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This article was written on 31 Mar 2015.

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Where to shop for antiques in Paris


Paris is a perfect destination if you are planning to shop for antiques. There are many places where you can feel as if you were taken to the past by time-machine. Here are some of them.

Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen is one of the biggest markets where customers can shop for antiques. There are 3000 traders there on the area that covers 7 hectares. About 180,000 people visit the place on weekend. Imagine a huge field full of versatile stuff – the scale is impressive!

A small guide where you should go there:

  • Rue des Rosiers is the main street, from which you can get to Marché Malassis. This is the place to buy antique furniture, toys and vintage cameras.
  • Antique furniture along with ceramics can be also acquired at Marché Dauphine.
  • Marché Biron is the place to buy expensive lighting and furniture.
  • Visit Marché Vernaison for kitchenware, prints and antique books.
  • The furniture of the 19th century is offered at the Marché Paul Bert or Marché Lecuyer.

Rosa Bunker is an excellent destination for lovers of bric-a-brac shops. It is literally packed with old vases, phones, tables, and innumerable rare objects you will not find at other place.

Les Puces de Montreuil is one more spot with huge variety of antiquities. The odds rise that you will get a good bargain at this place as it is not often visited by tourists. You’ll see many vintage things that data back to the 40-ies of the last century including glassware, light fixtures, old cutlery and furniture. Such trips require much patience because there is much junk at such places. But when you find something valuable among this heap, it will feel like a gold-digger!

Besides, we recommend that you visiting the following shops:

  • A design oriented shop Zut – Frédéric Daniel Antiquités that sells industrial antique things made of wood and metal.
  • Au Présent du Passé, where china and art is offered.
  • Au Petit Bonheur de Chance for kitchenware, toys and other things.
  • Come to Au Fil du Coeur for jewelry, clothing, porcelain etc.
  • Et Puis C’est Tout will show a wide selection of vintage kitchenware.
  • Le Bazare Chic is the shop that sells artworks, books, kitchenware and bigger pieces such as furniture.

It is, certainly, more convenient to shop at special blocks that are full of vintage shops and boutiques. For instance, there are many boutique shops in Le Village Saint-Paul. It is better to shop on weekend when all shops work. Le Carré Rive Gauche offers over 120 antiques and art shops. Le Village Suisse is an outdoor mall that includes about 150 shops.

If you are interested in more serious dealers you should visit the auction house Hôtel Drouot in Paris. It sells antiques and fine art. Hôtel Drouot has been functioning since 1852 and includes 16 halls, where 70 auction companies work, though they all are under the umbrella grouping Drouot.

The savviest buyers apply to the auction houses. The details of the auction are published in the weekly Gazette de l’Hôtel Drouot, which is distributed through newsstands.

The French tradition of sales of fine furnishings in public auction houses is associated with Drouot first that continues it for over 4 centuries. The bids in l’Hôtel Drouot are accessible to all people. You can buy almost everything there including ancient manuscripts, sacred relics and artifacts of some peoples, Indian masks, oriental arts, contemporary paintings, fine wines, jewelry and so on. The spectrum of sold objects is wide. Highly experienced auctioneers at Drouot give estimation of the objects. The catalogues are also available online.

Not only bidders and buyers can be present at the auction. You can come there even if you are a spectator. It is a unique chance to discover the art market and find out more about it.