Why you can't miss a visit to a brocante when you are in Paris.
Ah Sunday! A day to relax, sit in the sun, if there is any, and at the moment there seems to be a lot of it, read a book in the park, cook your favorite recipe. Visit friends, see a film, visit a museum, ride around the Marais, dodging the multitude of tourists who straggle on the paths. There are endless things to do in Paris.
Me, I prefer to scour the brocantes in Paris. Not every Sunday but almost. What is a brocante you say? Well, for all you non-Francophiles it is an outdoor vintage market where you will find all sorts of things dating back a few years to hundreds of years. From your slightly trashy items to the most expensive, collectable items.It gives me great joy to seek out new brocantes in the nooks and crannies of Paris. I have discovered new areas never visited before.
This weekend happened to be one of the biggest brocantes of the year. Tables, cars and chairs covered three to four blocks and all just a walking distance from chez nous, in the 3rd arrondissment (district) or Paris. There was even an area set aside for children with an area reserved infront of the district's townhall to sell their old toys, clothes and books. And it was the children selling it themselves. Last time a six year old managed to convince me to buy his old clown marionette. I couldn't resist for the price and the damn cute face he pulled to win me as a buyer.
I am always on the lookout for stuff. I love stuff. I have too much stuff (and no where to put it) But I love really old stuff. According to most sellers "stuff" that is thirty to forty years of age is 'modern'. Antique is more than fifty or sixty years of age. Alot of stuff on sale is most likely hundred years of age or more. There are wonderful things to be had : records, cigarette cases, antique jewelry, antique and retro furniture, and wonderful designer clothes. There I even saw a sarcophagus. Yes, that's right. A sarcophagus. Empty of course.
Here are a sample of things I picked up, including some very cool fashion magazines dated 1895. A vintage lace sleep bonnet dating to the late to early 20th century, some more fashion magazines from the 1930s and some 78 records. I have also uploaded more photos on my flickr page. I have yet to decide what to do with the fashion magazines but I would like to incorporate it into my sleepmask projects. I also picked up some lace to use in my sleepmasks and a pretty piece of vintage pink cotton that may have been a pillowcase.
Other markets that occur regularly in Paris are the Vide Greniers. These are like car boot sales or trash and treasure markets where people are looking to get rid of their stuff. You can get some really cheap things here. Often you will find Brocantes/Vide Greniers combined, which I personally think are the best. You can pick up some really cool stuff really cheap.
So, if you are ever in Paris, I suggest you get yourself a copy of Pariscope and look for Brocantes/vide greniers. Or if you are compentant in French you can check out this website which lists Brocantes and Vide Greniers, both permanent and temporary all around Paris, and indeed France.
Its worth a look!
click here on my Love Me Sugar Flickr Page for more photos
Work in progress, sales, fashion, vintage, cinema and other ramblings