Off to the Puces: Paris Flea Market Cheat Sheet

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Off to the Puces: Paris Flea Market Cheat Sheet
Bewitched by kitsch? Join the rave. Throughout the year, the City of Light stays retro active with weekend flea markets, along with open-air and tented pop-up bazaars. With so many venues, where to start? Here’s a Paris treasure hunt guide. At Porte de Vanves, you’ll find everything from key chains, perfume bottles, bolts of fabric, fancy fans, and heartthrob Elvis, too—oh, sigh! (Photo by Theadora Brack) Meet the fleas: The infamous rag and bone pickers (forerunners of today’s dumpster divers) got the puces party jumping in the late 19th century. Two favorites still exist: Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves and Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen (a.k.a. Clignancourt). Keep your peepers peeled for lightweight winners like antique illustrations, magazines, postcards, buttons, lace, powder boxes, and photographic calling cards. (Photo by Theadora Brack) 1. Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves Métro: Porte de Vanves If you’ve only got time to visit one Parisian flea market, this is the one. With its bustling vibe, it’s impossible not to feel happy-go-lucky here. There’s even a piano player! Pirouetting straight to the point: the treasures are eclectic and affordable, and the dealers are friendly and fun. You might also uncover old medical leech jars, shrunken heads, or even genuine Old Masters—stage prop perfect for Antiques Roadshow, Porte de Vanves. (Photo by Theadora Brack) Puces de la Porte de Vanves: I spy You’ll find everything from plastic key chains, perfume bottles, bolts of fabric, and vinyl records, to ice buckets, ashtrays, and bottle openers, all sporting logos of French bar classics like Suze, Ricard, and Picon. You might also uncover old medical leech jars, shrunken heads, or even genuine Old Masters — stageprop perfect for Antiques Roadshow. Porte de Vanves is sweet but short: 9am to noon Saturday and Sunday are the peak hours. By 1pm most dealers are packed and gone, dog gone it! (Photo by Theadora Brack)
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Lead photo credit : Throughout the year, the City of de-Light stays retro-active with weekend flea markets and pop-up bazaars. (Photo by Theadora Brack)

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Theadora is a Paris-based writer who has a regular column, called “My Life in Paris," in France Today magazine.

Comments

  • Tomese Buthod
    2022-02-23 04:05:54
    Tomese Buthod
    Thank you for this article. Do you have any suggestions where to look for antique door knockers? I've tried Vanves and St.Ouen on my own, and had no luck.

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