Shopping in Europe: Secret Sources: Abaco Antiques & Barbotine in Belgium

Buying Antiques in Europe is so much fun, it’s sometimes hard to think of it as work.  {although some of our days start at 7:45am and don’t end until 9:30pm when we finally get dinner.} As I mentioned in a previous post, our buying trip to Europe this past August was a combination of family visits and work, with a little vacation time thrown in. John and I learned to drive slower {speed limits in Holland are low}, relax more, speak Dutch and English together in one sentence, and keep our sanity while looking at the most amazing collections of antiques that European dealers presented to us, all in 2~1/2 short weeks. We went on a whirl wind tour of Belgium antique dealers with our friend Toma {more about TheAntiquesDiva coming in a later post!}.


One of our stops in Belgium was Abaco Antiques . Owner Mario van de Wiele has a gorgeous antique shop in the old centrum of Gent, Belgium.  Not only does he have an amazing inventory, he is one of the nicest dealers you will ever meet.


 Abaco’s offerings vary from huge architectural pieces, to smalls, to outstanding furniture.  Mario loves elegant 18th century French pieces, and Swedish Gustavian furniture.


This is truly where the real antiques live! It was so much fun visiting this lovely shop, filled to the brim with amazing treasures both large and small.


I loved this beautiful settee, with the most elegant hand carved crest and shape. I almost took this one home for our own house, until I remembered the three darling grandchildren and our big Bentley, the lab.



Mario has a beautiful collection of antique Madonnas and Saints, from the churches of Europe, each one more lovely than the next. It was hard for me to control myself in this showroom!


The furniture pieces range at any given time from elegant French chairs, to Swedish dressers, or stunning desks as shown below.




If you are looking for a gorgeous piece for your home on your next shopping trip, be sure to visit Abaco Antiques, it  is located here: Kortrijksesteenweg 689, Gent,  Belgium.


A little side trip that John and I made with just the two of us took us to Barbotine in Maaseik, Belgium.  This little shop is in the most adorable and quaint town, on a little side street.


Owner Petra Jeurissen has quite a flair for design.  Even outside her shop she loves to make people welcome, as evidenced by this very cozy and comfortable wicker settee she placed just outside her windows.


We were welcomed by her official welcoming watch dog…such a sweetie! Sorry, here he {or she? sorry forgot to ask!} is suddenly distracted by an elegant poodle walking by.


Inside, Petra offers a delightful range of antiques, brocante and new French items to treat your home a la Francaise. There is quite a lot to see, Petra carries a range of the stunning hand painted Bunzlau pottery shown above.


Petra offers a full range of interior services including design advice, paint workshops on techniques, custom painting of flooring etc., she carries a wonderful variety of interior products including wallpaper, paints, lighting  both new and antique, and a fabulous range of shades.


Finally, this parting shot of Maaseik.  After our wonderful time at Barbotine, we walked to the town square where the farmer’s market was just winding down. On a little terrace on the square, we had Belgian pancakes with cherries for lunch. The sun was shining, I had a wonderful “antique” fix, and all was well with the my world. You can visit Barbotine here: Bleumerstraat 16, Maaseik, Belgium.  I will share more about our trip and some more “secret” shopping sources in Europe later on in the coming weeks. xo Lidy

some images: Abeco Antiques.

If you want to romance your Home and Garden with antique and vintage treasures to make you smile each time you come home, visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.

4 thoughts on “Shopping in Europe: Secret Sources: Abaco Antiques & Barbotine in Belgium”

  1. Susan Bragg

    So beautiful, I am anxiously awaiting the antiques to be available from your trip. I added both these places to my itinerary for my next trip. Loving my new set of antique French dishes from Frenchgardenhouse. Hope you have a wonderful week.

  2. Thank you for this, I am living vicariously through you. Would love to go on a trip someday with you.

  3. John Paul

    Oh! la!La! What a divine peek into your world, Lidy. This is a stunning place, I saw several things I would love to own. Have you ever thought of doing a shopping tour in Europe?

  4. Wow! Impressive! Thank you for taking us along with you on this buying trip, I have adored every moment. Hugs, Sandy

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