Sunday, May 26, 2019

Paris Flea Market - The Puces de Vanves

One of the things Donald and I enjoy doing together is antiquing and junking.

We don't do as much as we once did now that we've been married 33 years and have a very small house filled (some would say "over-filled") with the antiques and junk we've accumulated.  

But we were not able to resist the call of the marchés aux puces while in Paris.  

We, again, hopped the Metro and made our way to Porte de Vanves.

At first we thought we'd made a mistake in choosing Vanves - -   rather than the huge market of Saint-Ouen, which we'll get to one of these days.  It appeared to be a rather small market of only a few blocks.

We were wrong.

It's much larger than we first observed.

At the end of those few blocks, Puces de Vanves stretches and stretches with vendors selling everything to make an antiquer's little heart beat faster. 

And what an opportunity for the photographer's soul!

Except - here's a lesson I learned.  Be respectful while taking your pictures.  We already know the French appreciate, and expect (quite fairly, I think) a "Bon Jour" upon meeting, "s'il vous plaît" is something else that should be remembered, along with "Merci."  What I did not realize (but now do) is that one should also include these pleasantries before and after taking a photo of a person's shop, vendor's stall and wares.

And, if, like me, you can't resist snapping a shot of someone whose face interests you, either do it very, VERY, discreetly, or ask respectfully.  And be prepared to be told "Non."  Accept it graciously and move along.

Now - enjoy!

No, this little fellow was not for sale at the the flea market.  He was well pampered by his human and we just spotted him along the journey to get to Puces de Vanves.

This was the wall lining the metro stop.

Let me tell you about these scarves.

Everyone who loves scarves like I do dreams of finding a vintage Hermes, Chanel, etc.  (Do your research so you don't get burned).

This was a dealer who knew what he was selling.

He was willing to negotiate the littlest bit, but not much.

I picked up a Chanel scarf that had seen better days.  Someone had dribbled a few small spots of coffee or tea.  But still - Chanel.  But still - stains.

It was off-white (and in some places, a bit yellowed) with a small red border about 3 inches from the edge, and a (once bright) yellow chain design that Chanel is famous for.

500 Euros.

Negotiated price - 450 Euros.

Now, this scarf might well sell for over $1,000 on-line and in some high-end vintage shops, but 500 Euros for a scarf is out of my reality.

As I put it down, a woman picked it up.  I watched as she and the dealer calmly negotiated.  The dealer finally shook his head, keyed in what I guess was his final offer on his phone calculator and showed it to the woman who walked away.

But she quickly came back, picked up the scarf and closed the deal.

I would have posted a picture of the scarf, but - - - gone.

And I left shaking my head.

I did really like the scarf you see with the flowers, and the designer name was not one I recognized so I asked the price.  

200 Euros.

Nope - did not buy it and when I went by later it too was gone.

So much for my hunt for a vintage French designer scarf.


A little story about this guy in the photo above.

I saw him, thought him interesting and lifted my camera only to see him staring back at me.

I quickly put the camera down and made a gesture with my hand to include his stall, and him, asking if he minded, sil vous plait, if I took a picture.

He stared a little longer and frankly, he looks a little bad boy dangerous to me, so I turned to walk away but he waved and got my attention, shrugged, and nodded his head. 

I snapped the picture, said merci and walked away but I could not resist peeking back and he was still staring at me with those eyes.

I'm not sure he was pleased with me, at all.

But I surely do love the shot I got! 

So.  Did we bring home any treasures?


This wonderful antique lap desk that Donald did a lovely job negotiating for.

And my locksmith husband found a small little treasure he couldn't resist.  

He's a collector of antique locks and keys and has been at it for more years than I've known him.

That said, he has a large collection of unusual things, including a castle key from Scotland.

 This was the first time he had seen a lock that has the combination coded by letters rather than by numbers.

Very cool, huh?!

Sadly, I did not find my vintage scarf at a give-away price.

I did see a woman wearing a scarf I will forever remember and covet.

An attractive woman about my age  dressed in slim jeans, cool flat motocycle type boots and a to die for butter soft leather jacket, walked by me and I noticed a scarf tied in that way French women can so carelessly tie a scarf.

She was a knock-out, but very understated.

The scarf was long, muted colors, obviously well worn and just, damn it, perfect.

After hearing her speak English to one of the vendors I walked over and admired her scarf.

She graciously thanked me, told me she never leaves home without it, no matter what she's wearing and that it had belonged to her mother.  The designer had been a good friend of her mother's. 

The designer's name was at the end of the scarf and, of course, I had to look. 

Guy Laroche.


Guy Laroche scarves don't bring any where close to the kind of prices other vintage designer scarves bring, but the one she was wearing was special in so many ways.




More Tomorrow!


Neil Plakcy said...

Love the bathing beauties!

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Oooh, me too, Neil!

Kathy Reel said...

Love the antique desk set and the lock! So sorry you didn't find a scarf. I also was enchanted by the can-can dancer figurine and think I would have had to buy it, if I could have afforded it.

Linda Brue said...

I love your antique lap desk! Wish you'd shown a picture with it open, though. The letter lock is very cool, too. I can see why he wanted it. Forgive my stupidity, but how much in dollars is a Euro?

Gram said...

Loved the ?embroidered? coat that lady was wearing!

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Linda - I will post a pic of it open, it's in very good shape! I took a couple of pictures but they didn't turn out well enough to share. Euros - today, right now $1.00 = 0.89 Euros.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Gram - me too!! Isn't it stunning?

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Kathy, the Can-Can dancer the bathing beauties captured my eye - I loved them. And they were very reasonably priced. Now, of course, I'm sorry I didn't grab one. See there - "we" need to go; maybe they'll still be there!