Art & Collectibles MarketFine Art Shipping

The secret of Paris famous flea markets

Didier Philippe

3 min

Flea Market

The Flea Market of Saint Ouen is a unique Alibaba’s cave that gathers more than 100 antique dealers in la rue des Rosiers near Porte de Clignancourt. Visiting this iconic space is an occasion to discover wonderful rare objects hunted by antique enthusiasts for antique enthusiasts. In these few lines, we support you in your treasure hunt in order to find the gems you have been looking for. A true adventure! 

Saint Ouen Flea market was created after the prohibition by Eugène Poubelle in 1883 and 1884 to put garbage in the street in front of their doorsteps. Following this new legislation, it is then that ragmen gathered at the gates of Paris, just on the other side of the fortifications, in vague and unstructible terrain to unpack their bric-à-brac. Seeing the success of these activities, some wealthy businessmen decided to buy the land and to construct shops that was then rented to the dealers: first the Vernaison market - at 99 de la rue des Rosiers - then the Malik market in 1921, the Biron market in 1925 and Jules-Vallès in 1938. After the Second World War, new markets were created: Paul Bert in 1946, Serpette in 1977, then Malassis in 1989 and finally Dauphine in 1991.

This iconic place where you can find antiques and unique design pieces across centuries and from all provenance - China, Japan, India - is visited by more than 5 million people each year from all around the world. It is then a strategic hub for Convelio to offer its international logistic solution to the dealers and to the collectors - each week we visit the market and its dealers. Each Friday, very early, the Convelio team collects these treasures and ship them to their final clients. It is also the time where we go visit our clients to present them our solution but also to understand what are their needs and how we can answer them. While Convelio is an important innovation for the art transport market through digitalisation, we do not forget that our customers are men and women who get up early and stay there, summer and winter, to welcome all visitors and customers. We are there with them, not in an office or behind a screen, but in the middle of markets to assist them.

The share of sales going to foreign countries is important in Saint Ouen Flea market for most merchants. Although, historically, American customers were the first collectors, new nationalities are emerging from Japan, China, India, Australia, Russia… not forgetting the many European customers, of course. However, these customers need an almost instantaneous answer to decide to buy a piece and the transport cost is an important variable to consider. By using our instant quotes system, a sale can be concluded on the spot. We are always available to the dealers to simplify their sales and to ensure the shipping from A to Z.

Saint Ouen Flea Market are places but they are women and men above all. This article would make no sense if I did not present some of these faces:

Paul Bert is a kind of village in which you can discover many Scandinavian furniture but also vintage rattans or everything else to decorate a bistro of the beginning of the 20th century! 

Biron is distinctly more oriented 18th and 19th century with an important place left to paintings. It has magnificent chandeliers, exceptional Chinese and Japanese objects without forgetting numerous stamped furniture and some from contemporary designers.

Dauphine unfolds on two levels and offers you, in addition to its square of contemporary art, amazing discoveries between American vintage of the 50s and Iranian contemporary art!

Malassis will allow you to rest from the brouhaha of the alleys by its calm and secret character.

Vernaison, at last, is the kingdom of the collectors. It is necessary to get lost in its alleys to find the marvel you dream of! 

And finally you just have to do one thing: go! You won’t believe it!

December 26, 2019

Didier Philippe