top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>I was delighted that “Karla from Laren” took the time to write back to The Antiques Diva ™ with a follow-up letter after I answered her “Reader Question” in my most recent blog, titled “What do you do with your TV and Audio Visual Equipment?”.
Dear Antiques Diva,
I really hadn’t expected such a detailed and researched response. It was really helpful! My baby, Chloe, and I went to De Weldaad, the antique store you recommended in Abcoude. It was very charming and certainly a place I would never have found without inside advice from the Antiques Diva. The cabinets were, as you mentioned, mostly all painted and many seemed to be made of pine. I was a little disappointed as the quality was not so great in many of the pieces. What I really liked, however, was a great collection of old farm tables. These were massive tables, some 10-12 feet long, made of thick hardwood planks with painted, turned legs. If I ever get to build my dream kitchen, they would be perfect paired with rustic chairs and maybe a bench on one side. The owner, Monsieur Cornell, had quite a good selection. It was also a good place to rummage for old fireplace screens, miscellaneous sconces and a wild boar’s head or two. The owner was gracious and helpful, and there was nary another person in the store. M. Cornell assured me that a new shipment would arrive in a couple weeks…
Bless my husband’s kind heart and my baby’s easy nature, we then made our way to Hilversum to the Ons Winkelhijke Antiek store you also recommended. Located just off the “ring”, it was not far from downtown Hilversum and very easy to find. The proprietor spoke very little English, but when he saw my earnestness to evaluate his wares, the language barrier was no problem. The mahogany armoire you spotted online was indeed a fine piece (perhaps one of the best large pieces in the store). His prices were good, 345 Euros for a walnut TV cabinet that, alas, was too small for our American-sized TV, but a fair price for the quality. He had a few other cabinets which I investigated – an 1880’s oak linen cupboard and a turn-of-the-century mahogany dresser with a bone (antler) keyhole – but none fit the bill.
By that time, both my husband and the baby were starting to deflate so we went back to our home in Laren. Still in the mood for antique shopping, I took your suggestion and checked out eBay and Marktplaats for some armoires but I was intimidated by the whole “sight unseen” thing. Not knowing much about antiques, it’s hard for me to say “yes, that is what I want” without actually seeing and touching.
I did find that on eBay there are many dealers with their own web sites and shops. One I investigated near Amersfoort is called Heineman Antiques. I went to their store and they had a nice selection of higher-quality English cabinets, tables, and larger furniture pieces. They do all their restoration work on-site, so they are very helpful if you want to change shelf heights, varnish the inside of the cabinet doors, etc. I even had a coffee with the family – grandpa, grandma, uncle and the current main proprietor and his wife. They were extremely friendly and helpful. Most of the cabinets were a fairly simple country style, although he did have a few more elaborate linen cupboards. The prices were higher [in the 2000-4000E range] than most of the cabinets I had previously looked at, but to my novice appraisal they were worth the price.
In any case, I’ve had a great time exploring while searching for my armoire. I am still hopeful that, eventually, we will find something that works. So the search continues, and isn’t that half the fun?