Flea market finds

September 7, 2010

Last weekend my vintage-geek friends and I put on our flattest most comfortable pumps, grabbed our swag bags and hopped on the speedy Eurostar for our annual pilgrimage to Lille in France for La Braderie – the mama of all flea markets. The vintage shopping was better than ever, and we haggled for some brilliant bargains at the stalls…

I loved these vintage milk churns (sadly too heavy and bulky to carry home) and spent a lot of time leafing through old books and magazines. I’ve never seen so many broken but GORGEOUS old alarm clocks – perfect for styling purposes, but purely ornamental!

I couldn’t resist this little bird vase – such pretty colours.

If you have a craving for a vintage tin, there are about six billion to choose from on the cobbled streets!

I had to be dragged away from this very cool vintage Louis Vuitton suitcase complete with lovely luggage labels and stickers. SIGH. At 300 Euros (presumably because it’s a genuine LV) it was a bit out of my price range sadly, but I can always get the look with the Cavallini reproduction luggage sticker set from Papernation!

There was so much beautiful brocante, I thought I would burst with joy!

Needless to say, we sampled the moules frites and vin blanc at lunchtime and watched the piles of shells start to grow…

I picked up a few gems along the way. One of my favourite finds was this huge metre-long 1950s French school biology poster about ‘les insectivores’. I am still trying to explain science-lab-chic to the boyfriend, but I framed this and put it up on the wall last night and he didn’t seem to notice it. So far, so good. It was only four Euros!

I also picked up a massive two metre university biology wall hanging – hand painted and very cool. I thought it was possibly coral. But then I got my dictionary out and found out it’s a bacteria of some sort! It’s going to hang in our dining room eventually:

I love the way it’s been so painstakingly labelled using stencils and ink, then somebody at a later date has just scribbled out one of the words and amended it in marker pen!

I also bought this cute china ‘Confiture’ jar, which I will fill next time I make jam, then give to somebody at Christmas. All in all, I left Lille feeling as though I could quite happily spend a week mooching around, bartering in Fr-anglais, admiring tat. In a day we probably only covered a quarter of the rues we intended to! But we kept getting distracted by vintage treasure! – Ellie

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6 Responses to “Flea market finds”


  1. Ooh this looks like such fun! I sooo have to do this at some point – maybe next year? Great finds too – I’m loving the handwritten bit too 😉

  2. Will Says:

    Oh, Ellie, what a treat to be able to go! I would have loved that. The confiture jar is charming and great for styling, too!

  3. Siany Says:

    Oh I want to go! Lovely post.

  4. Helen Says:

    I was there too! It was my second trip and I managed to restrain myself this time around … a little more than the first time. I still came home with BAGS of kitchenalia (my one true weakness), though.

    http://thingshelenlikes.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/la-grande-braderie-de-lille/

  5. Steph Says:

    Great post – it makes me want to hop on the Eurostar and get over there! How often do they have the flea market on? Is it every Sunday?
    P.S I want one of those clocks!

    Check out this fab blog for more inspiring stuff: http://lifestyleetc.co.uk
    Perfect for someone like me who is in the process of a renovation project!

    • Helen Says:

      I hope it’s OK for me to jump in here! There are smaller weekly markets in Lille, but unfortunately that big huge one is only once a year. It’s always the first weekend in September.


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