9 April 2016



Now that Nick has found the alternative Live Writer – don’t ask me how he did it, I have no idea – I can forge ahead with a backlog of posts that were in the pipeline at the point where the old Live Writer would no longer publish to Blogger, or when I scurried back to the UK to look after my dad with only my tablet for company.

My dad is fine now, back up to where he was before he got shingles in January.  Well not entirely.  Let’s say there have been complications with a lasting effect that he is learning to live with.  But for 87 years old he’s in good shape.


This post hasn’t been in the pipeline for all that long, but I’m keen to get it posted because it includes a mystery. 

We bought the three items on the table at a brocante a couple of weeks ago.  The metal wine carrier will be used to carry a bottle of wine and a bottle of water to our picnic shelter when we start using it again……we’re waiting for the better weather, which is late this year.  Much better than having them wobble about on a tray as we step up and down over the decking and the uneven grass.

The long bread basket thing is, we think, a proving basket used to leave the dough to rise during bread making.  I have no idea why it should be so long but it’s not so much useful as decorative.  It now resides on display in our humongous bread oven.


The interesting piece is this metal bowl.  I looked at it on the stall and the lady said it was for serving dried fruits.  I can believe that, as it has sections just the right size for things like dried figs, prunes and other fruits. 


The curious thing is that I have never, ever seen one before and it doesn’t really look very French to me.  It’s quite heavy.  It looks like it should be made of tin or a similar cheap metal, but it’s too heavy for that.  I’m not sure that it’s silver or a mixture of silver and something else.  There are no markings on it suggesting silver although it does look like it would benefit from periodic cleaning with Brasso or Silvo.  It does feel heavy enough to be made of brass but it’s the wrong colour.


It has three nice legs which are firmly welded to the base, making it very sturdy and level.


It’s about 20cm dia. and the markings remind me of a wall plate I used to have that came from Morocco.  I bought it for the princely sum of 3€ and it looked great with little Easter eggs in it on the table.  A bargain but also a mystery.


Any ideas? 

Bon weekend !!


  1. Maybe the long dough container was for proofing a baguette.

  2. It reminds me of a dish you would put devilled eggs in but the different size indentations have stumped me. Maybe for different size pastries, sweets or chocolates. It's very nice, whatever it was intended for.

  3. If I didn't know any better it resembles deviled egg trays from the midwest.

  4. Dried fruits are big in the south at Christmas, so maybe she was right. To me it looks Indian.

    1. Indian seems right now that I look at it again.

  5. The bowl is cool, and it came at a great price! Good find.

  6. It looks even better in real life. It was a magnificent find at such a knock down price.

    I shall need to pick your brains about the alternative to live writer. I was only blaming it yesterday for my lack of posting. I doubt it is my only problem, but being able to do it in the more straightforward way might just make all the difference!

    1. Gaynor, essentially Nick uninstalled Windows Live Writer and installed Open Live writer, which works exactly like the old one. You then have to add your blog again but that was straightforward.
      It's a joy to have it back and have it working properly!

  7. I suspect the long bread basket is for putting on a long table with slices of baguette in. Baguettes are not normally proved in a basket. Laurence has a sheet of linen that she arranges in raised folds on the table and the baguettes prove in the hollows between the folds. The folds serve to divide each baguette from one another.

    I would guess the bowl is North African. I would never have guessed dried fruit, but if it is North African that makes sense. My first thought was it was for hard boiled egg halves, like some of the other commenters, but if that's case, the different sized depressions are puzzling and not entirely explained by the radiating diameter.

    Since you say it is heavy like brass but looks like silver, I wonder if it is nickel plated brass.

    1. Susan, your guess about plated brass looks spot on from the view of the underside... it doesn't look like EPNS... but the black areas look more like silver to me... it was my old man's speciality, he'd give you the answer in a tick...if he was still with us. But the vendor was probably spot on with the dried fruits. It is a grand 3€s worth, nonetheless!

  8. I'd looked into that a couple of weeks ago but it seemed like a faff. Now I know it works I'll give it a go. Thank you :0)

  9. The bowl rather looks like it would hold dates and figs. And when you turn it upside down, it looks like a mold! Whatever it is it will definitely be a 'conversation' piece!

  10. I would have guessed oysters, but maybe not if it's Indian/ North African in origin. Who knows...! I have a friend who's always picking up styrange objects at Emmaus and then playing "Guess What It Is" with his visitors.

  11. What a great find though I have no idea what it is for but everyone seems to have come up with some good ideas.
    I have never used live writer I just do my posts in Google!
    Have a good week Diane