L'absinthe - Les cuilleres. A review

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: L'absinthe - Les cuilleres. A review
By Petermarc on Tuesday, May 22, 2001 - 03:22 pm: Edit

i picked up mine at the museum on saturday...i had also brought a couple of spoons i had questions about, one round which had the same pattern as one she had listed under 'dernières trouvailles' (latest finds) N°1 ronde... after publishing the photo, she discovered an old catalogue that listed it as an orange juice strainer for babies (ouch) fortunately, i paid only $7 for it! it fits damn well on a swirl or egg glass, but...buyer beware...she was also nice enough to look at some photos of things i had and give her comments...she pulled out a 'la fée' spoon, telling me about the newest design on the market, and i told her i had a bottle...she asked me what i thought...i said it was good, but too green...she said she agreed and was thinking about getting them to change it! she said it was made 'just outside of paris' but wouldn't elaborate except to say it was made in an old absinthe distillery in original stills...when i mentioned oxygénée, she dropped the news about pernod developing absinthe for the export market...this woman is very kind and has not changed at all in the three years since i had met her...i was annoying my wife and friends by hanging out too long chatting absinthe, and then a group of 40 people showed up at the museum...she was by herself, and explained that a neighbor sometimes comes by to help her, but not today and would have to go...there is no pretension here, no green bohemia cast-party crowd, just a lady and her museum...she signed a book and i signed a check...she doesn't take credit cards...as far as being 'widely available' i'm not too sure, but i hope so...it is a great book that covers an incredible range of spoons,modern spoons (way to go phil! she really likes the quality of frenchman's fleche (that sounds weird), it is the best repro on the market) individual fountains, old catalogues, makers' marks, types of metals, manufacturing processes, and 'faux-amis' (fake friends)the 'look-like absinthe spoons',that, as ian has alluded to, have littered e-bay...unfortunately with one of mine moved to that classification :-( ...it is fun to look at and not too hard to figure out for a non-french reader... only two problems, which seem to be the on-going problems with absinthe antiques:1) dating them...it is almost impossible to precisely date the spoons (or get even that close) except for the 2 tour eiffels, which are dated, one 1889 (for 1890) and one 1900...i have two common feuille spoons with a 1913 date stamped on them, but that is it...and 2) values...it's still a wild world out there and this didn't make it that much easier except for the rarity grade (for those experts that have a problem with it, i say, write your own book and make it better)a great and long awaited tome that is fun for the whole family! uh, well, maybe not, but i like it...

By Oxygenee on Tuesday, May 22, 2001 - 03:44 am: Edit

The book has been available for a few weeks already. I understand that it will be widely available from next month - right now you can order directly from Madame Delahaye. Price is 250FF plus postage.

By Absinthedrinker on Tuesday, May 22, 2001 - 02:46 am: Edit

Marie-Claude has sneaked her latest book out without anyone noticing, I only found out yesterday when Phil kindly gave me a copy on his visit to London. This is the long-awaited tome on absinthe spoons and greatly expands on the section at the end of her first work L'histoire de la Fée Verte. The book is 320 pages long and now covers 376 different spoons arranged in much the same classes as previously although there are some significant reclassifications which is going to make life difficult when describing spoons in future, grilles become grillages and rondes become grilles. Also the numbering system has greatly expanded. There is a picture of each spoon with a description as before but now there is more information on the manufacturers. The spoons are given a star rating for rarity from * (courant) to ***** (rarissime). This is likely to be controversial I have already heard other experts in the field disputing the finer points of this system. Significantly the book also deals with fakes and how to spot them, listing the fakes which are common just now. It also deals with mislabelled absinthe spoons on the basis that 'not every spoon with a slotted bowl was designed for absinthe' ebay buyers please take note. There were many spoons that I had not seen before and some pretty awesome designs among the ***** categories.

I think that the book is only available directly from the absinthe museum, no doubt Peter will give us more information and Ihave not seen it advertised anywhere. The initial print run is 2000 and the first 350 are signed and numbered ensuring a future collectors market.

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