Saint Ouen Marché-aux-Puces, Paris
Schmoozing, mingling and cruising through the stalls while bartering, scheming and hustling to try and strike a deal, while avoiding the pick pockets. All in the name of acquiring a new object of adulation. The allure of street activity and the outdoors, the eternal search for a bargain amongst the memorabilia, bric a brac, antiques, collectibles and artifacts, has ensured the flea markets are still thriving. In France it is a widespread pastime,where the ‘salons of antiquaires’ display their ‘vides greniers’ ( empty attic ) on a regular basis.
Here are 7 French street markets that are worthy of a visit :
1.Marché aux Puces de Clignancourt, Saint-Ouen, Paris:
Around 3000 stalls, for antique aficionados a must visit.
2. Porte de Vanves, Paris:
The weekend flea market near the Porte de Vanves metro stop in Paris is one of the very best in France, in terms of size and the diversity of its wares.
3. Cours Saleya, Nice: A fairly high quality market open on Mondays, from morning to mid-afternoon. Sunny Nice’s colourful, cours Saleya (just behind the Promenade des Anglais) is filled with around 200 flea market vendors selling their wares. A good selection of ceramics (with some emphasis on regional items from Monaco and Vallauris).
4. Villeurbanne, Lyon: Featuring over 400 vendors and held on Sunday mornings in Villeurbanne, on the outskirts of Lyon, this is one of the biggest flea markets in France.
5. Belfort – Vieux Quartier: this sprawling, large flea market is held on the first Sunday morning of each month, except January and February. Located in the Franche-Comté region, not far from Alsace, this is a great place to discover collectibles of all kinds from the northeast of France.
6. Orléans – Boulevard Alexandre Martin: wide-ranging, flea market open on Saturday mornings. The several vendors who display their wares in boxes or heaped on blankets will appeal to bargain hunters, it is a day trip from Paris.
7. Toulouse – Allées Jules Guesde: a large variety of quality collectibles are on offer , with an emphasis more on the decorative then the rustic.
Numerous other French locations such as Anency, Lille , Colmar , Avignon, Metz , Nancy , Reims , Strasbourg , Thionville and Epernay have excellent markets. The annual Fair of Lille on the first week of September attracts around 2 million people from all over Europe.
I have included more flea markets from around the globe below.
Le puces de Saint Ouen – Art Deco figurine
Photo © Alain.Chantelat.
The advent of the Internet has helped collectors become more savvy when it comes to ascertaining trends and pricing in the antique market. Interest in collecting classic pieces has also been stimulated, so the increased demand has driven prices upward. The popularity of online auctions has also supported the growth in demand, with some sites employing buyers to scout the trash and treasure haunts for antique and vintage wares to sell. The amount of bargains to be found at the street markets has been diminished by the new online markets, but keen buyers can still find a good purchase. Conversely more people are using the Internet to sell their art objects so there are plenty of bargains to be found.
Bronze sculpture – Les Puces de Paris Saint Quen
photo © Alain Chantelat
Ceramic figurine from a Paris street market
La grande braderie de Lille, France
Paris porcelain clock with a Turkish Sultana – 1840’s
St Ouen flea market
Antique French doll
Antique gold leaf table
Betty Boo meets the Buddhas
Marche aux puces de Saint Ouen
Antique Japanese ceramic wares
Toji Temple , Kyoto
Some of the Temples and Shrines in Japan are known to hold antiques and flea markets on their grounds once or twice every month, usually on Sundays.
Shitennoji Temple Flea Market
21st ans 22nd every month
Porcelain menu board
Baderie de Lille, France
Porcelain figurine bust – bloomds-flickr
Fair of Lille stall
Orleans marché aux puces
Art Deco Jazz figurines
Marche aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves, Paris
Art Deco Clock – Carpentras street market
Street theatre – Rue de la république, Avignon
Marché aux Puces St Ouen de Clignancourt in Paris
Ells Encants Vells flea market – Barcelona
Open sided complex near Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes
Encants Nou flea market – Barcelona
One of the oldest flea markets in Europe, since the 14th century
Sevres figurine – Puces de Vanves, Paris
Terracotta Griffon sculpture – Nexu
Stall of lamp bases – Brooklyn Flea, USA
Copenhagen flea market
Porte de Vanves , Paris
Alameda Antiques by the Bay Faire, Northern California
African masks at Gauteng Craft & Flea Market
37 Reid Avenue, Linbro Park, Johannesburg
99 rue des rosiers, Marché Vernaiso
St. Ouen marche aux puces
Alameda Antiques by the Bay – Panther Statues
White ceramic statue – Alameda Point Antiques Faire, California
A great waterfront market near Oakland
Quan Yin statue – Alameda Point Antiques Faire,California
Art Deco jug and dish and cabinet -Vanves Flea Market
Serpette Market, Saint Ouen, Paris
Saint Ouen busts
Nude & Satyr Art Deco Sculpture – Marcel Guillard
Saint Ouen flea market, Paris
Drunken Sailors Figurine – Marche aux Puces Vanves
Milan Brera flea market
Petites ‘baigneuses’en porcelaine – Marche aux Puces Vanves
2 large majolica cachepots – marche aux Puces
Colour co-ordination – Paris Vanves market
Portobello Road Antiques UK
Saint Ouen Antiques
Lamp with a large shade and a small spotted base – Roes Bowl flea market.USA
Guadalajara’s antique market, Mexico
“If you’re expecting a flea market that requires you to sort through a ton of junk to find a few gems, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this place. Much of the merchandise appears to be in museum piece condition, and it’s clear that the vendors know their artifacts intimately and take great pride in their displays.” – http://antoniorambles.com/
Lyon Tupiniers street market, 2012
Bronze cat, Paris
Majolica figurines – Vetrine, Italy
Stefano La Rosa – flickr
Hotel Royal Monceau wall decoration – Vanves Market