Carré Marigny
The Carré Marigny in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, is the site of an open-air market where postage stamps are bought and sold by hobbyists and serious philatelist
Philately is the study of stamps and postal history and other related items. Philately involves more than just stamp collecting, which does not necessarily involve the study of stamps. It is possible to be a philatelist without owning any stamps...


The Carré Marigny was featured as a location in the Stanley Donen
Stanley Donen
Stanley Donen ; is an American film director and choreographer whose most celebrated works are Singin' in the Rain and On the Town, both of which he co-directed with Gene Kelly. His other noteworthy films include Royal Wedding, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Funny Face, Indiscreet, Damn...

 film, Charade (1963), starring Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn was a British actress and humanitarian. Although modest about her acting ability, Hepburn remains one of the world's most famous actresses of all time, remembered as a film and fashion icon of the twentieth century...

 and Cary Grant
Cary Grant
Archibald Alexander Leach , better known by his stage name Cary Grant, was an English actor who later took U.S. citizenship...



The tree-filled square off the Avenue Gabriel was named for Abel-François Poisson, marquis de Marigny
Abel-François Poisson, marquis de Marigny
Abel-François Poisson de Vandières, marquis de Marigny and marquis de Menars , often referred to simply as marquis de Marigny, was a French nobleman who served as the director general of the King's Buildings...

, the able brother of Madame de Pompadour
Madame de Pompadour
Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour, also known as Madame de Pompadour was a member of the French court, and was the official chief mistress of Louis XV from 1745 to her death.-Biography:...

 who was Director of Buildings
Bâtiments du Roi
The Bâtiments du Roi was a division of Department of the household of the Kings of France in France under the Ancien Régime. It was responsible for building works at the King's residences in and around Paris.-History:...

 for Louis XV
Louis XV of France
Louis XV was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and of Navarre from 1 September 1715 until his death. He succeeded his great-grandfather at the age of five, his first cousin Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, served as Regent of the kingdom until Louis's majority in 1723...

. The space was donated to the city of Paris for this specific purpose by a rich stamp-collector after open-air philatelic exchanges had been evicted from the Palais-Royal in 1864 and from the Luxembourg Gardens shortly thereafter. Officially, these evictions were provoked by the presence of éléments indésirables (unsavory types) who had attached themselves to the stamp-collecting enthusiasts. More likely, it was a matter of the Second Empire being uneasy about anything that attracted crowds of people whose political intentions were unknown and potentially subversive.

Within ten years after the 1849 appearance of the first postage stamp in France, the new pastime called philately
Philately is the study of stamps and postal history and other related items. Philately involves more than just stamp collecting, which does not necessarily involve the study of stamps. It is possible to be a philatelist without owning any stamps...

 had become a full-blown craze, first among university students, then among the public at large. Today there are more than fifty dealers in the Carré Marigny offering a large selection of stamps and postcards from all over the world, as well as phone cards. The stamp market is held on three days each week: Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 in the evening.

The illicit stamps market

There are two sections to the stamps market in the Carré Marigny. Behind the Théâtre Marigny
Théâtre Marigny
The Théâtre Marigny is a theatre in Paris, situated near the junction of the Champs-Élysées and the Avenue Marigny, in the 8th arrondissement. It was originally built to designs of the architect Charles Garnier for the display of a panorama, which opened in 1883...

, (formerly the Bouffes Parisiens
Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens
The Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens is a Parisian theatre which was founded in 1855 by the composer Jacques Offenbach for the performance of opéra bouffe and operetta. The current theatre is located in the 2nd arrondissement at 4 rue Monsigny with an entrance at the back at 65 Passage Choiseul. In...

, that Jacques Offenbach
Jacques Offenbach
Jacques Offenbach was a Prussian-born French composer, cellist and impresario. He is remembered for his nearly 100 operettas of the 1850s–1870s and his uncompleted opera The Tales of Hoffmann. He was a powerful influence on later composers of the operetta genre, particularly Johann Strauss, Jr....

 conducted in 1855 before leaving for a larger venue), and along the Avenue Gabriel, between the Avenue Matignon and the Avenue de Marigny, are the licensed stamp vendors.

Along Avenue Matignon, there is a second category of vendor, comprising individuals known as the "wet feet", since, unlike the officially-sanctioned sellers, they are not protected by a tent, and on rainy days, they find themselves ankle-deep in the puddles, exchanging postcards or stamps. They are tolerated even though they are unlicensed. This trade is overseen by police in civilian clothes, who will arrest offenders.

Vendors of pins

For more than fifty years, people have been collecting pins of various kinds. These pins were originally meant to be worn on one's clothing as an indication of military rank or accomplishment, or as a token of affiliation with a certain organization or cause. So, there are pins representing membership in a fraternity
A fraternity is a brotherhood, though the term usually connotes a distinct or formal organization. An organization referred to as a fraternity may be a:*Secret society*Chivalric order*Benefit society*Friendly society*Social club*Trade union...

 or sorority, pins that represent honors like enrollment in an academic society, pins associated with the Olympic games
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

, pins with the names of cities or countries on them, pins for sporting teams, pins with cartoon and anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

characters on them, etc. Whenever there are collectors, they find ways to buy, sell, and trade their wares. So, the pin-collectors invaded the Carré Marigny.

Since about 1990, collectors of pins have been coming to the 8th arrondissement to carry on their trade. They have done so, for the most part, without disturbing anyone, and they have claimed spots on the benches of the square, some distance away from the stalls of the stamp dealers. Among pin aficionados, the Carré Marigny became what it once was for stamp-collectors when stamp-collecting was relatively new: a mecca, an institution, known to collectors all over the city and throughout France. It became a venue where, at one time or another, every possible collectible pin (in all of the several thousand categories of collectible pins) was on offer. One could even determine the rarity of a piece by the frequency of its appearance in the Carré Marigny market.

Stamp dealers, jealous of these vendors for the vitality of their business and resentful that the pin dealers did not pay for a license, complained to the authorities and mounted a campaign of slander and half-truths against them. Soon, there was a crackdown, and all of the 'fringe' operators, the "wet feet" boys and the pin-collectors alike, were expelled. Currently, there are some stands where merchants sell postcards on the Avenue de Marigny, and the Avenue Matignon is overrun with people selling and trading telephone cards, but, for the most part, the pin vendors have gone elsewhere.

Metro station

The Carré Marigny is:
It is served by lines 1, 9, and 13.

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