Extraordinary Story of How We Met
I first met Patrick through eBay, when he e-mailed me about some
of the French faience that I had for sale. Living in Lorraine,
in eastern France, Patrick is a connoisseur of and dealer in 18th
C faiences from the east of France, such as Strasbourg, Niderviller,
St. Clement and Les Islettes. He offered to share his knowledge
should it ever be desired. We then enjoyed intermittantly corresponding
by e-mail on the subject, exchanged some photos and he eventually
purchased some Niderviller faience from me.
when I decided on a trip to Strasbourg, to visit the museum for
Strasbourg faience, I wrote him, knowing he lived nearby, asking
if he would like to meet for lunch in Strasbourg. In reply, he
not only accepted that invitation, he and his wife Isabellle very
generously invited me to visit them in their home for several
days! They offered to introduce me the "French Paradox"
(see Google) and some of the superb local wines. Patrick also
offered to take me to museums in Nancy and elsewhere; and, to
introduce me to France's top expert on the faiences of eastern
France, in Strasbourg; and also a Paris faience dealer who would
be at an antiques fair in the region at the time!
I replied with heartfelt, but sorrowful thanks for the extraordinarly
generous invitation, but explained that I would be with my daughter
and my German friend, Dierk, "a recently retired lawyer from
the EC in Brussels whom I had known for over 35 years." Patrick
"We have a large house.
Bring your daughter and your friend."
was astonished at the generosity, but nonetheless, I hastened
to ask Page and Dierk if the idea appealed to them! In typically
German fashion, Dierk thought it a thing he would never do, to
visit someone he had never met..., but, true to his tradition
in our long friendship, he said he would do it FOR ME!
it turned out, Dierk's was a very important decision... since
he is fluent in France and I soon learned that Patrick and Isabelle
did not speak any English, and I could only read French and write
it with help of the internet translators!
But, even more fortuitously, we learned upon our arrival at their
home, that Patrick was a retired lawyer from Brussels!! Needless
to say, the two men got along famously together!