Poor Mouchette is an antique & vintage fine jewelry shop, owned and curated by Regina Godfrey, and specializing in Victorian-era and mid-20th-century jewelry. Poor Mouchette also produces a small line of original designs.
Poor Mouchette's Alder Street shop is the smallest stand-alone storefront in Portland, at just 98 square feet— the tiny shop is tucked into the historic Loyalty Building, in the heart of Portland's jewelry district. The Loyalty Building, built in 1928, was originally known as the Buyer's Building and, growing up, we called this area "jeweler's row."
Moo - shet
Mouchette is a French diminutive meaning “little fly.” You often find a small housefly at rest in vanitas paintings, and the fly was a popular memento mori motif in the Victorian era, popping up on lapels, on earlobes, or at the throat, as a reminder to live for the day. So there’s that . . .
Mouchette is also the title of a novel by Georges Bernanos, that was adapted for film by the director Robert Bresson. In Bresson’s film, the movements of human characters, however commonplace (the making of a pot of coffee, the snaring of a bird, the wind moving the tatty ribbons in a girl’s hair), are highlighted, almost fetishized, by the camera, as are the details and textures of the world around them and the objects of their lives
This way of looking-hard-at-things has always been a part of my nature, and the suffering of poor Mouchette, considered alongside her endearing enthusiasm for life, says something about beauty and sentiment and mortality . . . at the very least these ideas hover around an explanation for why I like what I like, and for why I feel the old and storied jewels are the most beautiful — they hold within them the suffering and joy of those human animals, both kind and flawed, that have treasured them.
It’s a little ironic to sell fine jewelry under a moniker that includes the word “poor,” but hey, the world is full of delicious ironies.
Before I decided to focus my energies on antique jewelry, my areas of study were political philosophy, literature, and poetry writing. I'm happy to work in this field, because my innate curiosity and my lifetime of learning-to-learn is put to use daily. Objects contain thoughts and history, and small secrets . . . there is so much to know, and pursuing knowledge is a great joy!
I was born in Portland. I feed a community of crows, and tend a flock of chickens.