Quatorze Juillet, Treasures at France's National Celebration
Looking for a short break, but in need of some inspiration? How about France around the 14th of July?
On that day the French celebrate Bastille Day, which commemorates the storming of the Bastille in 1789 and the unity of the French population on the 14th of July 1790. Nowadays during Bastille Day you can find lots of ‘brocantes’ (bric-a-brac markets), organized by local communities across the country. Sometimes you will even discover fine antiques for a few euros at these markets. Imagine your 'glass' brooch turning out to be a rare diamond one!
Classic hard stone cameo set in a gold brooch,
surrounded by diamonds and scroll motives terminated by pearls. Circa 1860.
Or what about a vase that turns out to have been made by Emile Gallé or René Lalique? Just give it a try! Even if you don’t discover a Van Gogh in its midst, the ambiance of the French bric-a-brac is sure to seduce you.
An impressive "Sauterelles" vase by René Lalique
Be warned however, for the real antique sleuth must be an early bird! The best ‘trouvailles’ are to be found in the early morning. Always try to negotiate the price but don’t even think of putting items on hold… This is simply not done at a brocante. So take some pocket money and make sure to have your wits about you.
Of course at the end of the day, don’t miss the Feu d’Artifice. This firework event closes France's National Day of celebration. After a nice day at the brocante, you can enjoy this spectacle with a lovely French dinner and some fine wine! Now isn’t that an ideal weekend getaway?
Braderie de Lille
For the antique treasure hunter who isn’t able to visit France this upcoming July 14th, Gallerease has an alternative suggestion. At the famous ‘Braderie de Lille’ – Europe’s biggest brocante market – you will find more than 12,000 antique stands! More than 1.5 million people will visit this event during the first weekend of September. This unique market, over 100 km in with, is worth a visit.
Besides the variety of antiques you can also enjoy the food in this beautiful city of the North. During this illustrious occasion tons of mussels and delicious eats will be served at the restaurants and cafés. What about a traditional “Moules-Frites” (a dish of mussels and fries)?
Braderie de Lille - Eating Mussels
For those interested in visiting a brocante you can visit a special brocante website for more information.