Friday, November 6, 2009
fare-thee-well - objets en fer
L'arbre sec or the dry tree is a symbol for a cloth merchant and gave its name to a very old street in Paris. This wrought iron tree hung there until c. 1660. The street is located just next to the Samaritaine and I used to go there often to see a friend so I was particularly interested to discover the meaning of the name and its textile link. It seems that cloth merchants referred to Oriental legend for their symbol, since the most beautiful fabrics came from the East. The legend speaks of a tree visited by pilgrims to the valley of Josephat in the Holy Land. It was thought to have existed since the beginning of the world and to have grown on Lot's burial place; by the time of the death of Christ, the tree was dry.
At the sign of the cloth seller. Here the merchant holds the emblems of his profession measuring stick and scissors.
"How do you do?"
Light fixture from 1930 which recalls the ancestral tradition of nailing the night creature to barn doors to ward off bad luck.
This robust 15-16th century door knocker seems to taunt us to have survived so many a man.
Its arms serve to balance its weight.