- Old friends are best. John Selden
Visit Tombées du Camion
Hidden in an unassuming passage near the metro Grands Boulevards, is a tiny shop called Tombées du Camion.
Tombées du Camion (meaning goods that have fallen off the back of a truck) was founded in 2006 by a sculptor and interior designer, Charles Mas, who rescues eclectic stock from the dusty corners of disused factories all over France: mostly fabrication française (French fabrication), with small and unusual items in large quantities. In addition to a small Montmartre boutique crammed with treasures, there is a vast stand in the Marché Vernaison which feels a little like a surrealist supermarket.
Curated almost like an art gallery or museum (only a lot more fun), this collection of ephemera ranges from the end of the 19th century to the 1980s. You’ll find pristine packets of toilet paper from the 1930s, old wooden typographic stamps, glass doll’s eyes by the thousands, fake tattoos from the 1960s, poison jars, wartime postcards, heavy old coffin handles, and bicycle-shaped sunglasses from the Tour de France. Each artifact is in its own wooden box or crate, with its own story.