think for a moment of charles trenet’s song from 1946. can you hear the music? think of the atlantic, salty air, wind and waves and maybe a beach bar, a cabane, where they serve the freshest oysters. you sit under a thatched roof on old crates around wooden tables and order a dozen – and maybe a bottle of chablis to go with them. you look around, your gaze falls on the large flat oyster basins („la claire“), where they are kept in fresh cold water – until you order them.
what you don’t see are the plugs in the basin that close the drain: the „bouchons“ or „bondons“, which basically work the same way as in a bathtub at home. they are just a bit bigger – and nowadays made of plastic.
but we have the originals here: eight „bouchons“ from an oyster farm on the french „ile de ré“. made of wood, with rusty holders for the line on which they once hung. eaten away by the salty water, they show a wonderful patina – and are a completely different maritime decoration than the eternal sailor’s knots and lighthouse pictures.