Monday, December 14, 2009

The Object of My Desire: La Tour de Toothpicks

Now why would I be surprised to learn that a woman who just might own a pair of doors belonging to Marie Antoinette would also have a piece of French history in the back of her shop....made entirely out of toothpicks!

While I was in West Palm Beach last month for a fabulous event at Gardenhouse, I strolled into Emilie-Marie's charming shop and was wowed by the the magical doors, but then Emilie parted a curtain and showed me this whimsical Eiffel Tower perched high upon a shelf.

Emilie's elegant eye spotted the tower at the Brimfield Antique Show in Massachusetts where she was lured by this 4-foot tower that has a working elevator that rises from its center with the pull of a string.

Not only did Emilie find a divine wooden object, but she she also uncovered a bit of history, recounted in a yellowed and tattered copy of the Worcester Sunday Telegram from October 25, 1942. A certain Thomas D. Flint meticulously constructed this scale model out of 18,000 picks "and the finest quality waterproof cement."

But the following comment delivered a chill: "Mr Flint's four-foot toothpick model of the Eiffel Tower, the original of which was built in 1889 and is now reported to have been torn down by the Germans for the salvage of metal...."

Today, if a beloved structure like the Eiffel Tower disappeared from the planet, we would be notified in seconds by the media. But I was reminded that back in 1942, daily newspapers and radio broadcasts were how most people received their news. Happily, the real Eiffel Tower still glows above Paris, and another Eiffel Tower commemorates a time when its fate was unbelievably in peril.

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous

The Elegant Thrifter


  1. Wonderful Post! Would love to see the doors!

  2. What the what? Toothpicks? Wow! I'd love to see those doors too!

  3. The doors must be marvelous!

    My book came and I am thrilled! It is wonderful and thank you so much for signing it for me. I am tres magnifique in my new rain bonnet!

    Thank you SO much!

    LuLu Kellogg

  4. If you're interested in reading about the Marie Antoinette doors, click on the highlighted words above, and it will take you to the original post. Stan

  5. I posted an image of my own matchstick Eiffel Tower on my blog it,s th eiamge of the tower on a mantle with 2 ostrich eggs and a Roman head; go see if you have minute; it's one of my most prized possessions - very very fragile... thank you for the post on one of my favorite icons ( another is the Chrysler building.



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