My trip this spring to France included some monthly and annual antique markets that were new to me. What? There are even more flea markets to explore? Sign me up. There are actually more than 15,000 flea markets (brocantes) and garage sales that take place across the country!
There is a large twice-a-year market in the lovely small French village of Barjac, a picturesque town located in the department of Gard in the French region Languedoc-Roussillon in the south of France. The Barjac Antiques Fair at Easter and mid-August is scattered throughout the historic centre and is held over several days, which is a good thing because it took almost an entire day to wander through all the stalls and see all the vendors.
Making our way up and down the streets and among the many levels, I kept thinking this was a lovely village I’d like to return to explore when the centre wasn’t filled with the market. Shops, cafes and restaurants line the streets and there are lots of shady areas under the gnarled and some severely pruned plane trees, surrounded in part by 14th century defensive walls.
I will go so far as to say I think you could find just about anything you were looking for at the Barjac market. There was furniture, vintage wallpaper rollers, lots of bric-a-brac, dishes of all kinds, clothing and textiles, art and paintings, vintage cheese molds, beautiful old doors and shutters, signs, old books, toys, jewelry…you name it, it was probably there.
Of course, the thrill of the hunt at a large market like Barjac is to spot that one unique thing that “speaks” to you and is a one-of-a-kind item. Maybe it’s another perfect example of something you can add to a special collection, or a treasure that will make the perfect gift instead of something from a tourist shop.
What treasures did I find at Barjac? A set of two vintage café au lait bowls, which I think are also perfect for ice cream.
And a beautifully detailed old bronze urn that I thought would make a great planter or candle holder. I have a penchant for old things with faces, and this one “spoke” to me — what do you think, perfect with the small fern, right?
So if you love exploring and you like French flea markets, there’s one somewhere in France almost every day and definitely every weekend. Happy hunting!