I am so excited for my friend Trace Mayer and his new Museum Bees book! If you are looking for a great gift for just about anyone on your list, this might be it. You can sweeten the gift idea a bit more by tying a museum bee on top! There are a plethora of gems in just about any theme you can imagine. I just love this museum bee story!

I met Trace about 15 years ago at the Lauritzen Gardens Antiques Show, and through the years, our friendship has flourished. My daughter and I visited his family in Louisville, KY for the Kentucky Derby almost ten years ago, and Trace and my husband bonded about Trace’s love of La Buvette, a wonderfully quirky little restaurant in downtown Omaha. (He really, really loves it.)

Trace was always a supporter of The French Tangerine blog, and when I opened my shop, he graciously offered me the opportunity to sell museum bees. The bees have been such a constant inspiration and positive influence in my shop. People just love them, and it seems there is one for everyone, and for some, there are dozens.. even hundreds! They can be addictive, but they just bring so much joy!

To give a little background, in case you are new to the phenomenon of museum bees, Trace Mayer uses antique frame fragments, predominantly from 1860-80, to form charming and interesting shapes. In the center, a variety of ornaments are showcased, the first of which was Napolean’s Bee. What has transpired over the years is really extraordinary. Bees have expanded to include just about anything you can imagine including other animal gems, insects, brooches, and even personal items such as a medal or special family heirloom. Small antique objects are also showcased including horse brass, pre-Columbian fragments, or small cameos.

Although I adore the traditional frame fragments with “grande” or “Italian” bees, I really get excited about an unusual find. Here are a few of my favorite “bee finds” in my personal collection.

And here are a few I have loved from the shop. Some are still available!

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Here’s one that got away. I LOVED it so much, and accidentally uploaded it onto the website when I meant to keep it. It sold right away. I hope whoever bought it is loving it as much as I would have!

I love taking small collection photos for the gram.

included in the book are some interior photos featuring client installations. I’ve shared this collection before, and it remains my favorite installation of all time. It is just gorgeous! And I’m sorry, the pups??? OMG

There are over 600 photographs in this 333 pp book detailing the story of Museum Bees including the range of work, materials, thought process, and creations.

I adore the actual gilded bee casting on the front!

This limited first edition hardcover 2021 publication is only available on the website and in existing stores that already carry Museum Bees, including The French Tangerine! No bookstores will get this first edition. When they are gone, they won’t be restocked for this holiday season. Many of my copies are also signed by Trace Mayer!

They are $55 each and a limited number are available to purchase now!


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