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Our Lady of Paris


I skipped work on Monday to prepare for the upcoming sale. Before the sales go live I have to shoot everything, measure everything and think of something interesting to say about everything. And I love doing it, I love every part of these sales, but they take some time, not including the actual hunt for the objects, because I could do that forever and never grow tire. But the preparation for the items to go live on the site, takes some time that I don't normally have. So, last Monday, I skipped work, "I am just feeling awful, I think I need to take a sick day." I hung up the phone and immediately set up the "photo studio" that I have at home. It was a kit from amazon. As I plugged in the lights and begin to position my first object, the power went out. The longest groan came out of my mouth as I sank to the floor. Anytime anything slightly inconvenient happens I immediately begin wondering and asking the sky, "why me?" but that's because I'm dramatic and still convinced that the world solely exists and functions around me.
After sitting on the floor unable to move for 10 minutes, I finally got up and called the power company to be told that they were doing maintenance it wouldn't be back on until 5:30 that night. I tried to tell them that my whole day was planned around having electricity, but they didn't care. After moping around the apartment and failing at the attempt of napping all day, I decided that I was just going to have to be productive outside the home instead. No matter how torturous that sounded. So I packed up a bag, as if I were a toddler caring for themselves and walked towards Sunset Blvd. Baby's day out. I was mildly productive, I went to the dry cleaners, Starbucks and the nail salon. The sweet lady who always gives me the strongest hand massages let me charge my laptop while I got a manicure, so I counted that stop as necessary. While deciding between off beige and off white for my polish, I got the news. 
Notre Dame was on fire. 
Notre Dame was built in 1163, a date that is permanently etched into my brain from countless reports about every aspect of this building. The first time I ever visited the Church was in 2006 on my first trip to Paris. I bought a rosary from the gift shop and then wore it like a necklace. I wish I had the fashion balls that I used to have.


I studied art history while going to the American University of Paris, so visiting various churches throughout Paris was just part of the curriculum. I would write report after report, I would always wait until the last moment to write my essay because I found that was when I was allowed to complain the most and also that my best work was done in one long sitting. I probably had to write five essays on Notre Dame during my four years in Paris, each one I dreaded. I hated going to Notre Dame, from the lines outside, to the people taking photos, to the tour guides bumping into me. I hated getting assigned a project that required me to go inside. The outside I tolerated, because I could usually use the phrase 'flying buttress' then and that always makes  me laugh. 
This past February, I went into the Church, as I figured it would probably be my last time in Paris for a while, so might as well. Ty and I walked right in, no line, on a Sunday. There was mass going on, in Latin. The church felt real. It didn't feel like a tourist trap as I believed it was turning into. Everyone was there for a reason other than to get a photo in front of the rose window. We made our way all the way around the apex, picking up a Rosary at the end. That rosary now hangs in my living room next to the rosary I bought on my very first visit to Notre Dame.
It feels very strange to mourn a building. Especially since it didn't disappear completely, it's still standing for the most part. But, it's not the first time Our Lady of Paris has been damaged.
Perhaps one of my favorite pieces of information that I learned from studying Notre Dame, was that during the French Revolution, as a symbol for the uprising and hatred for the Catholic Church, all the heads of the sculptures at the front entrance, were beheaded! How amazingly dramatic is that! It's so French! The entire statue wasn't destroyed, the heads were carefully cut off and then hidden! 21 of the 28 heads have been found over the years and are now at the Cluny Museum. I can only wonder what lucky son of a bitch has one of the missing heads sitting in his studio apartment. These heads are very large too, it must take up at least half of his kitchenette and he'll have to call a few buddies over to help him move it before he can make "un cafe". 
But with the help of Napoleon and Victor Hugo, the church was restored not only physically, but within the hearts of the people of Paris. Napoleon held his coronation here in the 1800's and Victor Hugo created the main character in most of my nightmares from age 6 to 10, the Hunchback. Also, the nickname my mother called me. But, the Hunchback saved Notre Dame in the eyes of a Parisian. "Victor Hugo used it as a kind of rallying cry for people to look at these monuments like Notre Dame that seemed to represent a sort of old order that was really dead, but now to look at it as a historical monument, as a sign of French ingenuity, French pride, French history, European history, human history." Jacqueline Jung, art historian. 
In the 1860's, the renovation of Notre Dame was underway, lead by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc. Viollet-le-Duc got a little carried away with his power, and began to add additional decorative touches to the building. For example, the famous gargoyles outsider are actually his creation and are not original to the church. Many of the features of the exterior are actually Viollet-le-Duc's doing, but were done so well that it's almost impossible to tell.


Then, in 1871, a group of crazies tried to burn the cathedral down, but failed. Notre Dame stood relatively unharmed until WWII, when Paris became a battleground. Most of my knowledge of WWII (specifically how it affected Paris) is from a photo exhibit I saw with my mom at the Louvre when I was about 13 years old. It showed Paris during the war, and focused mainly on the preparation and protective actions that were taken to protect Paris. This may have been the exhibit that made me fall in love with art history. These photographs were so haunting and beautiful that I couldn't get enough. I walked through that room at least 15 times, soaking up each photograph. I've tried to find the complete collection online, but haven't succeeded yet. 



There's an element that creates a sense of urgency to get the art out and the architecture protected. They're almost spooky. Anything spooky always has my heart.
I can't think of a good segway into this news, but I guess both of these things have to do with Paris? 
The Have Some Decorum Shop is getting all new items tomorrow! 
6am, so set your alarms! I've decided to get on an every other week schedule for the shop. I'm really committing y'all! So every other Monday, about 15 items or so will be launched, mostly antiques, but sometimes some coffee table books that I'm obsessed with or reproductions that would blow your mind. The antiques are from various cities around the world. Most of them are from Paris from the antique dealers that my mom formed a relationship with at the Marche aux Puces as well as the local brocantes. Some of the items I have found at local California flea markets, like the Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl is in Pasadena and only happens once a month. I was hesitant to visit the Rose Bowl at first, as I thought it would just be kitschy vintage Coca Cola signs and used pants. Oh was I wrong. I scored here. The antique dealers have pieces from France, Italy,  Japan, China, everywhere!
While there are some major differences between the Rose Bowl and the Puces, mainly that they don't sell bacon wrapped hot dogs at the Marche aux Puces, there are some major similarities. All around the world, people love French antiques. I totally understand why though, they're the best. I met two older men who have a booth every month at the Rose Bowl, and of course they're French. I knew right away when I walked up to their booth at 8am and they were 12 sheets to the wind. The smell of Pinot Noir drew me in. They import pieces from Paris and sell them here in California. But, they only have this booth once a month at the flea market, and the other 29 days of the month are spent smoking. I love them. One of the items I purchased from them might be my favorite thing ever.


David used to have these at our house in Montecito. They're shoe mold bookends and they're fabulous. The wood is so wonderfully old, I was told they were from the early 1900's and then just recently set into bookends with modern bases. They're pretty heavy as well, so they can hold a good amount of books together without slipping. Someone better buy these before David does.


Another find from the Rose Bowl are these antique candlesticks from the 17th century from a California Mission. And they're a pair, I love pairs! I love the Californian Mission style, it reminds me so much of Santa Barbara and the Spanish influence. These candlesticks are still preserved while clearly 100's of years old. The green paint is chipping throughout to expose the wood underneath, with hints of gold leaf.  These really belong near someone's fireplace. You gotta be careful with the California Mission style though, there is bad mission and then there's good mission. I think the main difference between the good and the bad is that the good has a lot of white bases. White walls, white couches, white curtains. Then deep colors in the decor, like these green candlesticks. While the bad has a lot of terracotta. The good is basically Diandra Douglas's house in Montecito... Use her house for reference of everything you should ever try to copy. She was the one that started my mom's obsession with horns. Diandra had large horns on her coffee tables, laid across the coffee table book that had her house on the cover. Now, if that is not a possibility in your own home, any coffee table book with suffice. 


This basket has had a long journey all the way from Paris. I love a wicker basket, but I especially love a wicker basket from the 1800's. There is a beautiful floral decorative aspect that runs all around the outside. It looks like it used to be painted even at one point. It is not a soft basket either, it has a glaze like coating on the outside, I think it would make a great spot for a huge white orchid if you were to put the basket on a table. But, the basket is also large enough to be left on the floor, maybe with a small indoor tree!
If any of these are of any interest to you, email me at havesomedecorum@gmail.com and I can hold it for you!! All of these items will be for sale tomorrow morning along with many more antiques. 
Also.... there's still some discounts on last week's sale available.