I was dazzled by the sheer volume of perfect sets of french chairs - everywhere.

I was dazzled by the sheer volume of perfect sets of french chairs – everywhere.

Flea markets in Europe work just like they do here in the States, except that they aren’t fluent in English.  That said, all the vendors I encountered were happy to pantomime and hobble through on broken English and French to make a sale.  They were all armed with calculators; I would ask, “How much?” and they would type it into their calculator and show me.  It worked flawlessly (numbers in a foreign language can be tricky . . .)

That first picture is from a large, twice-a-year flea market in Belgium.  The prices were much better than what I found in Paris, which is to be expected.  Here’s some more of what I saw:

And this is what our Suburban looked like at the end of the day:


Back in Paris, there were two weekly flea markets I attended.  The first is the famous Clingnacourt in the northern part of the city.  The area begins with a true street market – a sea of tents selling junk from India and China:  cheap, knock-off shoes, purses, clothes, watches.  It was actually a scary crowd.  Beyond that lie the permanent showrooms of countless antique dealers.  This is NOT a flea market.  All of the dealers here speak perfect English, and most of the customers were American.  The prices were off the charts, but there were some beautiful things to see.  Here’s a sampling:

But the real flea market in Paris is in the southern part of the city, is open-air, on the streets, and open every Saturday and Sunday.   It spans on for blocks and blocks.  I went both Saturday and Sunday, and came back loaded both times.  These dealers all know one another, and are reputable.  I left heavier items where I purchased them, and came back at the end of the day to collect them, and they were always there, remembered me every time.  Prices can be all over the place here.  Especially on art.  Shop carefully, and you’ll come home with some real bargains.  Here’s a sampling of what I saw:

And here’s a little of what I came home with.  (If you came to Chartreuse & co in November and December you saw some of these items):

I could have spent months over there, shopping, collecting, and photographing.  I’ll be doing it again, and sharing it with you!

Thanks for reading,