buyingantiques

Antique shopping, is there anything more exciting?! Nothing makes me get up before dawn, travel great distances, dash through hundreds of wholesale showrooms, French brocantes, and European antique markets except the promise of rare, old, quirky and beautiful antique pieces to bring back to you.

I just returned from a 10-day holiday/antique buying trip, and although I couldn’t bring you with me {some of you tried, and how much fun would that have been?!} I know you are curious to see what I’ve been up to for the last week and a half on our Fall #FrenchGardenHouseShopsEurope adventure. Join me as I shop for the best European Antiques. Let’s go!

amsterdam1

 

Our trip really was a combined family visit-antiques hunt, I admit that most of the time I forgot to take photos as I was running through stalls and shops like a madwoman with great efficiency, basically wondering if I could gather enough funds to charter my own ship to send all my gorgeous finds home! So. much. to. love. But more later about that.

foodmarket

Our main reason for this trip was to spend lots of time with my elderly mother-in-law in Eindhoven, Netherlands, where she lives.  Our girls were able to join us on this trip, and we had a glorious day of wandering through the city streets, drinking coffees, enjoying lunch in a cafe, and strolling through the open air market.

helmondcubehouses

The girls and I visited my niece, who lives in a Cube House in Helmond. Designed by architect Piet Blom and based on the concept of “living as an urban roof” this was planned as high density housing with sufficient space on the ground level.

His design represents a village within a city, where each house represents a tree, and all the houses together, a forest. I love the concept, but think the slanted walls might make me dizzy after a while. The very top point of the cube, with 18 windows, is the master bedroom.

hollandcastle

Here are my two girls, with my niece in the center. She works for the mayor, and her office is in this small castle! She really enjoys the best of two worlds, from her super-modern cube home to her office in an ancient castle.

We had beautiful {but nippy!} Fall weather and enjoyed a girl’s day out of shopping, eating a delicious lunch, and treating ourselves to chocolates. There are many gorgeous boutiques in the city center, the girls each bought something new, I opted for darling European clothes to gift to our grandchildren.

cafeauchocolat

 

Mr. FGH and I went to Maastricht for two days, where I managed to “truffle out” {as the French say}  more fabulous antiques to bring home for you. We wandered through the ancient cobblestone streets, visited many small antique shops, met with dealers, and enjoyed ourselves immensely!

maastrichtcathedralbookstore

 

One of the highlights of that visit was this bookstore, inside a “small” cathedral. It is so beautiful, in the back is a cafe where you can enjoy a cafe au lait, or lunch. Amazing!

maastrichtriver

 

At night, there was this. Our hotel, the Crown Plaza Maastricht, overlooks the Maas river and the St Servaas Bridge. Just at dusk, having a drink on the terrace gives you a view of this old city and the water. So. Beautiful. We enjoyed a leisurely dinner here overlooking the water, watching the many large ships sail by.

Let’s talk about the antiques!

gildedmadonna

First, I’ll show you the one that got away. Another dealer snatched this beauty up just seconds before I got to this dealer’s stall….I know he was so excited! I would be too…I know she will go to a loving home, no hard feelings at all. Wishing you great luck with her Mr. Swedish Antique Dealer!

{shopping in Europe for antiques brings a very international collection of dealers- I met the nicest ones from Denmark, Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, and Italy.} I did acquire a pair of exquisite 18th century gilded angels, though. So there’s that. Hoping they won’t want to live at our house…we will have to see.

silverantiques

Every time I go to Europe to buy antiques for our shop, I am reminded about how O L D things in Europe are. Here in the states we do have antiques, but the norm is mid to late 1800’s to early 1900’s. My European antique dealer friends? They gather pieces for me ahead of time, that date to the 17th, 18th, and 19th century. Amazing.

brocantemarketbelgium

antiqueangels

frenchgardenhouse-caatje

On the way to Maastricht, we stopped to visit Eleonore’s shop, filled to the brim with antique French wonders.

eleanore

eleanoorswinkel

Be still our antique Ironstone loving hearts! Antique French tureens, the ever elusive ironstone cake plateaus? YES…please.

eleanoor2

Aqua blue door displayed as a work of art….I adore those chipping layers of paint. Isn’t this glorious? Sadly, this did not fit into our cases this time. Next time: bring a boat. Or ship a container again.

eleanoorwreath

Eleonore is also a florist, she makes the most beautifully designed flower bouquets and sells plants, and wreaths. The antique metal clock surrounds on the top of this photo caught my eye, but then I got swayed by more ironstone.

blackantiques

 

I hope you have enjoyed your little shopping tour with me…I’m just back at home. And loving the fall weather, and, well…just being home.

We are unpacking boxes and cases, and will be adding our latest French treasures from our buying trip 24/7.

Thank you for joining me, it’s always fun to shop with friends!

Don’t forget to check back to see our latest finds from France, Holland and Belgium, I’ll be adding them on the daily.

Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and uniquely yours. Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com.