Shopping French Flea Markets style

Written by on July 31, 2014 in Markets

antique french clock

For the vintage lover there’s nothing better than strolling through through a summer brocante, stalls spilling out onto the streets with every imaginable item. Some are bargains, some are not, but the pleasure is definitely in the seeking.

shopping french flea marketsThere are no rules about what the discerning buyer should look for, the only rule is to buy for yourself. Chose something that you love and want to live with, and that you can easily get home.

Shopping French Flea Markets Style

If you’re on a buying mission to find something definitively French remember that just because it’s for sale in a brocante it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily French. As a dealer specialising in French items I’ve been approached on several occasions by people hoping to sell items to me, who have made this mistake. “But I bought it in France!” they exclaim. I have to point out that there are generations of expats living in France and when they relocate they tend to take their possessions with them. Eventually some of those items will end up in the hands of dealers.

If you want to create a true French vintage vibe there are certain things that you can make a point of looking for. It’s best to enhance your home with a few choice items and French hanging lightFrench chalkware is a great purchase. Prices range greatly, so it’s easy to pick up a bargain. Don’t worry about wear and damage, it all adds to the charm.

Religious chalkware figures are very sought after and some of the larger pieces can be incredibly beautiful. Religious iconography is very fashionable at the moment and France is great place to find individual and striking pieces.

Another great purchase is antique lighting. With different wiring, most French chandeliers and wall lights won’t work in the UK. You can pay to have your items re-wired professionally when you get home or simply use candles in place of bulbs. Wall sconces make terrific candle holders and newer vintage, rather than antique pieces, can be found at bargain prices.

Other items to look for include soupieres (great for storing keys etc as well as serving food!), copperware pans are hugely decorative and look terrific hanging in a kitchen, small mirrors – large may be difficult to get home in one piece

french vintage luggage

Finally, vintage luggage, particularly anything with original travel labels is often great value. Not perhaps that practical for today’s traveller, vintage French suitcases do however make for eye catching storage.

Ali Stokes is a Devon based antiques dealer who specialises in French furniture at Dazzle Vintage

More on Brocantes in France
How to find an antique shop or flea market where ever you are in France
The biggest flea market in Europe!

Tags: ,

Related Articles

Bastille Day Antiques Market in Montreuil-sur-Mer Hauts de France

If you happen to be in the little town of Montreuil-sur-Mer on July 14, the major French public holiday of Bastille Day, you’re in for a treat. Every year on this day, the town stages a spectacular antiques market that spreads across the whole upper town centre. Montreuil-sur-Mer is a very handsome French town that has become […]

Continue Reading

Discovering the Markets of Provence

Size isn’t everything as far as Provençal markets go. Large markets of Provence, such as les grands marchés in Arles and Aix-en-Provence, are extravaganzas that extend over multiple blocks with a couple hundred vendors selling almost every kind of good from soaps and handbags to fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish. To appreciate the range of […]

Continue Reading

5 Marvellous Markets Near Calais

The markets of France are known the world over for their fabulous, fresh produce and lively atmosphere. Buying your vegetables, fruit, cheese, bread and other food stuffs from a market adds another level to the whole shopping experience and is a great way to really feel the culture of France. French gastronomy is UNESCO listed […]

Continue Reading

Lille Braderie Europe’s Biggest Boot Fair!

The flea markets of France are well known, but the biggest and many say the best in Europe and one of the top flea markets in the world is the Braderie de Lille, northern France. This massive market takes place annually and lures crowds of treasure seekers and bargain hunters from around the globe. I […]

Continue Reading

Saint-Ouen Flea Market Paris

Saint-Ouen Flea Market Paris

Written by on April 19, 2016 in Funky, Markets, Paris, Quirky

Saint-Ouen market in Paris is said to be the biggest antiques market in the world! For lovers of vintage, Les Puces de Saint-Ouen as it is called, or rather just “Les Puces” by those in the know, in the northern suburbs of Paris, Saint-Denis, is a must. It’s a fun, fabulous shopping venue where you’ll discover […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.