"How much do you think these things are actually worth?" I touched a small bronze statue that was selling for 50 euros.
"It's not about the price anymore," S said as she flipped through old postcards with cursive handwriting all over them. "They're selling these things to give them a new life. There's meaning behind that." She smiled at me.
In an unexpected turn of events, S and I ran into this antiques market on our way to visiting a quirky museum space in Paris for a project we're launching on campus (shhhh, more on that later ;) ).
I've always been a bit skeptical about antiques, as they are a bit too old school for me. It was hard for me to find value in something so outdated, a bit dusty (read: dirty) and with probably zero practical use. But there was something about an antique market in Paris that just couldn't compare.
From paintings to old silverware, books to antique clocks, clothing to statues, there was something antique (and uniquely French) for everyone's taste. Really. There were even swords and miniature cars.
Among the carefully arranged piles of things, every piece was polished and sparkly, and didn't need dust to prove that they had history. You could see it right there in their small imperfections that it had really once been owned, and most importantly, treasured by someone somewhere.
A five-minute pause quickly turned into an hour and a half. We were just fascinated by all the objects that were here. Who owned them? What were they used for? What kind of stories did they witness but couldn't tell us?
From old books...
to old postcards...
to two ladies sitting at a bar chatting as one of them fixes up her makeup with powder...
and finally, this reminded me of one of those "find the object" games I used to love...and hate.
This market tours around France. If you're interested in visiting them, here's a peak at their schedule that I managed to scout out for you until the end of the year. :) Enjoy!
- Nov. 1st - 2nd: Saint-Charles (Paris 15th) Métro Charles Michel
- Nov. 8th - 9th: Village St Paul (Paris 4th) Métro St. Paul
- Nov. 15th - 16th: Rue Cler (Paris 7th) Métro Ecole Militaire
- Nov 22nd - 23rd: Rue de Maubeuge (Paris 9th) Métro Poissonnière
- Nov 23rd - 24th: Marché Saint Honoré (Paris 1st) Métro Pyramides
- Nov 29th - 30th: Mouffetard (Paris 5th) Métro Les Gobelins
For more information, visit: www.spam.fr!