Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Foire Á La Paperasse, Givors

Givors. "Why are you going to Givors?!" A French colleague from neighbouring Lyon asks..."It's not a pretty town". Hmmm. "Givors? Why Givors?!" asks our taxi driver, with a hint of shock and disgust. Double hmmm. Not really reactions you want to hear are you're on your way to the hotel at almost midnight...
Quaint French countryside town Givors is not. But, what it lacks in beauty it made up for in paper. Yes, paper. As the reason for heading to Givors was to see the 34th Paper Fair, or as the French say, Foire Á La Paperasse. With more than 200 stalls, it's one of the biggest fairs in France. After a night of little sleep, Mr E and I were up early, teeming with anticipation, skipping breakfast and walking the 20 minutes down the road to the fair. La Paperasse is held in the local sports hall. We walked in and paid up our admission; €5 for Saturday, €3 for Sunday, €6 for the weekender pass. With high hopes, we opted for the weekender.
Inside, against a fabulously painted climbing wall, a basketball court had been transformed into a paper fair. Of course, paper is thin, so you don't need much space per stall to cram in a lot of goods.
Some snaps from the fair and above a case full of antique playing cards.  
Mr E and I soon spied some bargains: a paper fan, for the collection...
...and a free-standing advert for a a brand of biscuits...with a gun... not sure about this? 
The store owner was really sweet. And we also nabbed some free-standing animals and some fashion prints.
That was the third stall we visited. From there, I have to say things kinda pitted out. We discovered the main focus of the fair was postcards. My, oh, my, I've never seen so many postcards, and postcard collectors, in one spot. So given that, it wasn't really the vintage paper fair we expected. Our thing is more along the lines of vintage advertising papers and posters, etc., and not so much postcards. But of course we found treasure.
Above, a collection of adverts from a variety of products. Beautiful illustrations and graphics.  
 A gorgeous mid-century transit pop-up book. Looking forward to translating that.
Here we have a really interesting ad for 'Linge "Azur" Faux-Cols Celluloid". Fake collars. Had to haggle hard here as this was part of an €80 job lot that included a box of mini display ties and other ads that were pretty run of the mill. Finally we wore the nice stall man down and he parted with it on it's own for €15. Bargain. The collar is mounted on a thin mesh, so it looks like it's floating, never seen that before.
Also from the same store was a non-papery find: vintage travel bunting flags. Oh, be still my heart. Lovely! I need to see where I can hang up my lovely flag collection. Mr E and I need to figure this out.
Favourite, is of course, Paris!
And that was the paper fair! For those postcard collectors out there, this is the place for you. I don't think Mr E and I would go back, but it was a great adventure getting there. 
Foire Á La Paperasse: Rue Gagarine, 69700 Givors.

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