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Monday, July 23, 2012

Flea Marketing in Paris

Paris is a grand place for treasure hunting and the flea markets, vides greniers or brocantes may be just the ticket!
On a Sunday morning, en route to our parked car, we set off to a street market Jerry had discovered. 
Much of what you see in these is similar to what you would find in a really good flea market here -- china...
...silverware and glass...
...music...
...and what I call the "junk drawer."
(You'll find kids toys and lots of clothes too, but I prefer items like this fish, which I didn't buy and wish I did!)
I particularly loved this old typewriter and if I had been there with my own car and not far from my own house, it may have been my new mate. I didn't feel like lugging it around Europe in my suitcase!
I don't have pictures here of the book, postcard and communion card I bought (all for four Euros and Jerry said if I had bargained better I'd get it for less) but I liked this picture better!
And, while I didn't look for this kind of stuff here, on a previous trip to France I discovered it's a great spot for finding WWII memorabilia, if that is your thing.
I suspect that if I had been there just with Jerry, we would have "fleaed" all day, but other people's stuff isn't Rick's thing! So, that will be another time. But in the tips, I mention a few tips for the serious shopper!

Flea or Flee Tips!

The two best known Paris flea markets are Clinganccourt and Porte de Vanves. (I was at Vanves in 2009 and it was huge. They say Clingancourt is all the more so!) There you will find serious dealers and lots more merchandise. The book "Markets of Paris" by Dixon Long and Marjorie Williams offers some fun shopping ideas and directions. There may well be others if you hunt a bit.

If you speak/read French, look for neighborhood sales HERE. You will need to know the area you are -- for example, Paris is divided into several regions, and the map can direct you to "vide greniers" and brocantes throughout France.
You are expected to bargain. Jerry, who is the master of all things antique when it comes to bargaining, has a way of getting things for a song. I'm not so good at it! But give it a try!

31 comments:

Ruth said...

Clingancourt, mais oui! I still use a round pine cutting board bought there and carried back on the metro, which felt like I was carrying a weapon ...

Lovely tables at the market! Total eye candy ...

Deb said...

It looks like so much fun. Enjoy!

Introverted Art said...

Jeanie, your photos are amazing, The flea market is one of the things I missed while in Paris. I did not know thee happened on a certain day of the week and of course, the day I "scheduled" for us to go...there was no flea market :( But I am enjoying I am living vicariously through your photos.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

It looks like a great adventure. I was in Paris last summer and can't wait to go back someday.

Joanne Huffman said...

I would love to go to a Parisian Flea Market. Your photos only add to the enticement.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Oh fun! That typewriter is gorgeous!! I am glad you found some fun finds - and for a good price (in my opinion!!).

Arti said...

Lovely treasures... the typewriter looks like an accordion. All interesting items. I don't read French, but I notice one sign in a language I understand, and that's in the last photo. The four characters in red on the sign in the upper left corner of your pic says "Chinese School". And I'm not surprised... Paris is a multicultural city of many immigrants.

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Oh does that look like fun! What a day... I just love that typewriter!
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.
fondly,
Penny

Annie said...

Endless wonders. Brochantes are so well ordered and beautiful. So stylish. You did bring home small treasures, yes????

Bella Rum said...

Oh, boy. This looked like fun. We used to do the "flea market crawl" and junk store thing and antique thing. I loved it. Even now, when we need NOTHING, it's still fun to look once in awhile.

shoreacres said...

I loved Arti's note about the Chinese School. Everyone's eye picks out different details in photos like these. I noticed the dominos and silver/pewter ashtray next to them - a little bit of Texas life right there in the middle of Paris!

In fact, I might have brought the ashtray home as a souvenir. Cleaned up, it would make a wonderful daily-use soap dish - I always like souvenirs that can fit into life "back home".

Barb said...

I have an antique butter dish from my husband's grandmother that looks similar to the one in your photo. I liked looking through the collectables with you!

Maggie said...

There's nothing I love more than mooching around brocantes & vide greniers. Je suis un chineur!
So glad you didn't buy the little fish, he may have looked like Quimper but he's a copy!

Toriz said...

I always loved going to those things; used to pick up used books for a few pennies (at most like 50p) which was great! My hubby doesn't like going to them though so now I can't take myself I don't go. Shame, because you can often get some great bargains...

Jenny Woolf said...

I've been to this flea market, too, and I was so interested at how very different the stuff in it was from what you'll find in an English flea market.

I didn't buy anything because it all seemed a little bit expensive to me, but I did regret my stinginess a little bit, because some of the treasures were so interesting.

Marilyn said...

I just love treasure hunting when traveling. Glad you found a few to bring home. I have not been to flea markets in Paris, though if I go again it will be high on the agenda. I have brought home a few things from others parts of France though and I treasure them dearly. My first trip to Paris I was with a group of women and we did happen upon a small flower shop near the Eiffel Tower and sitting outdoors was a small table full of goodies to good to ignore. How fun to see your pictures and remember treasure hunts while traveling.

beth said...

wow....how much fun !!
i would have loved to have been there with you :)

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I do love lingering over the fleas of Paris and Vanves is a great spot for bargains and treasures. I always look for small items and always find large ones like that typewriter!

There is a new edition of the Markets in Paris book. My older edition has notes on almost every page and I would have a difficult time making a case for a new one. I wonder if there are actually new markets in Paris?

Love seeing your photos here.

Bises,
Genie

Alex in Leeds said...

What a wonderful hoard of treasure-masquerading-as-junk. :)

Louise said...

How wonderful, I know that I'd find something I had to have. I've never stumbled across a flea market in Paris, or visited one of the bigger ones, perhaps next trip?

Retired English Teacher said...

That sounds like a great adventure. I get a bit overwhelmed at flea markets, so I seldom go to them, but in Paris, I think that would be a different story.

bibliolathas said...

Love your photos! Last weekend in Paris there was a 'brocante' in the Village St Paul (Marais) - very interesting and much more intimate than the big flea market at Clignancourt, which I found too overwhelming. I didn't buy anything (too hard to bring a lovely chair or a gigantic hat home to Australia!!) but it was such a fun experience.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh, what fun! I LOVE "Flea Markets" and other wonderful places that sell goodies at so-called-bargains...! I would have been in deep trouble if I had been there---wanting to buy EVERYTHING...lol! I am unable to go to znything like this anymore---buit, back in the day, I had a great time finding all sorts of unique China....!

Tracy said...

Pairis flea markets...*swoon*... so muh fun! Loved seeing all the photos and goodies! I don't go to as may flea markets in general these days, and try not to collect anymore. Unless you count art supplies?! ;o) Can't have it all, and only so much place to keep it... LOL! I do love books, and odd, old china pieces of china, though. Very fun to see this! Happy Day, Jeanie ((HUGS))

Peter Olson said...

Sorry, but isn't that "typewriter" an accordion? :-)

It's of course good to have cash when you go to these markets; makes bargaining easier than with a credit card. When I go with some cash, I return home with something which maybe I should'nt have bought; when I don't bring cash, I regret what I could have bought! Anyhow, it's always a pleasure just to walk around! :-)

Jeanie said...

I'm not generally a flea market person but I think I would have loved this one. I think the best souvenir from a trip could be from something found there. As usual, your pictures are wonderful.

Gabriela Delworth said...

Hello,

Love all these photos from the market! Amazing things!


Gabriela

Janet said...

You really captured my attention with this post! I love flea markets, thrift shops, and bargains. Although I'll never make it to Paris, I feel as though I've been, just looking at your photos.

The Artful Diva said...

we had a grand time junking our way through Paris. SOmehow their junque seems so much finer than ours!

Alexa said...

Have never been to Vanves, but have spent may happy hours haggling at Clignancourt—and have some great bargains to show for it. The best is an antique purple velvet cloak (for which I paid the equivalent of $10 in 1967). Your street market looks like lots of fun!

~*~Patty S said...

foreign treasures
Oh La LAAA!!!

the typewriter looks more like an accordian!

Fantastic adventures!
oxo

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