Monday, May 27, 2013

la brocante

A brocante is where you go to buy second-hand "stuff".  The older, more desirable, and more expensive things would be called antiques in the States.  And then there are vendors who sell less old, less fascinating, and less expensive things.  But there is everything in between.  Generally, the vendors are professionals, but sometimes brocantes are combined with "vide greniers" (literally, empty attics) where the locals (non-professionals) can sell stuff they don't need or want anymore.  These are what we would call yard sales or garage sales in the States.

Anyway, brocantes are so much fun to browse through (and photograph) even if you don't buy anything.  They can be permanent places of business in their own buildings, or often they are occasionally conducted in the open air at town market spaces.  The photos today show two aspects of a brocante recently held at the usual Friday and Sunday market space in Amboise.  Old furniture and toys for children are very popular...but not for the kids.  Generally, the adults buy them to decorate their homes with things from their childhood (or their parents' childhoods).


  1. J'ai découvert tout récemment une des raisons du succès de ces brocantes et vide-greniers (pour les antiquaires, c'est une autre démarche, bien sûr).
    Une de mes amies a une belle machine à coudre electronique dont la pédale a un problème. Aucune boutique ne veut lui réparer ou lui en vendre une...Il faut acheter une autre machine!!!!!!
    Je lui ai trouvé une pédale d'occasion (second hand). Elle est ravie.

  2. Anne - You're a good friend to be on the lookout for a sewing machine pedal! Stuart and I recently bought a wooden travel trunk circa 1900 for 50 Euros at in Amboise. It was in terrible shape, but Stuart is turning it into a beauty.

  3. Merci Anne. C'est une grande histoire. Vous êtes si sage et gentil!

  4. I love to visit a brocante, although the vide grenier is usually more interesting and often more productive.

    What we need is a sunny day. Here in Le Petit-Pressigny the last couple of days have been lovely but today it's raining... again (is there a song title there somewhere?)!

  5. Hmmm..."Singin' in the rain"? One could be singing it every day this week, it looks like. Yes, Sunday and Monday were great. I think those were the 5th and 6th days of spring this year. Hopefully, there will be more.