"Can you explain this?" I asked the antique dealer after determining French would be the best language. I held out the framed whatever it was.
He was bald and pudgy. He wore his name ticket on a navy blue sweater and sported a big smile.
J and I were winding up our weekend adventure at an antique fair held in the Paul Klee Museum in Bern.
Inside the frame was a tribute to Delphine Chammartin née Berset who died 8 October, 1904 and her sister, Theodorette Berset, who died September 15 the same year. The memorial was from the daughter and niece. It wasn't clear if they were one or two people, but the calligraphy was delicately beautiful.
Tiny wires were twisted into flowers with lightly-colored centers. Tiny petals were marked Maman and Tante.
"At the turn of the 20th century this was a common way to memorialized lost loved ones in the canton of Fribourg." He had others but none as pretty.
"Is 190 your best price?"
He smiled. "I could do 150," he said. I felt I was as good a bargainer as any I'd seen on the British antique shows.
Problem: He didn't take credit or debit cards. I didn't have enough francs nor Euros.
J came to my rescue loaning me the money (she's been paid back) and I have a very unusual piece for my wall in ASM.
Most of all it meets two of my three criteria for buying something.
1. It's beautiful
2. It holds a memory
I don't care that it doesn't meet the third of usefulness.