I have to admit that one of my least favorite things about living in Germany is that all of the stores are closed on Sunday. And I mean ALL of the stores – the grocery stores, pharmacies, everything. This makes Saturday – the one day I have to shop with my husband – often very busy and stressful. And it means that any Ikea or Home Depot-like stores are a total nightmare on Saturdays. By law these stores are not allowed to be open on Sundays.
Street markets and fairs, however, ARE allowed to take place on a Sunday. So much like we did when we were living in Paris, Ches (my husband) and I usually spend Sundays scouring antique fairs and markets. We love, love, LOVE antiques and vintage pieces – in particular, I collect vintage jewelry and mirrors, Ches collects vintage/antique weight sets and maps, and we have a shared collection of vintage/antique posters. In general, though, we’ll buy anything that catches we happen to fall in love with – from vintage Florentine side tables to 18c French doodads to a 1960s pull-down school map of Hamburg.
Yesterday we were excited to see that there was an antique market at our local shopping center. All of the stores are closed (except the bakery and the coffee shop, which, because they serve food, are allowed to be open 7 days/week), so the vendors set up onside the stores and wrap around the outside of the building. Antique markets are held here about 4 times a year, so we’ve been before. It’s definitely not one of the best, but being only 3 blocks away, we can’t resist checking them out.
Top picks were vintage chandeliers, brass fittings (antique finials, keys, hooks, etc.), vintage fur coats, time pieces (several stands selling them!), German WWI military helmets and paraphernalia and some decent vintage jewelry. (I didn’t buy any jewelry because all of the good stuff was American, and I always buy American jewelry in the U.S. – much cheaper!)
There were also plenty of random nicknacks, which one finds at these markets – things like plastic dolls, coffee tins and the like. There was also a nice selection of tableware – entire sets of porcelain dishes, serving plates and enough silver silverware to serve a football stadium of people.
There was also a trunk that caught my eye – with the year 1751 on it! I didn’t investigate too closely, though, as the last thing we need in our apartment is a huge trunk! Plus, it’s not my style. I’m more of a steamer trunk gal…
In the end, all that we bought were two very new (probably made in China) white-and-blue tea towels with a fish imprinted on them for my mother to use at the lake cabin. We don’t always score the ‘big find’, but first of all, we drained our budget on our trip to the Paris flea markets a couple of weeks ago (more on that in another post) and second, I firmly believe that you will never be able to spot a great piece at an amazing price if you haven’t done A LOT of comparison shopping beforehand! So comparison shop we will continue to do!