So, welcome to Artistide !
He is a very lucky cat who lives in
the Bruges Folk Museum.
A black cat is the mascot of this museum.
This beautiful boy is the fourth
He was lucky enough to be born all black.
He was unlucky to be handed in to
a French charity that takes in
However he was lucky enough
to be a kitten when
Aristide III died.
Let me introduce you to Aristide 4th - a beautiful black cat who lives in the Museum.
He is adored by the people who work there and by visitors .
The museum is set out in little one storey houses which were originally
built as homes for people who had worked as cobblers or grocers.
The houses were for them to live in when they retired
and probably had very little income or savings.
Now each little house has a collection of items in a setting that shows
how life used to be.
So, the first room was the schoolroom and there were items in it that I could remember
from when I was very little. I used a slate and can remember writing out my tables
and doing simple sums on it and very good it was too.
Some of you will remember desks like these - I can remember having
the job of refilling the inkwells.
Here are all the coats hung on their individual pegs ……. with their clogs set out below.
So another room and we are at the cobblers …… not many like this anymore.
Wish there were.
The shoe forms which the cobbler would use to fashion the shoes -
each one would be for a different size.
I have quite a few of these which I've collected over the years.
I love them.
Now to the grocers …. to my surprise there where some brands that I knew.
Like Sunlight soap which was made very near where I used to live in England.
Lux soap flakes which was to wash delicate things -
long before we all had washing machines.
Then we go into a room filled with wonderful old toys.
A beautiful rocking horse and an old board game.
The jars below would have held loose tobacco.
This amazing sledge was made to carry a baby.
It must have been for a very rich family.
There was a little door with a round window
so as the sledge was pushed along you could see the baby.
Inside was a tiny velvet seat for the baby.
The sledge was mounted on metal runners
and must have been very heavy to push along.
The wooden figure below of a hussar was the traditional sign
for the tobacconists shop.
Into the kitchen which was charming in its simplicity. I just loved it.
I can certainly remember a simple sink like this and know
that when I was a baby my mother used to bathe me
in the one we had at home !
So if you go to Bruges take a good walk away from the rush
of the busy city centre and go to discover this wonderfully
magic gem of a museum.
Sit down and have a coffee in the little period cafe
where you will meet two charming gentleman who work there
…….. and the beautiful ….. very lucky ………. Aristide.