Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Texas French Embassy

It's Outdoor Wednesday with Susan @ Southern Daydreamer. Come with me through the bustling downtown streets of Austin, TX to a quiet hilltop that overlooks our state capitol.

As we walk through the gates of this old estate, we learn that this home was originally built as the Légation de la République Française during the time when Texas was a Republic.

It was constructed in 1840-1841 as the place of residence for Alphonse Dubois, a young French diplomat, sent to the Republic of Texas to represent the government of King Louis Philippe of France.

French Legation in Texas

The French Legation, built in the Anglo-French style, was restored in the 1950s by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. Click here to read an interesting account of Dubois de Saligny and his brief time in Austin.

Nestled on a hilltop east of the downtown business district, the French Legation has a protected view of the state capitol.

The structure is the oldest wood frame home in the city and is furnished with items original to its time period.

This little clump of red lilies were all that remained blooming in a flower bed that must have been awash in vibrant color just days before.

There are two of these boxwood maze gardens, one on either side of the main house.

The expanse of rolling lawn is a favorite spot for families to picnic.

The original dirt floor kitchen to the property was destroyed by a fire in 1880. This structure was built in the 1950 restoration of the property and is situated where the original hearth's foundations were discovered. I know this is Outdoor Wednesday, but there is pottery in this building. French pottery! I have to take you inside to get a peek.

The kitchen has an extensive collection of antique French kitchenware, but we'll just focus on the pottery.

Yes, there is even a shelf of Quimper and Malicorne.

As you can see, these two plates are marked HR Quimper. Below are four Malicorne Plates.

The four plates to follow are all French, but all unmarked. If anyone has knowledge of where these may have been produced, please let us know.

This collection of plates is also all French, again unmarked pieces.

This Chinoiserie motif was one of my favorites as were the following two painted in Delft Blue.

Well, I hope you enjoyed our brief outing to the French Embassy of Texas. More information and photos of this property and its history can be found at http://www.frenchlegationmuseum.org/

Click here to go over to A Southern Daydreamer to see more Outdoor Wednesday outings.