incredibly intoxicating. Being immortal means of course that anything I purchase will one day become an antique... but it is about so much more.

Together with my beautiful garden, painting and sketching are my escape, they always have been.. so you can imagine my delight when last in Paris I discovered a perfect set of Antique Chinese Pen Brushes. How they came to Paris, I have no idea but as always I wonder. Did their owner travel to Paris inspired by the masters? Did they find success or did they return home disillusioned like so many tortured young artists? The life of an artist of course has always intrigued me like no other. Did this young man (I am only assuming it is a young man) sit quietly alongside the Seine as so many of us have done... completely absorbed in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and find contentment and happiness?

As I look across my studio to where those beautiful brushes take pride of place on my mantle.... I can only hope he did. And if it was not for the humble Flea market, I would not now be the proud caretaker of my most recent treasure.

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