Ham and Antiques Special Tour

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 50px; line-height: 40px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>The smell of ham is in the air… The National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham is back again this September 26 to October 5 2014 in the Parisian suburbs!!! Do you need glasses? Did you read that right? A Ham & Antiques FAIR!?!!?

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Yep… it’s one of the biggest fall traditions in France! And as we all know – in France everything is based on tradition (key the music for Fiddler on the Roof  ). While at first I thought the odd combo of selling pork and antiques was a marketing ploy to get reluctant husbands to go brocanting, the fair’s origins date back to the Moyen Age. Today over 800 vendors from toute la France bring a gorgeous assortment of antiques to one locale… and how the fair got its start is based on… TRADITION.

special offer i heart ham

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In the Middle Ages, during Holy Week, pork butchers came to Paris selling their products. One year an enterprising butcher decided that he wanted to “bring home more bacon” so he started selling not only braised ham but the equipment for making it as well! The other vendors caught on to the idea and started bringing more items, focusing on specialties from their region, namely furniture, pottery and antiques. Before they knew it, a festival celebrating both the flea market and ham was born. You have the opportunity to celebrate one of the most beloved French flea market (and gourmand) traditions in the country on the arm of your local diva guides. Book a 2 day tour – one day at the Ham Fair and another at the Paris flea market – between September 25 and October 5, 2014 and save 200 Euro by mentioning discount code JAMBON!

Bonne Shopping!

The Antiques Diva®


The 10 Commandments of Flea Marketing at Chatou

Dear Diva Readers,

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top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 100px; line-height: 90px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>The fair coordinators who organize my favorite French flea market – tou.sncao-syndicat.com/accueil/291e1b4d-66a0-4add-bfa6-fcf5fde0abb4.aspx” target=”_blank”>Latou.sncao-syndicat.com/accueil/291e1b4d-66a0-4add-bfa6-fcf5fde0abb4.aspx” target=”_blank”> tou.sncao-syndicat.com/accueil/291e1b4d-66a0-4add-bfa6-fcf5fde0abb4.aspx” target=”_blank”>Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons in Ile de Chatouwhich is going on in the Paris suburbs March 11-20, 2011, have compiled “Les 10 Commandements du Chineur a la Brocante de Chatou” or “The 10 Commandments of Flea Marketing at Chatou” to help customers shop the fair.   

Because their version is only available tou.sncao-syndicat.com/les-dix-commandements-du-chineur-a-la-brocante-de-chatou/53a42529-ec2e-4236-8113-82ee26ea9631.aspx” target=”_blank”>in French, I thought I’d provide you with a rough translation (and a few ad libs) to let you know what the French fair coordinators have to say about what to do – or more importantly what not to do – when shopping this National French Fair of the Flea Market and Ham.  Now that’s what I call the inside scoop à la française!

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1) Se lever tôt et venir en semaine.  Get up early and shop during the week (to avoid the crowds).

2) Ne pas hésiter à revenir souvent: la marchandise se renouvelle pendant la durée de la Foire.
Don’t visit the fair just once; return often as many vendors put out new inventory as the fair passes by.

3) Avoir l’oeil vif et la curiosité en éveil.
Shop with a keen eye – ask questions and let your curiosity be aroused by all the treasures Chatou holds!

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4)  Prendre son temps: fouiner, chiner, chercher inlassablement pour dénicher la pièce unique. Take your time to snoop, digging thru the piles.  If you seek tirelessly from vendor to vendor, you’ll be rewarded with finding that oh-so-unique piece!

5)  Montrer que l’objet ou le meuble vous intéresse.
Tell the vendor what you’re interested in – show them the items in their stall you like.

6)  Discuter gentiment, personne ne doit perdre la face.
When negotiating, be nice.  No one should “lose face” during the discussions.

7) Rester courtois, pas d’offre ridicule ou de capitulation honteuse.
This point is so important that the fair coordinators make it twice – “Remain polite, don’t ask for ridiculous or even insulting negotiations.

8) Ne pas dénigrer la marchandise, le brocanteur connaît les défauts de ce qu’il propose et ajuste son prix en conséquence, donc il faut savoir doser habilement ses réticences.
Do not disparage the inventory – the dealer is already aware of his inventories defects and has probably already adjusted its prices accordingly.  While asking for a discount is always expected at the market, you need to know “how to balance a vendor’s reluctance skillfully”.


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9) Faire appel aux experts présents pendant toute la durée de la Foire en cas de litige.
The fair has experts on hand to evaluate and give estimates on inventory at the fair, should you need an outsider’s opinion, get the experts to give their advice. 

10) La rigueur n’est pas de règle, c’est la loi de l’offre et de la demande et celle de la mode. Le prix est basé sur la qualité et la rareté de l’objet. Aussi faut-il beaucoup regarder, questionner, marchander, savoir dire non et quitter avec gentillesse, ne pas se presser.
Price is based on any number things – from supply & demand to fashion.  The antiques are priced based upon their quality and the rarity of the object for sale. Check prices from stall to stall, ask the vendor questions about the piece, always haggle and if the price isn’t interesting to you thank the vendor for his time and carry on shopping les puce!

Bonne Shopping,

The Antiques Diva
(Seen below last March with my Chatou steal – I paid only 150E for this giant antique mirror!)

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