This is what I was expecting in the largest and most famous flea market in Paris. Lots of stuff! Exorbitant prices! What I didn’t expect was that there would be a huge section of all new, mostly cheap crap. Nor did I expect to see so much 50s stuff in Paris. I went deep into the market and did the Malassis, Paul Bert, Rosiers, Serpette, Jules Vallès and Vernaison section. Think I only missed the Passage; I stayed as long as my feet held up.
Unfortunately, most of the cool stuff was large, furniture and light fixtures. Which is problematic when you don’t live here. There were lots of booths with sewing materials and notions, but nothing I thought was overly fabulous. No homey stuff, little kitchen stuff, a few toys. If you’re a size 6 or under, it would be great to shop for vintage clothes here; tres fabulous. The Paul Bert section was loaded with great, great 50s stuff.
The dealers were pretty blasé. Most didn’t even acknowledge me, which I didn’t mind. As an experienced flea marketer, I know they need to spend their time with people who are buyers, not just looking. Which I obviously was, due to the size of the items. Some older dealers playing cards in the Jules Valles Marche’ made me smile; they looked so typically old-school Paris. One younger dealer was really nasty when I tried to snap a picture of a bust she had to show a friend of mine, god knows why. I also found a lovely and sweet expensive poster dealer. I’ve been dying to see vintage posters in Paris, but there are very few on display anywhere. Lots of Cappiellos, including a monochromatic one in navy that I’d never seen before. $4200 before negotiation for a rare vintage original; not that bad, price-wise. Common Cappiello posters go for about $2000-2500 in the States.
As far as small items go, I only saw one thing that intrigued me … an overpriced pear marionette. $50; would go for maybe $20 in the US. I passed. I was surprised at the severe lack of art nouveau items. I would love to get a candlestick or something, but the ornate, Louis XIV stuff was way more available. Not my thing.
It was fun to do for the experience, but all in all, I’d rather go to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Better stuff, better bargains, nicer dealers. The stuff at Vanves last week was way less impressive, and it’s a tiny market comparatively, but the prices were a bit better and the dealers were a lot nicer, plus it’s much less of a to-do to do, :).