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A World Of Antiques

When I first moved to Tennessee, then just out of college with no money, but a job and a new apartment, I found a way to furnish the whole place with what I called then, “mountain junk.” In the hills of Appalachia, you could easily find antique “barns” and “flea markets” on the sides of the road Saturday and Sunday afternoons to pick up interesting pieces of furniture and knick-knacks for next to nothing.

I am reminded of these days past when flitting around the Marché aux Puces in Saint-Ouen on the outskirt of Paris with Porter Scott, our antique buying expert who is outfitting the newest company apartment on rue de la Huchette (happily with my assistance!).

There are several flea markets in Paris, but none as large or as well-known as the Saint-Ouen “Marché aux Puces” — it claims to be the largest antiques market in the world. There simply isn’t anything that ISN’T there…furniture, paintings, jewellery, chandeliers, trinkets, porcelain, objets d’art and decorative goods. Their Web site says that “All have been carefully selected, authenticated or restored by highly qualified professionals.” This, I am certain, isn’t true, but I would agree that most of the merchants have integrity and genuine interest in their trade and you can feel comfortable dealing with them.

Don’t bother going mid-week — it’s only open saturdays, sundays and mondays from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., including public holidays…EXCEPT THIS WEEK!

The fifth festival of the Marché aux Puces Saint-Ouen opens tomorrow, October 9th running through the 12th with antique dealers and art lovers from all four corners of France and many parts of Europe occupying 7 hectares of show space. It’s being called the “Mondial de l’Antiquité” by virtue of its size and diversity, originality and the quality of the objects you’ll find there.

October 10th, merchants and guests will take part in the “Nuit des Puces” on the topic of the Light, Image and Sound…an evening that inaugurates the weekend of festivities, conferences, expositions and concerts open to the public. Porter and I are sure to be there.

This major event is possible thanks to the 2500 merchants, the streets, the 12 markets and the institutions such as the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de Paris et de la Seine Saint-Denis, the Mairie de Paris, the Mairie de Saint-Ouen, the Conseil Général, Maison de la France, the CDT 93, the SNCAO and of course, the investment of l’ADPPPSO its dynamics chairman, François Bachelier.

For more information, the best site of all about the Marché aux Puces Saint-Ouen, click here:

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
E-mail: [email protected]

P.S. When you exit the Métro at Porte de Clignancourt, do not be fooled by the stands and stands of new goods. Walk past them northbound till you cross the Périférique amd turn left onto rue des Rosiers. That’s where the real market begins with more than 220 specialized antique dealers and an ever-changing selection of goods.


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