For those who love Antiques, the winter is the ideal time to go treasure hunting in Paris.
Indeed the City offers many places to fulfill this pleasure : flea markets, auction houses, and the many little antique shops all over the streets in areas such as Montmartre, the Latin quarter, the Marais, …
Of all the places, the Flea market in Saint-Ouen – actually regrouping 15 different markets – remains the “attic of the world” holding an incredible variety of so many beautiful pieces from all epoques, including the most recent ones.
Art Deco is still going strong with stands exhibiting magnificent and sometimes monumental pieces. Large shops can be seen as soon as entering rue des Rosiers, the antique flea market main street. The simple lines of the furniture associated with the beautiful polish of the precious woods stand out and make you want to caress the pieces. These are probably the most elegant pieces of furniture ever. Here a mauve sharkskin console intertwined with gold metal stripes standing on a wrought iron base, there a round table with marquetry and matching chairs with subtle curves, covered with epoque material, …
For those loving furniture with gilding the Saint-Ouen flea market is also paradise found : armchairs, desks, tables, chandeliers, candelabra, … Anything you’ve ever wanted to make a house of gold !
Being the latest trend, new spaces dedicated to Vintage collections have sprouted all over the different markets.
Habitat has created “1964″, a warehouse in which the old collection are presented. In the same place – which looks like a little village with its coffee shop around a paved courtyard – you will also find L’Eclaireur. This gallery presents the most incredible contemporary pieces, so beautiful, so different, that you immediately feel like redecorating your entire home.
Another great place for your Paris treasure hunt is the Drouot auction house rue Richelieu Drouot, within the 9th arrondissement. It might not be as glamourous as Christies or Sotheby’s, but it certainly feels like you could both find the piece you’ve been looking for while making a deal. It’s very accessible and you can jump from one room to the next, checking out on different auctions at the same time. Of course you can preview all the pieces to be auctioned prior to their sale.
If you like wandering around the City, you will find hundreds of shops with great pieces as well. Certain areas have a higher concentration such as Montmartre around the place des Abbesses. If you like 60′s, 70′s design you’ll be fulfilled.
Winter and early spring in Paris being often rainy don’t forget your umbrella. A car service with a knowledgeable chauffeur will be a great addition to help you make the best of your hunt.