FAUX BOISFaux Bois table ~ Love this, I can see it with a large pot holding English Ivy and white mini roses....sigh!

Faux Bois  means “false wood” and the technique is a great example of an old world craft.  It refers to the artistic imitation of wood or wood grains in various media.

Faux Bois was particularly popular in the late 19th century through the 1940’s.  Its emergence can be seen in garden ornaments such as FAUX BOIS BIRDBATH @ Victorian Tradingbirdbaths,

benches and planters….Antique French Faux Bois or Concrete Bench Attributed to Edouard Redont | From a unique collection of antique and modern Benches at https://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/seating/benches/.Faux Bois Planters-New this week 10/29/15Chairs and small side tables….Image result for faux bois at rf antiques

  Often times the items are made of steel and then wrapped in concrete reflecting the appearance of wood.  Some faux bois pieces are made in other ways.  In France an artisan may be called a “rocailleurs”.  This artisan may use common iron materials: rods, barrel bands, and chicken wire as the foundation to mold the piece applying concrete on the outside to build and develop the shape.Image result for faux bois at rf antiques

Early examples of the craft survive at Parc des Buttes-Chaumont opened for an exposition in Paris in 1867.  In 1873, the inventor of ferrocement,

(Meaning: a system of reinforced mortar or plaster, lime or cement, sand and water applied over layer of metal mesh, woven expanded-metal or metal-fibers and closely spaced thin steel rods such as rebar)

 Joseph Monier expanded his patents to include bridges. He designed the first bridge of reinforced concrete, crossing the moat (picture below) at the Chateau Chazelet, in France. It was sculpted to resemble timbers and logs.

Image by Bernard Marrey – Editions du Linteau, Paris

Photo below by Arjandb – own work -Bridge with faux bois railings at Soestdijik Palace.

In the 14th arrondissiment around Paris is the Parc Montsouris rail guard File:Paris 14e - Parc Montsouris - ciment faux-bois 5.jpg

Another Faux Bois example are tables and chairs at our RF Antiques shop on Church Street in Fairhope, AL

Image result for faux bois at rf antiques

Faux Bois table top with Corinthian pedestal base and staddle stone seating that look like mushrooms add interest to this outdoor setting.  This table and seating is currently available at RF ANTIQUES 251-928-8336

$1785 for pair Early 20th century concrete 24"x12"x12"


Diane Husson has a fabulous site that shows the ambitious person how to build a faux bois piece from start to finish — Below we show an overview of the process from her site:  www.fauxboisfurniture.com

To begin you must FIRST find an inspirational vision or sketch:

Inspiration for faux boisFaux Bois Table Sketch

SECOND:  Gathering your rebar and weld the armateurs of the tree table

Faux bois table frame

THIRD:  Covering it in Lath

FOURTH:  Applying the structural coat

faux bois table structural coat

FIFTH:  Applying the design and detail of coloring

Faux bois table processfaux bois table detailFaux bois cypress table

Image result for images of faux boisDiane Husson is a concrete sculptor specializing in the design and creation of contemporary faux bois benches and other faux bois furniture and accessories. She lives in Norfolk, Virginia.

RF Antiques imports Faux Bois from France – when exceptional and interesting pieces can be found- but, there are many companies all over the US that specialize in this special furniture.  For example Castapp.co is a company to contact for functional furniture in Faux Bois such as the chairs below.

Image result for images of faux bois

Another wonderful artisan, Michael Fogg, creates beautiful Faux Bois pieces


Michael Fogg concrete faux-bois wall sconceMichael Fogg concrete faux-bois table

 Faux Bois objects claim their own gentle presence in any space.  Experience this look with a purchase from RF Antiques – Faux Bois at exceptionally reasonable pricing.

  Call us to check availability 251-928-8336

Au Revoir!  A La Prochaine!!

NOTE:  thanks to all internet contributors, websites for faux bois, 1st dibs and pinterest – the use of any picture not ours used in this  blog are used for informational purposes only – 

TRUNK SHOW – Antique Pillows


WHEN:    MARCH 21, 2018    10 to 5
NEED MORE INFO:  Call us at 251-928-4808
The ideas and inspiration behind E Alexander Designs
began long ago. When Emily Alexander received her degree in Textiles and Communications, she was following a long line of family members who appreciated and were involved in the artistry of textile design a great-grandmother in north Louisiana who was a milliner after the Civil War; an aunt and a cousin who made fine dolls and stitched clothes for them out of fur and velvet; and a mother whose beautiful and intricate quilts were bought and appreciated by many, including the First Lady of Louisiana, who displayed them in the Governors Mansion.
Emily grew up learning needlepoint, petit point and crewel. Later in life, her love of fine textiles and beautiful old things led her on a search for antique pillows for her own home. Trips to Europe ignited her interest in antique fabrics, and the idea was born that she would create her own pillows.
From her home base in Rancho Santa Fe, California, Emily now travels to France, England and Italy, scouring auctions, flea markets and antique shows in search of beautiful old (16th, 17th and 18th century) textile pieces Aubussons, tapestries, needlepoint and toile. With each piece, she personally creates a one-of-a-kind pillow, filled with the highest quality down, backed with premium silks, velvets and linens, detailed with antique trims.

 E Alexander Designs are also found at fine antique stores such as Crown and Colony Antiques.  We will hold our first Trunk Show with Emily on March 21, 2018.  We are very excited to have this lovely and talented person in our midst and to showcase her exquisite pillows.

Please join us for a day of visual inspiration and the opportunity to own one of Emily’s creations.

Shown are just a few of her pillows from various collections she has created.  Pillows similar to all of these  will be available to purchase at our Trunk Show on March 21, 2018.  Please come visit and enjoy a day with Emily Alexander!  We are very excited to share these  beautiful accessories with our customers.


French Antiques – Our Specialty!

Welcome to Crown and Colony Antiques, Aubergine Antiques and RF Antiques – We are three unique shops under single ownership. 

We specialize in French antiques and accessories.

All of our shops are located in downtown Fairhope, Alabama and are within walking distance to each other.  We deliver locally at no charge, we deliver for a fair price to certain parts of Louisiana and Florida (where we can drive and return within a work day) OR we have wonderful, professional outside shippers who we work with daily that will provide expert delivery.


  If you see something that really sparks your interest we invite you to EMAIL us directly at  peter@crownandcolony.com

We will respond the day you inquire!


Pair of 19th Century Italian Sunburst Altar Fragments with Mirrors
$1,335 EACH

ITEM: 217-8085  Dimensions:  3 ft. 9 in.Hx3 ft. 0 in.Wx2.75 in.D


These items can be found at RF Antiques 251-928-8336

Pair of 19th Century Italian Sunburst Altar Fragments with Mirrors 1


Italian 19th Century Bench
ITEM:  216-5838   Dimensions:  22 in.Hx82 in.Wx22.5 in.D
This item can be found at Crown and Colony Antiques 251-928-4808


Italian 19th Century Bench 1

French Terracotta Vinaigrier Pot
$390 and up
We maintain several items like this along with Confit Jars
This item can be found at Aubergine Antiques 251-928-0902

French Terracotta Vinaigrier Pot 1

19th Century Italian Monastery Walnut and Iron Trestle Table
Read our Blog post on Trestle Tables – Search Trestle Table
ITEM:  217-3097   Dimensions:  31.5 in.Hx142.5 in.Wx37.5 in.D
This item can be found at Aubergine Antiques 251-928-0902

19th Century Italian Monastery Walnut and Iron Trestle Table 1

Pair of 19th Century Italian Sconces
$990 for the PAIR
ITEM:  217-0115   Dimensions:  15.5 in.Hx13.25 in.Wx5 in.D
These Sconce and others can be found at RF Antiques 251-928-8336

Pair of 19th Century Italian Sconces 1

Set of Six French Painted Kitchen Dining Chairs with Rush Seats
ITEM:  217-4476   Dimensions:  38 in.Hx19 in.Wx17 in.D
These chairs can be found at Aubergine Antiques 251-928-0902


Set of Six French Painted Kitchen Dining Chairs with Rush Seats 1


19th Century Crystal Empire Chandelier
ITEM:  217-4551   Dimensions:  37 in.Hx32 in.Wx32 in.D
This item can be found at Aubergine Antiques 251-928-0902

19th Century Crystal Empire Chandelier 1

19th Century French Louis XVI Painted Commode with Faux Marble Top
ITEM:  217-3014   Dimensions:  37 in.Hx50 in.Wx23.75 in.D
This item can be found at RF Antiques 251-928-8336

19th Century French Louis XVI Carved Painted Commode with Faux Marble Top 1

Late 19th Century Regency Bullseye Convex Mirror
Read our Blog post on French Mirrors – search French Style Mirror
ITEM:  217-5159   Dimensions:  2 ft. 8 in.Hx18 in.Wx2.25 in.D
This item can be found at Crown and Colony Antiques 251-928-4808

Late 19th Century Regency Bullseye Convex Mirror 1

Two 19th Century, French Louis XIV Walnut Needlepoint Armchair
$900 EACH
ITEM:  217-3090   Dimensions:  45.5 in.Hx26.25 in.Wx24 in.D
These chairs can be found at Crown & Colony Antiques 251-928-4808

Two 19th Century, French Louis XIV Walnut Needlepoint Armchair 1

Large 19th Century French Butcher Block Table with Marble
ITEM:  217-4514   Dimensions:  35 in.Hx80 in.Wx31.5 in.D
This item can be found at Aubergine Antiques 251-928-0902

Large 19th Century French Butcher Block Table with Marble 1

Louis XVI Ebonized French Buffet with Marble Top
Read our Blog post on Buffets  – Search Buffet or Enfilade
Item:  217-1127   Dimensions:  40.5 in.Hx81 in.Wx19 in.D
This item can be found at Crown and Colony Antiques 251-928-4808

Louis XVI Ebonized French Buffet with Marble Top 1

18th Century Vellum Books
$320 per item & vary depending on size
Dimensions will vary from book to book – we have in stock more than what is shown here:  1.5 in.Hx10 in.Wx15.5 in.D
These books can be found at Crown and Colony Antiques 251-928-4808



18th Century Vellum Books 1

19th Century French Inlaid Louis XVI Commode with Marble Top from Paris
Read our Blog post on Italian vs. French Chests – search Italian Chests
Item:  217-4560   Dimensions:  35.25 in.Hx48.25 in.Wx23.75 in.D
This item can be found at Crown and Colony Antiques 251-928-4808

19th Century French Inlaid Louis XVI Commode with Marble Top 1

19th Century Louis XV Serpentine Front Commode
ITEM:  216-5646   Dimensions:  35 in.Hx50.5 in.Wx29.75 in.D
This item can be found at Crown and Colony Antiques 251-928-4808

19th Century Louis XV Serpentine Front Commode 1

Early 19th Century Biot Olive Jar
Prices Vary and we have many to choose from
Read our Blog post on the Olive Jars from Biot France – just search Olive Jar
 All Olive Jars can be found at RF Antiques  251-928-8336


Early 19th Century Biot Olive Jar 1

We hope you have enjoyed a preview of just some of the hundreds and hundreds of items we carry – All beautiful, authentic and special!  Please call us, visit us in person or view our websites for more details and information.




Au Revoir!  A La Prochaine!!

Oushak Rugs from Turkey

ANTIQUE OUSHAK RUGS from TURKEY – Aubergine Antiques

Investment pieces for your home can run the gamut and you may think a rug isn’t one of them because it gets walked on….but,  an antique rug can be a great investment, if you know what to look for.

There probably is not one single factor that determines a rugs value – I’m no rug expert, but I have heard that the “knots” per square inch seem to add value….Appraisers of antique rugs seem to say it has to do with a few other things as well as knots per square inch.


The knot type and size does determine the quality of a rug’s construction while AGE and CONDITION of the rug add value.  The older the rug is and the better condition it is in for sure dictates its value. Ok so RULE #1 – look for an older rug in good condition.

You are going to want a rug that does not have frayed edges – they can unravel quickly AND this is the most costly area to repair.  Avoid the hassle.

The country of origin is important

For example, a vintage Oushak rug made in India is going to have less value than an Oushak make in Turkey, its original place of origin.  Your cost difference will be considerable as well. The country of origin impacts the value of antique rugs as does a particular region– a certain village or tribe may be renowned for their craftsmanship or beauty during the time that the carpet was made. The Turkish village of Usak is in Central Anatolia

and they have been weaving Usak carpets there for hundreds of years. Acquiring a rug from that particular village increases the value of your rug dramatically.   Rule #2 – The fact that an Usak rug is authentic (actually made in the Usak village) adds to its potential long term value.

To ensure that a machine hasn’t made the carpet, always look at the back of it. “When you flip the rug, it must look almost identical to the front.

Oushak rugs can also command higher prices because the larger ones are so much harder to find in good condition.  Turkish labor is quite expensive as well – from start to finish the hand weaving process is laborious and commands time, talent and ultimately a high dollar price for the finished product.  The weaving and finishing processes begin with the shearing of wool, spinning the wool and then dying the wool in small batches – in comparison to other types of new rugs.

So Rule #3 – when you are looking at Oushak rugs and your mouth drops open at the price tag, just remember what you are paying for:  the labor intensive efforts put forth in making the rug!

Note to self:  All of our Oushak rugs come from various areas of Turkey.   Rugs shown here are from Aubergine Antiques – Fairhope AL 251-928-0902


The most common materials for Oriental rug construction are wool, cotton, silk, metal threads, goat hair and camel hair.

It is also important to understand that not all wool is the same. There valued differences in the grade of wool being used which comes from its feel and seeing the fineness of the wool.  This is important because it tells us how it was spun before it was woven. Yün eğiren anadolu kadını.

And of course, when the sheep are raised at higher elevations they tend to generate a more luxurious coat and ultimately better wool — resulting in a more luxurious rug pile. Hand spinning the wool versus machine spinning the wool makes a softer and more natural looking pile.  Again, adding to cost because of the time it takes to hand spin the wool.




When dyes are used in the construction of the rug using natural dye will add to the calmness and less saturated colors in the rug.  Vibrantly colored rugs are also beautiful; however, the less intense the colors, the more complicated the rug is to make.  This type of dying requires expert knowledge and the scarcity of these artisans are becoming more difficult to find which adds value to the rug.


Typically the art of rug making is a family tradition passed down from mother to daughter.  By geography one can trace where the rug was woven by the knot –  While knot size is a consideration, the more important consideration is the density of the wool and how the knots are tied.  A quick way to determine the longevity of a rug is to take it in your hand – if it has a bit of sturdiness to it, it will wear better than one that is flimsy with loosely tied knots.  A hand knotted rug can be identified by looking at the back of the rug.  Below is an example of an authentically hand knotted rug versus a machine made rug.  Note the difference in how the knots look.

So there you have it in a condensed version –  the knot alone does not determine the rugs quality, but the quality is based on the wool choice, the actual construction of the rug, the weaving accomplishment and finally the actual visual appeal presented by the weaver.  FINAL RULE – If the rug isn’t beautiful to the person buying it then it has all been for nothing!

Stop buy our Antique Store – Aubergine Antiques – and let us help you pick out a rug that will suit your needs.  We carry all sizes of Oushaks as well as Persian and Heriz rugs — all are beautiful.

Below the Owner of Crown and Colony Antiques, Aubergine Antiques and RF Antiques is Peter Fargason (right) and the Manager of Aubergine Antiques, Jack McCown.  Both extremely knowledgeable about the rugs we sell.

Unloading rugs is a common sight at Aubergines!

Aubergine Antiques  315 De La Mar Ave  Fairhope, AL  36532

  (251) 928-0902

If you own a valued rug it is also important to know that if you need to have it cleaned, please seek a professional rug cleaner equipped to do so.  In the mean time if you need to spot clean an area, a solution of one part white vinegar to six parts water and a gentle blotting technique to clean a small area will work nicely.

 Au Revoir!  A La Prochaine!!

Mardi Gras – A French Celebration

Mardi Gras BEGAN IN FRANCE…Related image

The celebration of Mardi Gras came to North America from France where it had been celebrated since the Middle Ages.  The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced to medieval Europe, passing through Rome and Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries to the French House of the Bourbons.

With this French influence we can compare our celebrations to those of modern day Paris and smaller villages across France.

Below Mardi Gras in Nice, France

For us in the United States, the actual founding of Mardi Gras was in 1702:

 In 1702 French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville established “Fort Louis de la Louisiane” (which is now Mobile). In 1703, the tiny settlement of Fort Louis de la Mobile celebrated America’s very first Mardi Gras. Though most people associate Mardi Gras with New Orleans, LA–Mobile, AL began holding the festival in 1703, 15 years before it started in Louisiana.  It grew into a stronger and stronger tradition even into the 1800’s

MardiGras and Carnival represent a festive season in France which refers to eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lent, accompanied with sumptuous public celebrations or parades (les carnavals) which take place in many French towns and schools.

Buyenlarge 'King - Mardi Gras Parade Float Design' Painting Print Size: 30" H x 20" W

Even Claude Monet found inspiration in the Mardi Gras Carnival in Paris      Carnaval boulevard des Capucines, 1873

By Claude Monet – The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=155837There are traditions associated with Mardi Gras. 

 Traditions of Mardi Gras in France and here in the United States are very similar, such as…..

  the wearing of masks, throwing trinkets and beads from the floats in the parades and a reigning King and Queen….

The Wearing Of Masks     Image result for 5 X 7 pictures of mardi gras from the 1800s

Masks are an integral part of Mardi Gras culture. During early Mardi Gras celebrations hundreds of years ago, masks were a way for their wearers to escape social constraints and social demands. Mask wearers could mingle with people of all different classes and could be whomever they desired, at least for a few days.

   Decorate your walls with Giant Mardi Gras Masks . Wall decorations are a great way to celebrate the Mardi Gras holidays. Wall decorations that we carry include Big Mask, Jester Venetian Mask, Joker Big Mask, Comedy Big Mask, and Tragedy Big Mask.          

In New Orleans LA, float riders are required by law to have a mask on.

On Fat Tuesday, masking is legal for all Mardi Gras attendees – 

The term “Fat Tuesday“, refers to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.  Fat Tuesday in French refers to Mardi Gras!

  Villages and smaller towns still revel in age old Mardi Gras traditions like donning costumes, feasting and singing.  One of the few remaining big city carnivals, the Nice Carnival, is one of the most exciting events of the year in Nice. The parade is colorful and jolly, and flowers are either used to bombard the passing floats, or people use them to stage mock flower fights  Image result for images of flowers tossing in nice france during mardi gras  OR flowers are thrown into the crowd  by individuals on the floats!Related image

Related image

Image result for images of flowers tossing in nice france during mardi gras

Related image

The Throwing of Beads and Trinkets

The tradition of bead throwing & the color of the beads was determined by the king of the first daytime Carnival in 1872.  He wanted the colors to be royal colors – purple for justice, gold for power and green for faith. The idea was to toss the color to the person who exhibited the color’s meaning.

The beads were originally made of glass, which, as you can imagine, weren’t the best for tossing.  It wasn’t until the beads were made of plastic that throwing them really became a staple of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

A King and Queen of Mardi Gras

Each year, a king and queen are selected to reign over the parade. The royal colors of purple, green, and gold are to this day the colors of Mardi Gras.1907 king and queen of mardi gras in mobile, al-- the birthplace of mardi grasFirst King and Queen of Mardi Gras in Mobile, AL

And while Mardi Gras reigns strong in Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans, Louisiana there are many parades in other cities as well, such as our beautiful city of  Fairhope AL.   February 2018 !

–Elaborate Floats christen the parade route–

Image result for images of mardi gras parade 2018 in fairhope al

            Today’s floats are highly detailed and vibrant in color!

    And of course, part of the glutenous food intake during this celebration is the traditional King Cake,Image result for pictures of king cakes which are eaten in abundance during the Mardi Gras Season!  French settlers brought Mardi Gras to New Orleans and the Louisiana territory.  The “Galette des Rois,” or king cake, came too, becoming a symbol of New Orleans’ and a brand of Mardi Gras.

Image result for beautiful pictures of mardi gras


Au Revoir!!  A La Prochaine!!