‘Pl. du Jeu de Balle’, also known as ‘Vossenplein’ (Fox Square) and ‘Old Market’. Today, ‘Place du Jeu de Balle’ is one of Europe’s most well known flea markets. Towards the end of the Industrial Revoltuion, the land existed as a simple field, where factories were soon to be built. The purpose of the factories were to make locomotives, but this failed to have success and so in 1859, the square was divided in half. The first half was for the Fire Station and the seocnd half was for the public to play pelota ball (also known as jeu de balle). At last, in 1873, traders began to sell their goods and since then the market has been an active hub for the traders and general public in and around Brussels. It is active seven days a week.

Each morning, items are curated on tables, in boxes, or on a large, spread out piece of cloth on the floor. Each day, the market seller will change their display and throughout the morning and early afternoon, somebody will purchase an item, or take it in their hands to look at it, and it’ll be subtracted from the composition. By recording the formation, the objects become fixated, just as light is fixated on the film-roll, and by turning these objects into a framed composition, the original functional or decorative purpose is removed.

Here lyes a collection of materials: crystal, glass, pearl, shell, chinaware, porcelain, ivory, plastic, tin, satin, velvet, et cetera. The combination of shapes, colour and material criss-cross, embellishing the scenery. The previous worth and value of these once upon a time treasures has diminished. Today, they are old time glory snippets of domestic human living; examples of material and design that we previously (and in some cases still do) surrounded ourselves with.

This photobook is a curated collection of analogue photographs,
depicting collectable and desirable historical objects at Pl. du Jeu de Balle. Photographed by Sarah Stone between 2022-2024.

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