Spending half of the Sunday scouring the second floor of Le Marché Dauphine. Le Marché Dauphine is the largest market in the Saint Ouen Flea Market where you can find vintage furnitures, paintings, clothes, books, records and everything in between. While similar markets in other cities have lost their original spirit and become more tourist attraction market than “flea market,” Le Marché Dauphine remains a favorite for professional antique collectors.

This is my favorite weekend destination (as most of other places in the city are mostly closed on sundays), not only for shopping, but mostly to find inspirations and to take photos as it is also one of the most photogenic places in Paris. You could easily spend a year coming back to each week and probably find something different each time you visit. Read more to find out about my two favorite vendors (selling vintage cameras and antique frames) in this market.

The market is divided into sections on two story building. Fine arts, antiquities, original vintage furniture pieces, paintings and sculptures from the 18th and 19th century as well as the 20th century industrial furniture are located on the ground floor. I love browsing all the beautiful (and sometimes strange/creepy) vintage relics here, and keep wishing that one day I’ll find a way to: afford everything/ship everything to Indo/buy a huge apartment in Paris and fill it with these treasures. In the mean time, I will just take photos *sigh.

The fibreglass Maison Futuro, built in 1968 by Finnish architect Matti Surone, is actually a house slash time travel machine, which reflects the market’s aim to have the visitor stroll from yesterday’s objects to tomorrow’s fantasies.

My favorite section is on the second floor, where there are dozens of bookshops, old cameras and records stores. In the “carré des libraires” you can find the old books, photographs, and lithographs that might look cute on that empty wall space in your living room. Really, I dare you to browse around and not buy anything. Everytime I take a friend to visit Marché Dauphine for the first time, I always think that I wouldn’t get anything ANYMORE (and still go home with a purchase of an old camera/a wall print/a record).

Record Digging

If you have only one day in Paris to do crate digging and that day happens to be a Sunday, your best bet is to head down to Marche Dauphine because everywhere else will be closed anyway. The music space (“Espace Musique”) is located in one of the wings on the first floor; selling all your music needs from vintage hi-fi equipment and tons, tons, tons of vinyls. There are just so many shops with definitely something for everyone in all price range. Read more about record digging in Paris in this post.

One of my two favorite vendors in this market is BD Ciné, the camera store located on the middle section of the first floor (next to the stairs.) I got three of my most beloved old cameras here, a super8, Polaroid Land and a 1960 Kodak. Their collection in crazy beautiful, affordable and always updated weekly. Not all the cameras still function though, but most you can send for repairs.

 

On the far end of the market on the second floor, it’s my other favorite vendor, also my best hidden gem in Paris; the Maison Svez frame shop. Simon Svez, the owner (most probably the friendliest Parisian I’ve ever met in my life)knows old frames from every angle. Everytime I visit the shop, he would gladly show me the vintage frames that he has recently scored all around France and Italy. He also taught me the painstakingly detailed process of restoring and gold-leafing a century old frame.

Also, he saved my life by restoring a antique painted wooden chair I accidentally broke (because clumsy), glued and painted the broken pieces together and made it looked even nicer than before it was broken… wait, AND didn’t charge me for it because he said it was only “an easy couple hour of work.” God bless this man.

Contact details
Marché Dauphine
138-140 rue des Rosiers
93400 St Ouen
France
Phone: +33 (0) 6 09 48 84 53

Opening hours
The market is open on:
• Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
• Mondays from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (most of the dealers are closed during weekdays though)

More Paris Journals here.

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