Aliénation

Since we moved to New England, we have enjoyed antiquing on Sundays. The weekend, we returned to a huge shop we last visited about a year ago, Salt Marsh Antiques. I’d been looking for some tall vases for the top of a curio cabinet on the wall adjacent to our dining room. The cabinet, passed on by my mother-in-law, looked a little too petit in relationship to the high ceilings.

imageAt Salt Marsh, I spotted some very tall French porcelain vases. The color worked really well with our gorgeous Persian rug (also from my mother-in-law) in the adjacent living room. The vases had been deaccessioned from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but we made an offer and got them for a very reasonable price. I couldn’t wait to get them home and see how they looked in their new location. I couldn’t be more pleased.

In French, the word aliénation (al-e-ay-na-see-ohn) is the equivalent to the English word deaccession, or permanently removing items from a museum’s collection. If you think about a term like “inalienable rights,” rights that can’t be given away, the word aliénation makes perfect sense.

imageThe Wrigtsman Galleries for French Decorative Art: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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