Our Travels

Our haunts range from large antique dealers’ fairs to favourite shops in spots like Marseilles, Avignon and Uzes, to serious weekend-long street fairs in L’Isle sur la Sorgue, the southern capital of French country antiques in the south of France.

Every time we go to the south of France to buy antiques, we rediscover what it is that makes this field so interesting. This September we met a dealer in a medieval cloister in Pezenas who explained to us how Biot jars, large storage vessels that date back to the 16th and 17th centuries, used to be made. First a ribbed wooden frame was built. The frame was then wound around and around with rope. Wet clay was then packed around the whole affair and smoothed down on the surface.

After the clay dried, the rope was pulled out. Because of the space created by the rope, the wooden ribs could be pulled out too. Then the jar was glazed inside and baked. Presto! A Biot jar came into being, ready for olives, grain or oil. We like the really big ones and brought one home this time.