Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Shop the Paris Flea Markets

Paris has many flea markets. I think of these less as a place to buy things than as a kind of open-air museum. Here is a summary from discoverFrance.net:
Marché aux Puces de Montreuil:
Address: avenue de la Porte de Montreuil, 75020 Paris / 93100 Montreuil-sous-Bois
Like one vast car boot sale, this market disgorges mountains of second-hand clothing, parts for cars, showers and sundry machines, and a jumble of miscellaneous rubbish from its dusty, grungy bowels. You'll find little pre-1900, but there are fun collectables like branded pastis water jugs.
Hours: Sat. - Mon., 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Porte de Montreuil (line 9)
Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves:
Addresses: avenue Georges Lafenestre & avenue Marc Sangnier, 75014 Paris
Every weekend of the year, 350 stall holders await you: furniture, trinkets, paintings, fabric, glassware, time pieces, jewelry, military objects, photography, music, and curios. In the heart of Paris, an exciting place that will capture your imagination. It's the place to visit for flea market enthusiasts.
Hours: Weekends; avenue Marc Sangnier until 1 p.m.; avenue Georges Lafenestre all day. Porte de Vanves (line 13)
Les Puces de Saint-Ouen:
Address: 48, rue Jules Vallès (Marché des Antiquaires), 93400 Saint-Ouen (between the Porte de St-Ouen and Porte de Clignancourt, just outside 18th arrondissement)
The world's biggest flea market welcomes 200,000 visitors each weekend. You name it, this place has it: furniture, pictures, new and second-hand clothes — all at rock-bottom prices (especially if you're adept at haggling). There's a jovial fairground atmosphere, with the aroma of food wafting in the air and people crowding round the stalls, hoping to pick up a 1970s leather jacket or rare Louis XV chest of drawers. Make sure to bring cash, as stallholders seldom accept credit cards and the nearest available ATM always has a line.
Hours: Sat. - Mon., 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Porte de Clignancourt (line 4), Porte de St-Ouen (line 13)
Different markets within the Puces de Saint-Ouen complex:
Antica Market
Address: rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen
A miniature market, with a wonderful selection of objects in a hushed atmosphere. It is an elegant gallery that lies alongside the Vernaison Market. There are only a dozen or so stands here, inviting you to discover their beautiful objects, tapestries, ornaments, Art Deco, Napoleon III, etc.
Biron Market
Address: 85, rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen
A veritable treasure trove, with its paintings and other objects signed by their creators. The market is a favorite with professionals from both France and abroad. Whether you are an interior decorator, a theatre or cinema star, a politician or simply an art lover, you are certain to find your heart's delight here.
Cambo Market
Address: 75, rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen
In a completely restored area on two floors with twenty dealers, you will discover a very high quality selection of furniture and fine arts from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
Dauphine Market
Address: 140, rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen
Inaugurated in December 1991, the Dauphine offers a profusion of genuine antiques, all certified by experts, where you are sure to find something original: from a Renaissance-period dresser to the rarest texts from the Torah, collections of saucy corsets, thousands of rare books, Vintage and industrial art.
Address: 80, rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen
The traders here specialize in out-of-the-ordinary, outsized items — exhibiting classical pieces of extraordinary dimensions: monumental staircases, bookcases and woodwork from stately homes, not to mention a garden pavilion and a castle gate!
Jules Vallès Market
Address: 7-9, rue Jules Vallès, 93400 Saint-Ouen
Here you will find a number of specialities and some often unusual objects, posters, antique weapons, bronzes, books or records, military uniforms and a host of other things. The market, with its no-frills stands, is entirely without pretension, looking more like attic space than anything else.
Malik Market
Address: 53, rue Jules Vallès, 93400 Saint-Ouen
With more than 100 traders' stalls, this market is a mecca for clothes, attracting a young and colorful clientele. Here, you can find military surplus, leather jackets, trainers, incense, make-up etc. The atmosphere is more like that of the Forum des Halles in Paris than that of a second-hand goods market.
Paul Bert Market
Address: 18, rue Paul Bert or 96, rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen
Always in line with the latest trends, Paul Bert certainly has the most relaxed atmosphere of the Flea Markets. Some of the world's famous decorators come here regularly in search of that rare piece. 220 dealers offer Parisian bistro furniture, decorative ornaments, Renaissance objects, Primitive Art, and more.
Rosiers Market
Address: 3, rue Paul Bert, 93400 Saint-Ouen
Created in 1976, this little treasure of a market contains around 10 stalls, specializing in light fixtures, Art Deco items, Art Nouveau lithographs by Alphonse Mucha, glasswork and bronzes from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, lacquerware by Dunand, and furniture created by Majorelle.
Serpette Market
Address: 110, rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen
Situated in the former garage of France's first Citroën dealer, Serpette has developed a reputation for fashionable goods and art nouveau of the highest quality, at prices regarded by some as excessive. Connoisseurs and antique lovers will find the 130 dealers only too happy to discuss their latest finds.
Vernaison Market
Address: 136, avenue Michelet, 93400 Saint-Ouen
With lower rents than in neighboring markets, you can find everything here — a veritable bric-a-brac heaven. It is a real maze of alleyways — some covered, others open to the elements. Casual bargain hunters will feel comfortable, as the traders welcome you with open arms.

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