Flea market

Since early childhood I have been fascinated by beautiful old things. The first time I went into an antic shop was maybe when I was 12 years old. I had very little money at that time and could only buy a little silver fish pendant for 5,00 Marks, which is about Euro 2,50. I still have it. When I was 18 years old I started to visit flea markets regularly. And nowadays I can say honestly that I couldn’t spend a weekend without a flea market, antic market, thrift shop, garage sale or breaking up of households. I have been on a very special collectors’ antic market some time ago for the first time. As it is located in a very prosperous area of Hamburg, I thought the prices would be rather high and I couldn’t bargain for a snap. I was really overwhelmed by the location and the sublime kind of antics they showed there. It was somehow very different to the other flea markets I visit in general; it was much more stylish and extraordinary. I saw a lot of things I would have liked to have but they were really quite expensive. After looking at all the wonderful articles I finally found a beautiful old silver (935) pocket watch in a very special heart shape which – according to the hallmarks – is from England from Victorian times. It still works perfectly and I really love it. The salesman wanted 55,00 Euro for it, and – believe it or not – I bargained until I got it for 35,00 Euro. Come with me to this collectors’ market and look at the photos from all the crazy and funny things I found.
I think buying old things is some kind of ecological, too because you are re-using things that have been made instead of buying new things. I guess in my household about 90 % are re-used articles and I wear a lot of second-hand fashion. As I read in another blog “one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure”. For me that’s true and I love every single piece I found because every piece has a history and a story to tell, a kitchen table from an auction in Sweden, old frames from antic shops in Denmark, old crystal from thrift shops in Germany, old jewelry from England etc. Do you like flea markets, too? Tell me about something special you found.

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90 thoughts on “Flea market

  1. I can see that it would be impossible not to buy something from such a market! I admire your bargaining skill. I bought a piece of woodwork at a good price at our local market not so long ago, not that it’s anything I need 🙂 I will post it on my blog one day.

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    • Some people say: an apple a day takes the doctor away, and I say : a flea market a week takes the doctor away, hehe. Of course I cannot afford to buy all the things I like, but some little things are okay with me. Have a nice day, Brad, regards Mitza

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      • I always try my best to do poems and posts in English because I have a good dictionary in my computer. I was a big fan of Frank Zappa, but never really understood the lyrics because there were so many expressions I didn’t know yet. I bought a special book with translation of all his lyrics. Yes, I liked it, even though or because if was quite ambiguous, hehe

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      • I admire you and so many others who work at learning multiple languages. While traveling in my 30s I realized how spoiled we are in the US that almost everyone speaks our language. I wish I had learned more languages, but don’t feel inspired to try in my 50s. 🙂

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      • yes, Brad, that’s a little too late maybe, because it’s easier to learn when you are young, but on the other hand it could be a good exercise for the brain just to learn a little. It’s really true, I didn’t meat many people from US who spoke other languages. Maybe our school system is better than yours. I’m admiring my son who just learns Japanese. That looks very difficult. 🙂

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  2. Lovely!
    About once a month a girlfriend and I spend a day poking around antique and second-hand shops in Portland. She’s a champ at finding treasures among the clutter, having grown up with a mother who was obsessed with the hunt for collectibles. I love Mid-century and Scandinavian Modern design and have been collecting pieces for my Midcentury house since before it became super trendy. There’s just something about the craftsmanship and style of bygone eras that puts much of our modern, mass produced objects to shame. I like to sit in my 1964 Folke Ohlsson lounge chair and imagine all it has witnessed. ( :

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    • you are completely right, old things have a history and are really well made and you can ponder about it. Fortunately, everybody has a different taste. I’m very much in love with art nouveau things and you with mid-century, so there’s something for everybody. Wish you good luck for finding some nice pieces again. Regards Mitza

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  3. goodness, all those markets and you collected some very lovely treasures Mitza!! the RCA record dog made me smile 🙂 loved those pretty silver pots too, very nice indeed.
    Sadly, I never have time to go to markets, it just takes too much time on my weekend, by the time I drive there and back. But many years ago, a friends elderly aunt had a moving sale and I got a massive antique mahogany wardrobe 🙂

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    • Just imagine, that in summertime I get up every Sunday morning at 05.00 h to be one of the first on the flea markets. I love this atmosphere, looking at all the things, because I’m a very visual person and can estimate quickly if there’s something valuable or not and the Greek blood inside of me has a little talent for bargaining. Our home is like a little museum, but it’s so much work to polish all the millions of things I collected. Great that you found a massive antique mahogany wardrobe. That sounds wonderful 🙂

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    • I have seen it lately in tv, the American Pickers. Was really interesting. I collect fossils, too, when I’m in Greece, that’s a wonderful hobby, too. I’m sure your collection is great. Greets to Tweetie, Mitza

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      • that’s a real pity, because I can imagine that these quarries are very interesting, but of course, if something falls down on you, could be dangerous. I usually find my fossils on the beach or on a field.
        By the way, just saw American Pickers yesterday, was interesting to see how much antics differ from Europe to America. Have a nice weekend, greets to Tweetie, Mitza

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  4. The flea market can be viewed as one of the many advantages for the people living in a city. In the country hundreds of km away from the urban centres it is very hard to find any good antiques. When there is the odd flea market on the occasion of a moving away sale, there is mostly junk that people have to offer. So you can imagine Mitza, how delighted I was looking at all the treasures you found. That is for you truly a wonderful life-long habit.

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    • I remember when I was in Canada I looked into an antic shop and thrift shop and it was a bit different to our antics. I have an old bible from 1750, that’s before Canada was “born”. Our flat looks like a little museum and I really have to stop collecting now, it’s getting too much. But flea markets will always be my favorite hobby, thanks for your comment, Peter. Hope you already have a little spring feeling, regards Mitza

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  5. I like antique furniture and have a few pieces that belonged to my Grandmother and Mom and one lovely rocking chair I bought years ago. I do enjoy buying clothes at consignment shops and have an outfit that was my Grandmothers.

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    • great when you can inherit things from your ancestors. To have a nice old rocking chair is something really special. Our garbage collection from Hamburg has a shop where people can bring everything they don’t want anymore. There you can buy a lot of things for a very cheap price and I go there once a week. It’s fun. Thanks for commenting, regards Mitza

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  6. Lovely photos! And oh yes, I love flea markets and rummage sales. I have found some great vintage jewelry, including a jewelled Cartier pin from 1939 that had been tossed in a baggie with a lot of junky trinkets and cost all of $1.00!

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  7. I LOVE flea markets and we do have here a few that are really good Mitza! We would just have a blast, I can spend hours and hours looking for that something “special”, my husband is not really patient and I can’t over do it time and money wise but I could do it every day!!! MY FAVORITE things to hunt for are jewelry and I mean “old” from an old lady, I have tones of stuff, drawers and boxes of rings, bangles, necklaces, watches, beads, broaches you name it. Flea markets are magic for me, it’s like traveling back in time when everything was good quality handcrafting and beautiful details.
    I really like all your flea market photos but my pick is the butterfly broaches they look so pretty I would probably get them all! Thanks for sharing you experience with the flea market it was a lot of fun!
    Wish you good hunting on your next trip to the flea market! 🙂
    Much love and hugs~Eva

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    • That’s something more we have in common, dear Eva, fleamarkets and old jewellery etc. I could get lost, too on flea markets but due to the same experience I visit them by myself. And I tell you for this I’m getting up every Sunday morning at 05.00 h!! Because the early bird gets the worm, as we say here. Much love and hugs, too, Mitza

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  8. I love flea (or collectors’) markets! You never know what treasure you’ll find and they are always interesting. Sometimes you can find items from your childhood which can bring back memories. They’re so much fun! Thanks for this beautiful gallery of shots. 🙂

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  9. Oh Mitza, thank you so much for this insight into your world of collecting and hunting out treasure. It is always interesting to see how early the collecting begins. Your story could be my own, for I bought my first piece of china when I was 12. It was a soap dish painted with soft pink roses belonging to a jug and bowl set. I do think we must have been born with an innate sense and appreciation of beauty. And for both of us, beuaty does not always appear in the expensive items. It can be found in the stuff which others throw away.
    I loved your photos dear Mitza, especially the dog in the box and the sparkly brooches….you are a little Magpie, collecting treasure and taking it back to your nest 🙂 x x

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    • Thanks a lot for looking at this post, dear Karen. I was so sure you would like it, too. Great that we have something more in common. And I love magpies, too. My nest is quite crowded right now, I must take care not to end as a messie, hehe. Hope you and Josef are fine and he gave you a little mouse for Valentine’s Day, hehe. xxx Mitza

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    • I suppose you live in Europe? Things vary sometimes from country to country and of course on other continents, but it’s always interesting. Thanks for commenting, have a nice day, regards Mitza

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