Wednesday, 25 January 2017

French Coffee Grinders and Peugeot Freres

Not many people realise that Peugeot Brothers, the famous car makers, started out making coffee mills. Coffee was introduced into France from Turkey in the 18th Century, but the only way to grind it was in the large mills designed for grain. It was not until the early 19th century that the small household mills started to emerge, mainly produced by the Peugeot Freres.
 A lovely example of a Peugeot Freres Art Deco design

The Peugeot Brothers owned a foundry at Valentigny where they designed and patented the now famous ‘box and drawer’ design in 1840. The box contains a hopper for the raw beans which feeds them into an Archimedean screw. The screw cracks the beans open before the mill wheel grinds them to a fine powder.

The factory at Valentigney about 1925

Their invention was an immediate success and by the time of the Great Paris Exhibition in 1889 they were producing half a million grinders a year. It was around this time that the brothers started making car parts for Mercedes. They later manufactured complete cars, but the production of coffee mills continued until 1974 in a variety of designs and sizes based on the same principles.

Vintage and antique coffee grinders are eminently collectible. They add grace and French charm to a kitchen whilst also producing a wonderful cup of coffee. True coffee aficionados will tell you that a cup of coffee you have ground yourself tastes so much better, due to the freshness and the way the beans are cracked open without becoming 'burnt' by the high speed mills.

An early design complete with Elephant emblem. This dates it as pre-1930


 There were many variations on the original design. This one is in a beautiful lacquered blue that was popular in the early 1930s.

Another fine example from about 1908. This one has a rare and beautiful external hopper and is made from a lovely warm honey coloured wood

The Cube type. This grinder from 1940s has a very attractive steel hopper and a straight elegant handle typical of the Art Deco period.

Another very rare Peugeot Freres grinder with a Flemish theme. This one is engraved and enamelled with a scene of two windmills and a boat. It dates from around 1930.

Whilst it’s true that Peugeot Freres were not the only makers of coffee mills they are the most sought after amongst collectors. Since they ceased production in 1974 these coffee grinders are at a premium and becoming increasingly difficult to find. So just think as you enjoy your morning ‘croissant et café’ that your ‘moulin à café is only going up in value!

Who Are We?

Dazzle Vintage Furniture is an online boutique specialising in authentic French armoires, antique mirrors and decorative accessories. We personally source all our items in France, scouring flea markets, fairs and antiques shops in Brittany and Provence.


TWITTER: @DazzleVintage



Thursday, 24 November 2016

The Annual Antiques Fair at Chateau de Kerduel

Ahead of our next buying trip to France in December we're taking a little bit of time to reminisce about our summer visit to the antiques fair at the beautiful Chateau de Kerduel in Brittany. This is an annual event which attracts a diverse range of dealers. From the quirky and bizarre through to high end Parisian art, there is something for all tastes and budgets. If you don't find something to buy it doesn't matter, you can just enjoy the view! 

We visit France on a regular basis shopping for authentic French armoires, antique mirrors and decorative accessories. To keep up to date with all our new listings visit our 'About Us' page and sign up to our newsletter:

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

French Buying Trip: from Provence to Brittany in spite of La grève!

One of the perks of dealing in authentic French armoires is that we get to travel in and around France on a regular basis. Our most recent buying trip was something of an epic, which took in Provence, Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrénées, Poitou-Charente and Brittany.

We started in Arles, in south west France, a regular haunt for us due to the fantastic brocante. This area is known for the stunning Camargue nature reserve, home to the famous white horses and one of the best places to see flamingoes in the wild.

We had intended to stay in Arles for a couple of days but we didn't chose our dates very well. We arrived just as the country descended into a wave of strikes affecting trains, planes and petrol stations. Known as 'La grève', access to fuel became almost impossible and we were advised to stay put until the situation improved.

There are, however, worse places to be stranded! Arles is a beautiful town with some breathtaking Roman structures, such as the amphitheatre.

We finally hit the road a week later than anticipated, stopping at the beautiful town of Moissac on the river Tarn.

Our next stop was to Marans - another regular haunt for us, and to an amazing warehouse full of fabulous antiques. Particularly good for french armoires, we were spoilt for choice!

A favourite part of any buying trip is rummaging around at a brocante. Not always the cheapest places to buy any more they do however offer a fascinating insight into the wonderful world of French vintage. There are a few bargains to be had if you're prepared to look hard enough.

We ended in our trip in beautiful Brittany, staying in a gorgeous cottage right by the sea. So many people overlook this part of France which is a shame as it has many stunning unspoilt  towns and amazing beaches, most of it you'll have completely to yourself.

Who Are We? 

Dazzle Vintage Furniture is an online boutique specialising in authentic French armoires, antique mirrors and decorative accessories. We personally source all our items in France, scouring flea markets, fairs and antiques shops in Brittany and Provence.


TWITTER: @DazzleVintage


Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Antiquing In France: The first French buying trip of 2016 - Part Deux

We've recently returned from our first French buying trip of 2016 with a beautiful hoard of authentic French armoires. We sailed out on a glorious morning arriving in France with plenty of daylight left to begin the hunt.

Our buying trips usually last about a week and during that time we cover quite a few miles. The bonus is that we get to visit lots of lovely places and many small towns that most tourists don't get to see. On this trip we stayed in Brittany and despite the bitter cold it was a wonderful adventure! 

 Leaving Plymouth on the Bretagne under blue skies

 The beach at Perros-Guirec on a rather gloomy day!  

 The beautiful town of Tréguier    

 Children taking part in a procession through the town on Palm Sunday in Tréguier  

An amazing St Malo armoire in Tréguier cathedral

The stunning medieval town of Dinan 

Walking the ramparts in Dinan

 Somewhat overcast in St Malo

Leaving St Malo on the ferry heading home with a full load

We are increasingly buying to order but a portion of the French armoires we purchased on this trip will be available to buy on the website over the coming next few weeks. Our vintage and antique armoires tend to sell out quickly so to stay informed make sure you sign up to our mailing list. You can find the sign up box on our 'About Us' page: