Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Market Day

H.C. Bryant, Market day

They sat down together, the grass it was green.
The day was the fairest that ever was seen.

"Oh the look in your eye beats a mornin' o' May,

I could sit by your side till the next market day."

This young maid went home and the words that he said,

And the air that he played her still rang in her head.

She says, "I'll go find him by land or by sea

Till he larns me that tune called "The Next Market Day."

~"The Next Market Day," an old Irish song
Most of the little towns in Pennsylvania still have open air farmers' markets in the summer and fall where fresh produce can be found. At the Amish markets, there are breads and pies and homemade canned goods. Most large cities have a marketplace. From time immemorial, in almost every culture, there have been open air markets in city, town or village squares and often a specific day when the farmers and peasants would bring their goods to sell. Market day was (and is) a time to gather with friends, hear the news, seek out bargains, stock up on certain items and discover treasures.

I want to thank all the readers who have visited the Trianon Tea Room. The books are selling better than anything else; the tea things are starting to go as well. Thank you very much! I am also grateful to those who have made purchases through the Amazon search box. May God reward you!

Marie-Antoinette is frequently associated with shopping, but how did she shop? It is often forgotten that Versailles, being open to the public, was a place of commerce; vendors set up their stalls in the courtyards and galleries of the palace. As for the Queen, she would usually receive tradesmen in the morning while her hair was being dressed. However, she always sought ways to celebrate the life of the ordinary French people, particularly the peasants whose industry fed the nation. In September, 1777 Marie-Antoinette had a farmers' market in the park at Trianon to inaugurate the opening of her new gardens. The Queen wore peasant attire and served at an outdoor "tavern." Pierre de Nolhac describes the market thus:
A market-place was set up on the lawn...where the baker, the confectioner, and the purveyor of charcuterie dispensed their wares...and even the cook's shop was busy in the open air. All these stalls were connected by a garland of roses....

There were shows of all sorts....Actors...gave several performances on an improvised stage....The avenues leading to Trianon were lined with the booths of Paris shopkeepers who had been engaged to come, their expenses being paid.
(Pierre de Nolhac's Marie-Antoinette, 1905, pp.226-227)

Le Jour de Marche by Victor Gabriel Gilbert

Market Day by Victor Gabriel Gilbert

Marie-Antoinette à la paysan . Share


Passages to the Past said...

Fabulous pictures!! I've always loved open farmer's markets, but I'm sure they don't measure up to the ones back then!

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you, Amy. I am lucky to live in Amish country, where they have some incredible markets.

May said...

Wow, this is a new take on shopping! Thanks, you always make everything so civilized and friendly.

elena maria vidal said...

Hummingbird, I am delighted that you approve! Yes, it is a new take on shopping, an Old World market online! Enjoy!

Lucy said...

What a wonderul take on this. I love this idea. You posted some wonderful pictures...puts you right into the mood of market shopping. Oh, and I love the part about MA's market on her lawns..how beautiful and fun that must have all been!

elena maria vidal said...

Thanks, Lucy. I hope everyone has fun exploring my market.