For the vintage lover there's nothing better than strolling through a summer brocante, stalls spilling out onto the streets with every imaginable item. Some are bargains, some are certainly not, but the pleasure is definitely in the seeking.
There are no rules about what the discerning buyer should look for, the only rule is to buy for yourself. Chose something that you love and want to live with, and that you can easily get home.
One thing to remember though is that just because you bought it in France it doesn't mean it's French! As a dealer specialising in French items I've been approached on several occasions by people hoping to sell items who have made this mistake. There are generations of expats living in France and when they relocate they tend to take their possessions with them. Eventually some of those items will end up in the hands of dealers.
If you want to create a true French vintage vibe it's best to enhance your home with a few choice items. French chalkware is a great purchase. Prices range greatly, so it's easy to pick up a bargain. Don't worry about wear and damage, it all adds to the charm.
Religious chalkware figures are very sought after and some of the larger pieces can be incredibly beautiful. Religious iconography is very fashionable at the moment and France is great place to find individual and striking pieces.
Another great purchase is antique lighting. With different wiring, most French chandeliers and wall lights won't work in the UK. You can pay to have your items re-wired professionally when you get home or simply use candles in place of bulbs. Wall sconces make terrific candle holders and newer vintage rather than antique pieces can be found at bargain prices.
Other items to look for include china soupieres, mirrors (not that easy to get home in one piece though) and vintage luggage. Not perhaps that practical for today's traveller, vintage French suitcases do however make for eye catching storage.
Who Are We?
Dazzle Vintage Furniture is an online boutique founded in 2008 by Devon based antiques dealers Ali Stokes and John Washbrook.
Specialising in European antique and vintage furniture with an emphasis on quality French pieces, the website stocks an ever changing selection of armoires, French beds, buffets, mirrors and vintage lighting.
Ali and John visit France on a regular basis, scouring brocantes and vide greniers in Provence and Brittany. They are passionate ambassadors for real French furniture and hope to inspire buyers to chose quality, time-honoured pieces over mass produced new.