Top on my list of things to buy while we were in Paris were oil paintings. I was determined to bring at least one home. Fortunately we found the most amazing shop, where I came across this oil painting of a woman. The shop owner said she was his most beautiful phantom (ghost in French). When I found her she was unframed and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep it that way or have it mounted on a stretcher bar. I decided to do the later. But, when I went to the frame shop they refused to do the job because they were afraid they might damage the painting.
Not being one to give up so easily, I decided to share my dilema with The Man.
I showed him the frame on the other smaller landscape painting I bought at the Paris flea market and he went to work making me one…
We didn’t have any antique, flat head trim nails so he cut longer ones down and filed the points to the right length. They worked perfectly and we proceeded to nail them in the existing holes in the canvas.
Notice they are uneven and not properly spaced? That’s exactly where the old ones were and it made me think of this quote….
“It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful” — The Nester.
I just love my new lady! I’m not sure if I should name her or not. Any suggestions?
How about Belle Phantom?
I know you probably thought I was done with the Paris posts. Me too, but I realized I never shared the flea market with you. How could I forget? We all love the flea market! So I thought I’d share a few tips and a short little video for you…
1. There isn’t a bad flea market in Paris. They’re all good and I doubt you will walk away empty handed from any of them. I really liked Porte de Vanves and went twice.
The closest Metro: Porte de Vanves stops right in front! Open Sat and Sun.
2. Be prepared to negotiate. I didn’t pay asking price for anything, and in fact found the dealers fun, friendly and fairly reasonable. They seemed to really like Americans and most spoke some English. At least enough to work out a deal.
3. Don’t go at 7am unless it’s the middle of summer, or you’re prepared for chilly darkess and have a flashlight. Most dealers weren’t set up until 8. Instead, sleep in a bit then grab a pain au chocolat and hot cafe on your way. Afterall…it’s Paris.
4. Wear layers, bring a good size tote bag, and keep your money close to you. We didn’t experience any trouble with pick pockets but have heard lots of stories.
5. Don’t bring your passport. It’s not needed and a pain if you loose it.
6. Here’s a great guide on getting to the biggest flea market in the world, Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen. But keep in mind…this is the spendy market.
Most importantly, have fun! It’s an experience of a lifetime!
Oooh, this is the part where I get to tell you about the amazing antique shop we stumbled upon! I had not heard nor read about it anywhere in my research, online or otherwise. So finding it was completely serendipitous.
It’s like this shop was meant for me to find!
Welcome to l’Objet qui Parle…
The shop was so well curated and you could easily see it was the singular vision of the owner. He had an amazing collection of taxidermy, botanical prints and specimens, religious relics, oil paintings, gorgeous chandeliers and antique china. And his shop was so small and packed that he had to stand outside on the sidewalk…no sales counter here.
Why bother anyway, it leaves more room for inventory!
I spent a lot of time peeking into every little nook and cranny. Didn’t want to miss a thing! I studied his shop like I was cramming for my mid term finals. My affection was obvious and he allowed me to take photos…so glad he did (many don’t). In the shot above I loved the chalkware cow and the small landscape prints wrapped in copper frames. Can you spot them?
His mirror selection was amazing and he had them wrapped all around the store. My sister collects sunburst mirrors and has a wall of them in her home. They make for a beautiful gallery. And don’t you love the vintage cannisters, cafe au lait bowls and mis-matched sets of china?
Hello amazing gray cabinet…will you squeeze into my luggage please? And I don’t mind if everything in it comes along too.
I found his prices to be similar to those at the flea markets. I bought a gorgeous antique oil painting and a shadow box butterfly specimen. Will show you those later, promise.
I’m positive the owner scours the best flea markets in and around Paris. He doesn’t even open his shop until 1pm. Probably to ensure plenty of time for treasure hunting. And he also doesn’t have a website. But if you’re going to Paris and love antique shops, I would not miss this one.
The next time I’m in Paris…I’m heading here first!
l’Objet que Parle
86 rue des Martyrs
Open Mon-Sat 1pm to 7:30pm