As I promised in last Sunday’s newsletter, I’m sharing photos of the treasures I found in Tongeren, Belgium, at the weekly antique market. Most of these goodies are being delivered next week, so all I have to share are the snapshots I took while shopping, but I think you’ll agree that I found some amazing things.
You may recall that I went with my husband to Tongeren back in June, but didn’t find very many things (read about that trip here). I just wasn’t in the right mood, I guess, because there are dozens and dozens of antique stores in the quaint little downtown, and every Sunday morning people come from near and far to shop at the weekly outdoor antique market.
I went with two friends this time, and was much more successful than I was last time. We arrived Saturday afternoon and went straight to Sandra’s favorite antique dealer, then spent the next two or three hours poking around in his shop, basement, and warehouses.
It was a real treasure trove; we had so much fun digging through piles and piles of beautiful antiques. Here are a few of the things I bought:
This French console table:
This Florentine chest of drawers (I think it would work as an end table or a nightstand, or even in a walk-in closet):
I also saw this beautiful armoire across a crowded room (warehouse) and had to have it. Guys, it’s absolutely enormous. Thank goodness that it separates into two pieces, but it’s at least 9 or 10 feet tall and he said it weighs about 500 pounds. My movers are going to HATE me!
That being said, I absolutely love its simple lines. Since we’re moving in just a few weeks, we’re going to put all of these treasures in our garage; that way we don’t have to worry about moving things into the apartment just to move them right back out. And no, I have no idea where I’m going to put it–we don’t even know what state we’re going to live in yet!
I also bought chandeliers–six of them–and I don’t feel even a little bit guilty. Some of them will need to be rewired, but I can do that if I don’t find someone whose prices are reasonable. The least expensive was 35€ and was this little blue and white one–perfect for a bathroom or closet.
I also bought the set of French copper pots in the above picture–I forgot about those for a minute!
These two little crystal chandeliers were 40€ each.
This white and gold one was 50€:
I also bought the little cast iron urn, and a pair of larger ones that I forgot to photograph.
The last two chandeliers were this little brass and crystal one:
And then I couldn’t resist this big brass one–it’s really heavy and it was the most expensive one I’ve bought over here at 300€ (still a great deal IMO):
In case you’re wondering, I take the chandeliers apart to ship them home. I take all the crystals off, wash and dry them, use Brasso on the metal, and then wrap them up in tissue paper. The kitchen counter looked like this for days:
I also picked up this neat shield for my husband’s office; they used to be given as military gifts/awards so that seemed appropriate.
We had perfect weather last weekend; not too hot and no rain.
Tongeren is a quaint little town; the people are all so friendly, too. I even discovered that Belgium waffles actually come from Belgium–and they are delicious!
There were plenty of other things I could have bought but didn’t–the way I see it, I showed remarkable restraint.
My husband doesn’t necessarily see it the same way, but I reminded him that my weekend of antique shopping didn’t really cost more than our long weekend in Paris or our golf trip in Spain. And it’s much less expensive to buy European antiques in Europe than in the States. Really I saved us a ton of money if you look at it that way.
If you ever make it to Belgium, be sure to put Tongeren on your list. And don’t let the big items scare you–these dealers are used to shipping things within Europe and even across the pond to the States.
Thanks for letting me show you my treasures, and thanks for stopping by. ~Christy