Flea Market Treasures: the Hunt Begins

I leapt out of bed first thing. Saturday. Time for treasure. Then I heard a sound I had not yet heard on this trip, the sound of splashing outside the window, a disappointing sound indeed. How could it rain on our first flea market foray? No matter, I thought, it only means fewer shoppers, more treasure…..  For this first trip we had to negotiate a new route from our Marais apartment, but the metro was its usual efficient self and within half an hour we arrived, the rain had stopped and the wind had picked up. Vendors were struggling with their umbrellas and goods were literally flying off the

tables, adding to the excitement.puces


I saw lots of old friends amongst the vendors: the guy who repairs those gorgeous French 400 euro men’s shoes and sells them for a fraction, the man who, on my last trip, sold me many pieces of Moroccan pottery from his 5 euro table, the group of vendors who drink wine all morning and play poker. The coffee van has been all spiffed up, but the cafe creme and pain au chocolat remain the same. A committed treasure hunter must sustain herself. Here are some things that caught my eye.

trikeOkay, it’s one of those things that looks better in person. But a real cutie in the flesh.

chairsA beautiful set in excellent condition, avec l’air de Provence.

bedShoved behind a couple of lawn mowers was a real little heart-breaker. This petite daybed came with all the parts and the blue-grey velvet was stunning. It  wouldn’t need any work and would be enchanting in a foyer, child’s room, or living room. Do you think I could get it in my carry-on?

tilesThis stack of antique tiles was very compelling. Later in the day I saw something very similar in an exclusive Marais tile shop for about a bazillion euros more. Would they exceed my airline’s weight allowance?

boarQuick, call Darryl Carter. If you don’t know who he is, go here: http://darrylcarter.com/. Anyway, he is an inspirational designer whose minimal yet traditional designs are the toast of Washington. Strangely, he has a fondness for boar heads. Do you get that?

Yes, we saw the weird, the wonderful and did not leave empty-handed. Here was my first purchase, only five Euros:

penA vintage cartridge pen with gold nib. Great for drawing or to use with my Rhodia notebook.

ptgHere, sitting on the mantel of the bedroom, is the original pastel on board that I picked up for 20 euros, far less than I would charge for one of my own. I told the vendor that I couldn’t see a signature. “Voyons… “he said, with a twinkle.  “Oui, c’est….De…gas!” I carried my painting  under my arm on the metro and was stopped a few times  by Parisians who wanted to see it. “Pas mal”, they said, French for “I love It”. I love it, too. Can’t wait for next Saturday.


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