Marche Aux Puces St-Ouen - Design Bureau

Marche Aux Puces St-Ouen

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Just off of the Porte de Clignancourt Metro stop in Paris is Marché aux Puces St-Ouen de Clignancourt, arguably the antique and treasure capital of Europe. Less of a market and more of an ultra trendy version of Antiques Road Show, Marché aux Puces St-Ouen de Clignancourt is made up of more than 3,000 stalls filled with bric-a-brac treasures, the likes of which are usually only found in a grandmother’s attic, and in some cases, an erotic bookstore.

Lining the alleyways of the St-Ouen area in northern Paris, these small shops bring out nearly 200,000 travelers and collectors each weekend. Standard flea market items like post cards, door knobs and vintage perfume bottles are for sale here, but it’s the specialty items at St-Ouen that make it a destination. Things like a top hat wearing badger, mangled Barbie dolls, delicate (and somewhat creepy) glass eyes and hand painted Nigerian masks. “People walk in here and must think I’m crazy,” says shop owner Vilma Laroche. “Everyone says ‘oh it’s a crazy shop’.”

Her store, Objets Interdits, has been selling African items and artifacts at St-Ouen for 12 years. So whether searching for a traditional grandfather clock or fancily festooned animals, one thing is for sure: St-Ouen will undoubtedly have it. And with such eclectic offerings available—ranging from PG to XXX—it seems Laroche might not be the only one with a “crazy shop.”

Marché aux Puces St-Ouen de Clignancourt, Av. de la Porte de Clignancourt, 18e, Paris, France. Open Monday-Saturday all year, 9am—7pm. For more information, visit www.marchesauxpuces.fr

By Tracey Johnson
Photos by Andrew Feiler and Tracey Johnsen

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