It’s been another copper filled summer in France. We visited many small markets, with the annual brocante guidebook never far from our side. Each weekend, mostly on Sundays, and sometimes on the occasional national holiday, small villages across the country hold their yearly festivities.
There are the tiny ones, where a dozen or so locals display the contents of the attic on a sheet on the ground: old brightly coloured toys, electronics from previous decades, farm equipment, you name it. And there are the large ones, with hundreds of stands, where locals mingle with traders who specialise in certain items.
In all brocantes, small and large, there is a covered area for drinks and local specialties, and if you visit a little after midday you’ll notice that many people disappear for a leasurely lunch served at the community hall or in a big tent raised for the occasion.
Needless to say, they are a lot of fun, and of course a great place to go hunting for antiques and long lost treasures. As the summer is winding down, here are some of the more interesting items we’ve found and now available for purchase on our site.
The Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville is one of our favorite stores in Paris, one of those grand old places where you can find anything under the sun. They’ve been in business for well over a hundred years and it must have been in the early days of the previous century that this wonderful sauteuse was sold. It comes with matching lid, quite rare for pans this age.
You see these old cast-iron trivets occasionally, but rarely as pretty as this one. The pattern and decoration is intricate and the great thing about these pieces is that you can still use them every day, before hanging them back up on the wall to admire of course.
Another one of our favorite stores in Paris is Dehillerin, where this lovely little saute pan was sold in the 19th century. The store still occupies its original location, close to what once was the bustling food centre of Paris at Les Halles. If you ever get the chance to visit, you absolutely should. The basement is a true Aladdin’s cave of copper, with any size and shape of vessel to be found. And you can still bring in your pieces today to have them re-tinned.
We don’t find these as often as we’d like, but when we do we’re always excited to put them on our site. Originally used to place underneath a roast to catch the juices as it slowly cooks, these are fantastic decorative pieces as well. This particular one is quite elaborate with 3 legs to ensure it didn’t topple over in the fireplace.
We’ve had some large vessels on the site before, but this one takes the cake. It’s absolutely enormous, weighing an incredible 35 pounds – and that’s before any food is actually cooking in it – it needed two people just to bring it back to the car. We love it. If you ever need an appropriately sized piece for your castle kitchen, you know what to get.
These were some of our favorite finds, but you can find a dozen or so more newly added to the site. Happy shopping!