The first thing we saw when we arrived at the Villeneuve-les-Avignon flea market just before 8am on a Saturday was three French men with an open bottle of white wine and plastic cups. What a way to start the day!
French wine and merriment aside, we knew this was going to be a good day as we pulled into the market and saw the wealth of beautiful antiques ahead of us. French country antiques, ceramics and glassware sat alongside mid century furniture, decorative pieces and art deco lighting.
Arriving early, the market was relatively quiet and the air cool. Set in the shade of an ancient fortress, about 15 minutes by car outside of central Avignon, this market attracts tourists, locals and dealers from nearby antiques town L’Isle sur la Sorgue. The surrounding area is unremarkable, but the antiques and wares themselves are exceptional. There was anticipation in the air and the buzz of the market seemed to intensify along with the heat of the day.
There were around 100 stalls displaying a variety of goods, with the typical French country rustic antiques as well as mid century furniture and artwork. The colours and tones of the ceramics for sale were simply stunning – we could have brought the whole lot home with us!
One particular stall that caught our eye housed the beautiful red dancing figurines pictured below as well as the aqua and green Tiffany glass lamp. We spent a long time talking with the dealer who assured us that this piece would go for four times the price in London (we didn’t need telling twice!) and then trying to convince ourselves that this delicate glass lamp could be safely transported back home on an Easyjet flight. Sadly we had to say goodbye to both the lovely lamp and the dancing figurines, but managed to squeeze a tiny gold gilt mirror and a small vase into our hand luggage!
Villeneuve-les-Avignon Antique Market
Charles David Square, Villeneuve-les-Avignon
Every Saturday, 6am – about 2pm