Category Archives: Antiques Buying Trip

Antiques Buying Trip England: Lincoln Cathedral

Sacre Coeur in Paris

If you’ve been following the story of our antiques buying trip in France and Belgium, you’ll know that our next stop is England!

At this stage in our adventure we had finished our tour around France and Belgium and returned our big rental van in Paris. It had been packed with antiques that we bought, but now we had time to hike up to Sacre Coeur for a final view of the city.

It was beautiful but hot at 100 degrees temperature!
I was definitely ready for cooler temps in England.

Meanwhile, we enjoyed the view over Paris:

View from Sacre Coeur in Paris

Then we flew to Manchester, England. When we checked in to our hotel in Lincoln, we discovered another great view. This was the view from our hotel window – Lincoln Cathedral!
View from our hotel LincolnWe were in Lincoln to meet up with antique clock dealers, but the sight of this cathedral was just too tempting. Here’s another view of the cathedral:

Lincoln Cathedral view

We had a few minutes free so we decided to go in. I have seen quite a few European cathedrals in my travels, but I have to say that Lincoln Cathedral may be the most fantastically beautiful one I have ever seen.

Lincoln Cathedral Interior

Lincoln Cathedral stained glass window The first cathedral was built here 1088 but after an earthquake (a very unusual event in England) they had to start rebuilding in 1192. The nave was built in the Early English Gothic style, as you can see in the photo above.

The cathedral was the tallest building in the world until 1549! It is still the third largest cathedral in Britain in terms of floor area.

This beautiful stained glass window is so detailed, it’s amazing to think how old it is.

 

Find the carved imp

The carvings are wonderful and they are everywhere. Find the imp! He looks like foliage at first glance but he sits in the corner above the carved head. It’s a medieval joke!

Lincoln Medieval town

We also strolled through the charming medieval town before we got down to business searching for antiques. It was all very colorful.

July 11

Greg couldn’t resist trying on this traditional English bowler hat. We’ll leave it to your imagination to wonder whether he bought it or not! In my next blog post, I’ll show you some of the fantastic grandfather clocks that we saw, and more of the English sights we enjoyed.

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

 

Belgium Antiques Buying Trip: Religious Treasures

We continued our European antiques buying trip in Belgium, where we found a wonderful array of religious treasures to ship home, as well as antique furniture. In my last blog post I wrote about the antique and vintage chandeliers we found in Belgium.  So let’s have a look at our next discoveries.

antique religious treasures

We were mainly driving around France, Belgium and England to visit antique stores and dealers so we could find pieces to ship back to the USA. However, on one day in Belgium we helped clear out a house and we found some great religious pieces. Apparently the lady that died was the girlfriend of the local priest! That would explain why she had so many exquisite crucifixes and religious statues.

Antique religious statues from Belgium

Here are some of the statues we found. The details on the Madonnas and saints are beautiful. You can see that the hand-painted robes and faces on the figures still show bright colors and there isn’t much sign of wear and tear. They were obviously well-cared for and loved, and probably kept in a fairly shady room so the colors didn’t get bleached by the sun.

Antique Store in Belgium

We also bought some wonderful antique furniture in Belgium. In my post about our antiques buying trip in France I shared a photo of a very picturesque antique shop in Normandy and some other stores that were packed to the rafters,. But this one in Belgium was a first!  This dealer uses an old grocery store as a warehouse. I guess it is called “upcycling!”

Will all the antiques fit in the vanAt the end of our buying trip in Belgium we had a huge bounty of furniture and religious treasures, as well as 85 vintage chandeliers. The chandeliers were all individually wrapped and you can’t see them in this photo. We pack them inside the big furniture so they are protected and also to make the most of every inch of space. But just imagine 85 individually wrapped chandeliers!  So now the question was: Could we fit everything we had bought in Belgium in THIS rented van?

Inside the van

And the answer was…. Nope! It worked out to be about three van loads. But we managed to get everything safely transported. Next, our very full shipping container will set off for the USA in the last week in July and land in Charleston about 4 weeks later. Then the real work begins!

As for me and Greg, we drove back to Paris to turn in the van, and then we flew to England to drive around the Midlands looking for grandfather clocks and Chesterfield leather sofas. That’s another story for my next blog post!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Antiques Buying Trip Belgium: Vintage Chandeliers

The next stop on our antiques buying trip in Europe was Belgium, which Greg calls his second home. I already wrote about our travels around France as we hunted for antique treasures to ship home to the USA, and you can read our last French antiques-hunting blog post here. As we drove our rented van into Belgium, we guessed we’d have an interesting time ahead of us, and we did. Well, Greg and his muscles did…

Finding Belgian vintage chandeliers

We were very happy to find some treasure troves of antique and vintage chandeliers.  Soon the numbers mounted up….

Antique Chandleliers from Belgium

As Greg said (sang): “30 chandeliers on a pile in the van, 30 chandeliers on a pile, take one down and sell it online… 29 chandeliers on a pile in the van.”  By the time we finished buying vintage chandeliers in Belgium, we had 85 chandeliers in the back of the van!

antique Renaissance dining set

I also bought the largest blue Delft vase we’ve ever seen – 2 1/2 feet tall! And I love all the details in this amazing antique Renaissance dining set with a Gothic iron chandelier. We bought it all to ship back to the USA because we know our customers will love these pieces.

antique buffet carving

This is a close-up of one of the carvings on the enormous antique Renaissance buffet. You will notice how fine the detail is. You can almost see the movement in the gentleman’s tunic.

Gothic iron chandelier

The iron Gothic chandelier is also spectacular. The ironwork is superb, as you can see in the figure here in full armor…

Iron Gothic Chandelier

Now Greg had an even bigger packing job on his hands, between all the chandeliers and furniture. Could he fit everything in the van?

Greg packing antique chandeliers

You bet he could! Greg has mad truck packing skills. I’d back him against anyone to get the largest quantity of fragile and beautiful antiques packed safely and tightly in the fastest time. Greg says that his superpower is probably from all the Tetris he played as a kid.

In our next adventure in Belgium, you can see some of the wonderful religious treasures that we found, which have a surprising story behind them!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Antiques Buying Trip in France Part 2

Greg and I have been in Paris and Northern France on an antiques buying trip before we head off to Belgium and England to find even more antique treasures. We already posted about the first days of our antiques buying trip in France, so here’s the next adventure in our European Pickers tour 2017!

Normandy Antiques Shop

This is one of the antiques shops that we visited. Greg loves these old half-timbered buildings in Normandy.

However, our travels aren’t always so charming. In one place we arrived at what we thought was an antiques store, only to find a pile of junk and rubble. It looked more like a place where old cars go to die! And the less “glamorous” side of antique hunting in Europe is sitting in a grocery store parking lot trying to confirm where to head next!

Our cell phones make life easier, unlike our earlier days of antique hunting in France where we had to rely on paper maps and public phones. Travelers’ tip: We have a Travel Pass with Verizon and can use our phones just like in the US for $10 per day. It’s totally worth it!

shopping for antiques

This was one of our more successful destinations. Antique jackpot! If you spot something in this photo and you want to buy it, there’s no point telling us to pick out the second chair from the left in the third row from the back! We’ve been and gone already!

Where the antiques hide

So this is where the antiques hide! Sometimes you have to dig around a bit.

antiques picking in France

And we realized at another destination that sometimes you have to climb up to the highest vantage point to find the good stuff! You can spot Greg down there somewhere.

Carving on buffet

As a sample of some of the good stuff we found, this is a fantastic carving on an antique buffet. Look at the detail… it’s really wonderful.  We look forward to welcoming this fine gentleman to the USA soon, once we have shipped him home. He has no idea of the voyage ahead of him!

Therese of Lisieux

Our last stop in France was the second most visited pilgrimage site after Lourdes, the birthplace of Saint Therese of Lisieux. Known as the “Little Flower,” she suggested doing many small good deeds as a way to express piety, for which she was canonized in 1925. We have sold antique statues of Saint Therese a hundred times over the years, so we knew that when we had the chance to see the real deal, we needed to go!

Van

We picked up this van in France so we could transport our purchases as we travel around France.

Next we head in the van to Belgium, which Greg calls his second home.

In my next blog post I’ll show you our travels in Belgium and the amazing treasure trove of chandeliers we found. The next puzzle will be… can Greg fit them all in the back of the van along with all the chairs and other furniture?

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Antiques Buying Trip in France

Bonjour from France! Greg and I landed in Paris at the weekend on an antiques buying trip around Northern France, Belgium and England. Come along for the ride! We’ve been posting more photos as we go on our EuroLux Facebook page so you can follow us there too and see pictures of the treasures we find.

Antiques shopping in France

Our first stop in France? We immediately hit the famous antique market in Saint Ouen. This market is in a suburb of Paris just north of the popular tourist area of Montmartre which is crowned by the lovely Sacré-Cœur Basilica.

Antiques hunting in France

Basilica of St Denis
There was lots to see, and sometimes the most wonderful antiques are tucked away in unexpected places so you have to keep your eyes wide open! This started getting difficult by the time we’d spent the day antiques shopping. We could barely keep our eyes open at all with the jet lag kicking in! So we decided to visit the Basilica of Saint-Denis. As you can see, it was a perfect sunny day.

 

The Basilica of Saint-Denis was the very first Gothic cathedral ever built. It has been on my bucket list for many years and was even more beautiful in person!

Basilica of St Denis Paris

The Basilica is in Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of Paris. The choir was completed in 1144 and was the first example of a building that used all the elements of Gothic architecture.

We sell quite a lot of antique French Gothic furniture and new pieces with Gothic influences, so it was fascinating to see the building that led the way for this entire style!

Inside Basilica

The stained glass is exquisite, as you can see from this rose window. Most French kings between the 10th and the 18th centuries were buried here at the Basilica, and French Queens were often crowned here too. It became a place of pilgrimage for many.

antique French Prie DieuThen we headed off to Normandy and Brittany for a few days. In Normandy one of my favorite picks of the day was this gorgeous antique prie-dieu prayer chair circa 1890.  I always buy a prie-dieu chair when I find a good one! Prie-dieu literally means “Pray god” and people use it as a knee rest in their prayers and as a support for prayer books. We’ll reupholster the padded knee rest in red velvet.

French Chateau FougeresSometimes when you’re on the road on an antiques buying trip, things don’t turn out quite as expected. Greg and I have learned that if the addresses on your list don’t pan out but there is a massive chateau nearby, stop for the chateau instead!  This is in the medieval part of Fougeres, on the Brittany-Normandy border.

We hope you enjoyed this glimpse into our antiques buying trip in France. More photos and stories to follow and you can see more from our journey on our Facebook page!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

 

Things We Love: Antiquing and Ziplining

Greg and I have just taken a five-day vacation in Asheville, NC, for Greg’s birthday. We arrived in good time at Campfire Lodgings so we could get the tent up before sunset.
Camping in Asheville, NC

We had found a very funky restaurant called the Stoney Knob Café in Weaverville on Trip Advisor, so we headed over there for dinner. The food was awesome and the desserts were even better. Then we kicked back beneath the night sky with some beers beside the fire. The next morning we enjoyed a fantastic view with our breakfast.

Beautiful view in Asheville NC
Then we went antiquing in Asheville, starting at one of our favorite places – the Antique Tobacco Barn. It sounds like a busman’s holiday, I know, but we’re on the lookout for cool, funky stuff for our bungalow. We also visited a very cool antiques shop called Oddfellows Antiques and chatted with the owner Kelly for awhile. We bought this awesome 3 piece 1960s vintage green leather chesterfield sofa and 2 chairs. The complete vintage leather set hails from England. We love it!

vintage leather sofa

Our other buys from this trip included this beautiful hand-painted sign and a very cool oyster shell light fixture for our new bathroom.

Hand-painted sign

photo 2

It sure was nice to get away for a few days. We felt so adventurous we even went ziplining! We left the phones in the truck as we didn’t want to drop them, so we don’t have any photos. But you can get an idea from the photo at the Wildwater Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures website. 

Jennifer Lawrence ziplined here while filming the Hunger Games. Greg has been afraid of heights as long as I’ve known him, but he said he would try ziplining. Campfire in Asheville NC

Around the third zip, our guide tried to make small talk with Greg. (I think he noticed the sweat on Greg’s forehead too.)
He asked which hobbies Greg enjoyed and Greg responded, “Ummm, living. Yeah, just staying alive.” Apparently that was what was on his mind while ziplining! LOL. In the end Greg said he enjoyed it and that he might do it again!

We enjoyed a campfire every night and I know Greg loved that. A campfire is the best giant birthday candle anyone can have. Happy birthday Greg!

If you are tempted to visit to Asheville, NC, too, check out my previous blog post on the Biltmore House and Gardens Estate.  The photos are pretty impressive.

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Antiques Buying Trip: Homecoming

Here at EuroLuxAntiques.com, we look forward to antiques buying trips with great anticipation – what amazing things will we find?  This trip we had to upgrade to a larger container because we found so many beautiful pieces of antique furniture and 100+ unique vintage chandeliers.  However, by the end of the trip, we are always equally excited to go home and snuggle our fuzzy children.  Although the video footage is a little bumpy, we thought you might enjoy meeting our gang of five fuzzy babies.

Rudy is our oldest child at six and is a black lab/border collie mix that just showed up in our yard when he was such a tiny puppy that Greg was afraid an owl would get him.  We asked all around the neighborhood and put up fliers, but apparently he was destined to be ours.  He is named after Rudy Schenker, lead guitarist of The Scorpions, which is the world’s all-time best band according to Greg.  Greg is the all-time best human ever to have lived, according to Rudy.

We felt Rudy needed a friend, so five years ago we visited Pets, Inc., a local no-kill animal shelter, looking for a puppy friend.  However, instead of a puppy, a little orange tabby kitten purred so loudly that I heard him from across the room.  babyOzzyThe moment our eyes locked, I knew he was meant to be part of our brood.  Ozzy (guessing you can figure out he’s named for Ozzy Osbourne) was my Christmas present that year.  Even though his name is officially Ozzy, we call him Mr. Kittles most of the time.  He’s the one that gets so mad when we leave that he gives me “the profile” when we return.  After several rounds of kissing and apologizing, he forgives me and settles in to snuggle.

 

Although Rudy and Ozzy are best buddies, after another year, we felt Rudy might like someone with whom he could run around and tussle, so we went looking for another puppy.  This time we found Jake, a black lab/springer spaniel mix, at Pets, Inc.  Jake is named after Jake E. Lee (a guitarist that plays with Ozzy Osbourne) and thinks Rudy is the all-time best dog that has ever lived.  Jake shows Rudy how much he loves him by constantly licking his ears.  And the cats’ ears.  And our legs and feet.  And the floor, or the sofa if he happens to be laying on it (he’s allowed).  Jake is a little strange, but we love him anyway.

About a year after that, we happened to be cruising by the animal shelter.  babyMinkeyOzzy has always claimed me as his favorite human, and since Greg wanted a cat of his own, we stopped to look around.
We had never seen a sealpoint Siamese kitten at the shelter before, and Greg thought he was really pretty, so he came home too.  Although he was supposed to be named Klaus (for another band member of The Scorpions) that just didn’t stick.  What did stick was Minkey, because he looked like a little spider monkey.  Our little nephew pronounced monkey as minkey, and that’s how Minkey got his name – although he is sort of the same color as a mink and just as soft.  According to Minkey, I’m the all-time best human ever to have lived, although he definitely think humans are much lower in status than Siamese cats.  Obviously.

 

So we thought we were done having fuzzy babies, but two years ago we had an “oops”.  babyRoxyRoxy ran across the highway right in front of my truck when she was a little tiny kitty.  I stopped to see if she was okay and she came right to me.  She was covered with about a million fleas and was sure to get smooshed on the highway, so of course I had to bring her home.  Turns out she is a flamepoint Siamese (at least in part – maybe she was actually an oops that was put out on the highway?) and is an extreme extrovert.  She loves talking to customers at the EuroLux Antiques Gallery and considers herself the “Hostess with the mostest”.  MInkey&RoxyRoxy is named after the song Roxanne by The Police, because she didn’t have to put out her red light anymore.  Roxy is the all-time most beautiful cat ever to have lived, according to Minkey.  Roxy thinks Minkey is the worst thing (cat, dog, human or otherwise) ever to have lived and tells him so every day with a hiss.  Unless, of course, she feels like snuggling.

 

We didn’t mean to buy a zoo – it just happened.  :)

Thanks again for following the EuroLux Antiques blog and stay tuned for the new container arriving soon!

Aimee

 Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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Antiques Buying Trip Day 11: Chateau Tour

On our last day of the Antiques Buying Trip, Greg and I had finished everything we needed to do, so we headed to southern Belgium to visit the Chateau de Lavaux-Sainte-Anne.  The lovely chateau dates to 1450 and has several rooms decorated in period furnishings from the 17th century.  Although it’s somewhat of a “busman’s holiday”, we enjoy visiting historical home museums to see antique furniture.

After touring the Chateau de Lavaux-Sainte-Anne (which also had a rather creepy taxidermy museum!), we stopped in Dinant, a very charming city on the river Meuse.  The onion-domed cathedral is very beautiful, but the highlight of the town is the Fortress-Citadel high up on a mountain overlooking the river.  The fortress was begun in 1040 and has had quite an interesting and varied history.  As you can imagine, any military leader would be interested in taking such a strategic position, and as such it was taken by Henry II, Charles the Bold, Louis XIV, and played a role in both World War I and II.  Dinant was also famous during the Middle Ages for its fine brass metalware, called dinanderie.  Unfortunately, 800 metalworkers were thrown off the fortress by Charles the Bold in 1466, which lead to the loss of expertise in this craft.

Tune in to our next Antiques Buying Trip video to see the end of the tour!

 Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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Antiques Buying Trip Day 10: WWII Nazi Camp

Greg and I are history buffs, so we always look forward to doing a little sightseeing at the end of our Antiques Buying Trips in Europe.  We are especially interested in World War II historical sites, as both of our grandfathers landed on the beaches in Normandy.  Although we’ve visited quite a few WWII Nazi concentration camps, the Nazi work camp in Breendonk, Belgium, may be the most horrendous that we’ve seen.

What makes this Nazi concentration camp in Breendonk so harrowing is that it is so completely intact.  Many concentration camps in Germany were at least in part destroyed immediately after WWII, but this camp seems as if the Germans just left a few hours ago.  The Nazi mural painted on the wall in the cafeteria is still there.  The three-tier bunks are still there, where 50 men per room were housed together in damp and freezing conditions.  The gallows, firing range, and SS torture chamber are still, hauntingly, there.

Breendonk is considered one of the worst Nazi camps in all of Europe, as the conditions there were so incredibly harsh and cruel.  There was a great pit in the middle of the camp where prisoners were allowed to relieve themselves, all at the same time, only twice per day. The prisoners were allowed five minutes to take care of business, but most left after less than a minute for fear of beatings and torture from the guards.  The prisoners had to survive on starvation rations while doing forced hard labor for eight to twelve hours per day.  Less than 10% of the 4,000 inmates that were brought to Breendonk survived the war.

While it is very disturbing to visit Nazi concentration camps, it is also a very moving, emotional experience.  World War II is part of our collective world history, and it’s something we think everyone should experience at least once.

Stay tuned for our next Antiques Buying Trip video, as we’ll visit a chateau filled with antique furniture before heading back to the US.

 Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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Antiques Buying Trip Day 9: Brewery Tour!

Many folks are curious about where we stay when we travel to Europe.  For this Antiques Buying trip, we decided to try out a 15th century brewery that has a hotel attached, called Hotel Carolus. 

Back in 1471, a group of women lived together and did good works (known as Beguines – similar to nuns but not exactly), including taking care of the sick in a hospital.  They brewed beer on this site as a healthier alternative to the local water supply and also as a form of medicine.  The Gouden Carolus brewery offers a tour, which ends with free tastings of their award winning beers!

We greatly enjoyed our stay at Hotel Carolus in Mechelen, Belgium and give it two thumbs way up!  Next time you’re in the area, you should stop in and have a Gouden Carolus Classic, which has won quite a few awards, including the World’s Best Dark Ale in the Abbey/Trappist division in 2010.

Now that we’ve finished up our work for the container, we have some free time to enjoy a bit of sight-seeing.  If you enjoy World War II history, be sure to tune in to our next video.

 Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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