The flea market at Saint-Ouen, just outside of Paris is a must if you love antiques.
In fact it is the largest sales area in the world for antiques with 14 markets spread over 753,000 square feet!
There is something for everyone at the "Puces."
From 18th and 19th century furniture...
...to more current and trendy industrial finds.
You can even buy squares of antique oak flooring.
One of a kind pieces as well, like this unique hand-made framed "diorama" of a stuffed bird in its environment.
I had a hard time passing these two up!
The flea market is rich in history too, beginning in the late 1800's when the Paris rag-and-bone men moved outside of the Paris city limits and settled in Saint-Ouen. Every Sunday they spread their wares on the ground.
Around 1920 the "Puces" dealers began selling from enclosed stalls like above.
I got lost a few times, but it was a good thing!
I found it fascinating that the flea market has its own jazz called manouche jazz which came from the gypsies who worked as chair caners and were influenced by Afro American music. It is indigenous to the Puces!
I found so many fabulous finds but getting them home is a real problem.
Yes, there are shipping companies who will arrange to ship. I got a quote to ship a huge lidded wicker basket that cost 350 euros but the shipping was 700 euros!
It just didn't make sense.
Imagine what it would cost to ship this huge oak kitchen island with stainless top!
It was another one of a kind piece.
I imagined how much fun it would be to be decorating a Paris apartment and shop here for chandeliers like this rock crystal lovely...
...that would be in the same room as a pair of vintage leather chairs.
Or a pair of caned chairs upholstered in tartan!
We had a blast at the flea market and ended up going both Saturday and Sunday.
It is easily reached by cab, metro or bus.
We took a cab there but had a hard time hailing a cab to go back to Paris.
Some parts of the flea market didn't feel safe and we were told by the cab driver to watch for pick-pockets and to avoid certain areas.
Still, we were in brocante heaven there.
Stay tuned to see what I bought and managed to carry home in my suitcase!