Tag Archives: belgium

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.

What is Mechelen Style Antique Furniture?

Mechelen style antique furniture is very distinctive and exotic. It is heavily hand-carved with foliage and typically a pride of roaring lion heads too! People who know the Mechelen look often fall in love with it, but many Americans are not that familiar with this Flemish furniture style.

Mechelen Style Antique Furniture - this buffet dates to 1900This wonderful antique buffet currently in our gallery is an excellent example of the Mechelen style. It dates to 1900 and is superbly carved with winged lions on the side. Lions’ heads on the cabinets are embellished with metal rings and the craftsmen added carved figures and faces of people, as an extra decorative touch. Mechelen style antique furniture typically features dark woods, like the rich oak in this sideboard or sometimes walnut. You’ll often see stained glass as well. The original stained glass in the doors on this buffet features a striking floral design.

So how did the Mechelen style develop? In the early 16th century, Mechelen in Belgium was the capital of the Low Countries. We know these countries today as the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Mechelen enjoyed prosperity and power thanks to its cloth trade. But in 1572 the city was sacked and burned during the Eighty Years’ War. Brussels, about 15 miles away, became the new capital.

You’d think that would be the end of Mechelen, yet the city rose from the ashes and grew famous for its furniture. Furniture crafted in Mechelen at the end of the 16th century was heavily carved as a Belgian take on the Hunting Style popular in France to decorate hunting lodges and castles for royalty and aristocrats.

1920 Oak Dining Table is typical of Mechelen style antique furnitureUsing imagery from the natural world and the hunt, Mechelen style antique furniture is lavishly adorned with stylized leaves, berries and fruit, and often boasts handsomely carved lion heads, as you can see in these pictures. This Mechelen oak dining table from 1920 boasts lions on each corner, and foliage and flowers on the apron and legs. The 5-leg table has a center pedestal that eliminates the need for stretchers, so your guests have more room to stretch their own legs!

Petite Oak Buffet is a fine example of Mechelen style antique furnitureIn the 19th century, the Dutch-speaking city of Mechelen played an important role as a hub in the new-fangled European railway network. Mechelen’s beautifully crafted and ornate furniture became even more popular as it was easy to send it by rail to customers far and wide! This petite antique oak buffet is from that era, dating to 1900 and carved with leaves, flowers, and acorns or nuts, as well as the traditional lions’ heads.1900 Mechelen Buffet Stained Glass Door
The pretty floral stained glass on the upper door is original and it’s quite amazing to think that this glass has survived over a century! Although Mechelen style antique furniture is always sturdy, this sideboard is unusual in its trim size. At just over 3 feet wide it is nicely proportioned to fit a modern home if you don’t have a hunting lodge or chateau at your disposal!

I’d love to hear what you think about this look. Is it new to you or are you a fan already? Ask me any questions about Mechelen style antique furniture in the comment box below!

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 you can sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

All About Bequet…

Hubert Bequet began creating beautiful ceramics in 1926 at the Belgian ceramics manufacturer Auguste Mouzin et Cie (AMC).  (This manufacturer was later renamed La Faencerie de Wasmuël, which operated from 1878 to 1951 in the southwest coal-mining region Borinage region of Belgium.)  AMC was known for fine quality ceramic pieces and specifically for their 1910 introduction of mass production ceramic mantle clocks.

 Bequet opened his own ceramics production factory in 1934 in Quaregnon, incorporating everything he had learned at AMC. The apex of success for the factory was in 1963 when it employed 150 workers, but eventually closed its doors when the pottery and its director then began to experience various problems. The large factory closed in December 1982. Hubert Bequet did however continue to produce pottery in a small workshop, “The Ceramics of Borinage”, until April 1985 before closing for good.

Known not just for his colorful, high-quality ceramic pieces with gold rims and elaborate decoration, Bequet also brought mass production to the forefront of the ceramics industry.  Early pieces were either unsigned or imprinted with Belgique and a model number. Pieces  made later on were marked with “Made In Belgium: H. Bequet Quaregnon.”

Below is a slideshow of sample Bequet work.

Bequet ceramic piece

 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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