The French brocantes (flea antique markets) in France, are plentiful on any given weekend, anytime of the year, and with September a million more pop up. Brocantes have something for someone every time. Dealers come from around the area to set up and sale their old wares that they have curated from homes, estate sales, auctions, second hand stores, and even the very brocante you go to, antique dealers "brocanteurs" are always looking around.
Here is a taste of the smalls you can find at any brocante, little French classics, that are easy to put in your suitcase, not too fragile, and easy to carry.
19th century, hand-woven, linen, dish towels, with a red monogram.... when looking for linens I like to find the ones where the hems are sewn by hand.
Napoleon III oval frames in wood or tin.
Silverware leather box, underneath the frames, with blue velvet lining.
Bamboo bread basket full of handmade lace.
It is easy to miss what is underneath the heap. Make it a habit to look for the unexpected.
If going to a Brocante or flea market overwhelms you:
° Focus on a color
° Or a theme
° Or a texture
° Look for one thing, French Husband likes to find stuffed animals, not to buy them just to admire them.
Vintage, fabric flowers that were used to adorn hats, and dresses. Calling your inner Chanel.
° Wear them on a coat
° Tied to a gift
° in a vase
° On top of a frame
° Tied with a ribbon around a napkin
° Decorate a Christmas tree
Square bird cages, ironstone, candy jars, small oil paintings.... the bust and iron table would be a tad heavy to carry in one's suitcase... Something too big, not needed, no room for it...Has that ever stopped you from buying an antique?
When you go to the brocante, remember to open boxes, some of the sweetest surprises are inside.
Antique pieces of jewelry.
What to do with it?
° Make a new piece
° Create a magnate
° Glue on a journal
° Use it as a button
Admire it as a piece of art.
Serving piece, especially salad serving pieces, are easy to find. Well to be fair anything to do with food, dining or cooking is easy to find in the land of plenty of good things to eat.
Old leather bond books, with marbled pages. Here is the deal; Because books are plentiful in France, and because they are heavy to carry if you are tempted to buy more than one- The best thing to do is select what type of book you want to buy, for example- a theme, a style and a period, and only buy books within those guidelines.
Otherwise, you will have a library in a blink of an eye, and have to charter your own plane.
Engravings... the hardest decision would be to pick one you. Engraving are everywhere. You can find them with your eyes closed, they literally jump at your feet.
Vintage jewelry. It never fails... More often than not I am more attracted to the fabric they are attached to, and the dealers usually think I am NUTS for asking if they want to sell the fabric.
Important antiquing rule: It never hurts to ask.
Salt and pepper holders... French and food, French and tabletop wares, forks, knives, silver, dishes, tureens, platters, wine bottle holders, ... if cooking, or tabletop, or food related items turn you on...
DO NOT COME TO FRANCE.
You will go mad in ten seconds after arriving at the brocante.
When looking for these "hunter's birdcages" try to find the ones that have pottery pots inside for the bird feed. They are more sought after.
Ready to go?
When are you coming?
Let us plan to your personal holiday in Provence, brocantes, food and so much more.
° The Tiny House in Provence
° Stay with me or come to my home to see what I might have.