Saint-Ouen and its ragmen
After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, the ragmen were chased out of Paris and decided to build the first merchant villages in Saint-Ouen. Traveling the city at night in search of old objects abandoned or placed in the garbage in the hope of resell, these nocturnal birds were notably nicknamed crocheters or biffins…
1885, key date
The flea market was officially recognized in 1885. The town of Saint-Ouen resolved to clean up and secure the district. From this perspective, flea markets had to pay a parking fee to exercise their activity. Around 1900, press archives attest to these picturesque constructions and an influx of Parisians on Sundays…
Emergence of the first markets in the interwar period
Very popular after the Second World War, the Puces attract businessmen. They buy land around the rue des Rosiers in order to develop streets, bring in water and electricity in stands. Four first markets were created between 1920 and 1948: Vernaison, Malik, Biron and Jules Vallès.
Paul Bert Serpette, the genesis
As owners of land on rue Paul Bert observing the effervescence created by the markets of rue des Rosiers, the Poré family decided to have a vast cement garage built there. Louis Poré agrees to rent the remaining plots to second-hand dealers. From 1946, these same second-hand dealers begin to set up barracks and improvise themselves as masons in order to constitute a more significant delimited space !
1970, hello Serpette
In the early 1970s, Alain Serpette, a well-known antique arms dealer and son of a chipper, bought the former SIMCA garage near the Paul Bert market with the sweet ambition of building his own market. He is gradually setting up 120 stands there. Although having made a fortune in the trade of old weapons, Alain Serpette forgot to ask for a building permit from the municipality to build his market... Good soul and aware of the benefits of a new market with noble ambitions, the Mairie did not oppose the project, but Serpette therefore almost never saw the light of day...
After a merger of the Paul Bert and Serpette markets, the masterful dimension of the place gives pride of place to the mystery of its reunification... Various buyers became owners of this exceptional place such as Dassault, the bank La Hénin, the Duke of Westminster then Jean-Cyrille Boutmy, current owner since 2014.
Paul Bert Serpette today
Every weekend, from Friday to Monday, experts, enthusiasts and lovers of objects meet in the alleys, all fans of bargain hunting. A veritable open-air museum, Paul Bert Serpette offers a range of eclectic styles and periods, from antiquity to the 21st century, from great classicism to design, including painting, sculpture, fashion, lighting... Cradle of the world of decoration where 350 antique dealers, trendsetters, aesthetes, object lovers and collectors emeritus strive every weekend to inspire you and educate your eye.