buying french antiques

My Stylish French Box was born out of a desire to share special details and luxuries of French life, and we didn’t overlook the value and joy of French antiques. Founder & curator Sharon Santoni has always had an eye for antiques and decor from another time and we decided to incorporate a genuine antique sourced from the brocantes of France in special edition boxes.

As far as we know, we’re the only subscription box to have taken on such a challenge, as finding these gorgeous pieces of history in large quantities is no small feat. Still, we love the hunt, the country fairs, personal relationships with dealers and collectors… and whenever possible, we like to share this proximity with our clients. Past boxes have included a set of three antique liqueur glasses, antique sewing scissors with a wooden couture bobbin, an antique key, and three antique chandelier crystals restrung to be ornaments.

While we cannot promise that every single box will include an antique item, as we are subject to the markets and what can be found during different seasons and fairs,  we keep our inspiration for each box close to the beauty and style of past French eras and we wanted to share a few recommendations for shopping antiques on your next trip to France. .

First of all, if at all possible, plan your visit to correspond with the Chatou antique fair which happens twice a year, in March and in September. There is always a fantastic mix of dealers and many different styles of furniture and artwork to be found.

Another great destination for antiques would be the antique filled town of Isle sur la Sorgue in the south of France, where 300 regular dealers exhibit and sell their wares. It’s considered a design and brocante hub, and attracts larger fairs and groups of dealers a few times per year.

If you rent a car in France, another option is driving through the country and visiting smaller fairs. If you go this route, keep a look out for the classics such as old red-striped tea cloth. It’s amazing after all these years, how often a pile of monogrammed tea cloths, over a century old and never used, not once. Traditionally, these were part of an original dowry chest, the fabric woven and hemmed in preparation for a wedding, monogrammed with the young bride’s initials, and put to one side to be used one day.   And for some reason that day never came.  Either she kept using the older cloths until they were completely threadbare, or could simply never bring herself to no longer have that pile of perfect linens in her armoire.