Francophile Friday: Tour de Tour d'Argent

ink & watercolour illustration, 7" x 8.75" [18 x 22.5cm]

Today, with abundant warm fuzzy thanks to Virginia of Paris Through My Lens, we visit La Tour d'ArgentRoughly translated in duck language as, "Run away!  Run away!"

This prestigious establishment {precisely translated in English language as "The Tower of Silver"} is not actually made of silver, causing somewhat of a disappointment to those who love polishing and arrive there appropriately equipped.  Opened in 1582, it was built of Champagne stone which gave off silvery reflections and therefore, the name.  La Tour d'Argent has been especially been revered for its fine duck dining experience for well over a century.  The ducks are so famous that each one is numbered and the diner receives a postcard to verify the same ~ thus giving the ducks a very real appreciation of the expression, "Your days are numbered."

Virginia's photo dressed itself in black tie for this esteemed restaurant, so my illustration chose to do the same.  There's quite an interesting story of the history of La Tour d'Argent at its website.  I'm glad we don't have to duel for dinner reservations nowadays, much as it would bring the awaiting ducks much pleasure to watch.  And on that note... no, wait for it...

Do you remember our Date With a Stack of Light Reading?  

 Recently, I was contacted by the delightful Jamie from, an inspiring online resource for Literacyheads ~ those who "may have expertise in different areas of literacy, but all are committed to children's literacy, passionate about the arts, incessant thinkers, and display a propensity for having fun." I'm beyond chuffed that this illo is one of those chosen for the current issue, Reading Habits, to help give writers ideas in the Write StARTs section.  If you love reading and the arts {and if you're here, that's most likely You}, please do pop over and have a browse.  It's a wonderful concept.

Oh, and Tuesday posts resume next week.  Hooray! And on that note...

Happy Francophile Friday to you!


  1. I knew I wasn't the only one who liked polishing things!

    You know, I'm a carnivore, I enjoyed finely prepared fowl. But I like to eat my meat in ignorance of it having a name and a life prior to my plate. ;)

    As ever, you have done an amazing job bring this photo to illustration.

    And a HUGE congratulations on having your illustration included a publication. :D

  2. Congratulations! That's big, big, big. More to come, no doubt about that.

    Another charming illustration, Shell. Are you ever going to post a crappy one?

    I had one of those ducks at Tour d'Argent. I kept the card. Let me look up the number. Dum de dum...ah! Here it is: "Le Numéro de votre Canard 1044106."

    The card has reproduction of a painting entitled "Frédéric préparant son célèbre Canard."

  3. Thanks, Amy ~ and I'm glad I forewarned you. ;) We have a long-standing arrangement here at home that meat comes from a meat tree.

    Petrea ~ thank you! I'll keep working at it. And Wow. Did you frame it?

  4. Oh dear Shell
    Now I"M beyond chuffed that another one of my photos has been transformed by your delightful pen! I love the black and white as well.

    Now those book folks know what they're doing choosing your clever design for their website. Bravo!

    Bon weekend mon amie!

  5. I haven't framed it. But I haven't tossed it out, either.

  6. Brilliantly funny write-up on La Tour D'Argent. I knew someone who won a bet and his friend had fly him to Paris and pay for a dinner at La Tour D'Argent. May we all have similar good fortune.

  7. Congratulation on your accomplishment. What good taste they have!

  8. Wow, Hiker, I need to start making bets like that. If I know I can win, of course.

  9. I really appreciate your wonderful illustration of La Tour d'Argent, Shell. The upward looking perspective and detail are what make it shine, for me anyways. Thanks so much for this.

  10. This black & white illustration of V's photo is awesome! I'd much rather buy your drawing than a duck dinner at Tour d'Argent. I also love your book illustration. That's exactly how I'd like to spend my summer! Awesome that it was chosen to appear at literacyheads. And yipee -- you'll be back on Tuesdays!

  11. You and Virginia are a winning team. La Tour d'Argent looks stunning. Think I'll pass on the duck.

    Congrats! How exciting! Thank goodness there are enough books to go around.

  12. Lots of information, 2 wonderful drawings (as always) for the price of one, nice memories brought to my mind about la Tour d'argent.
    A pleasant experience I had once, nice food, a card of my duck too but I must confess I remember more of their amazing elevator than of the taste of the duck !!!
    And the good news we'll enjoy your work twice a week again !!
    You are making my rainy, stormy Saturday, Thanks.

  13. Thanks once again, dear Virginia! I couldn't have done it without you. ;)

    Petrea ~ framed or unframed, it's a charming keepsake.

    Hiker ~ {whistle} now, that's a bet.

    Margaret ~ "good taste" ~ heh heh!

    Thank you, le0pard13 ~ I'm happy you're enjoying it! And being on the small side, I often have an upward looking perspective. :)

    Katie and Cali ~ with Amy, you and me, that makes four ducks saved from de-pression. We're on a roll, LOL! And I'll enjoy being back again on Tuesday...

    Marylène ~ I'll be sure to remember your tip about the elevator! And I'm happy to cheer your rainy Saturday...

  14. Stunning illo Shell and big congrats on being featured in Literacyhead! :)

  15. Many thanks, Favourite Vintage Finds!

  16. Now that's just ducky. The illustration, the humour, the hint of culture and high living, the book-reading advocacy, the whole lot. Every diner who gets a prime numbered duck should be invited back for a free meal.

  17. I'm beyond chuffed for several reasons:
    There'll be another drawing tomorrow;
    your wonderful and inspiring illo was featured (and rightly so) in Reading Habits;
    I made it home to the Internet and can post this message here. (The countryside is great but I need my Internet!)
    I hope you get to the Tour d'Argent some day, Shell—let's go together!

  18. Mise ~ there's a prime idea!

    Thanks, Alexa ~ and there's another prime idea! ;)

  19. Sorry I haven't been in for a while - holidays and all.
    This is by far my favourite of your paintings.

  20. Well, thanks, Debs ~ that's lovely! Hope you've had a grand holiday. I'll be over to say Hello shortly.


Merci, grazie, thank you for joining our conversation lounge. Your smile lights up the room. Even more beautifully than our crystal chandelier. x

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