top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Antique shopping in Amsterdam’s Spiegelkwartier is a destination in itself. Its streets are lined with gabled houses that are home to art galleries, antiques shops and cafés. Popping inside one of the stores in this neighborhood, you might discover a canal house converted into an antique shop or atelier with the front door facing the Spiegelstraat and the back door leading to a quiet oasis, where on sunny Dutch days you’ll find the shopkeeper reading in the garden.
to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TE6EglidKSI/AAAAAAAAFBs/4DoSgOMc3Dk/s400/043.JPG” border=”0″ />Walking into these antique shops in the Spiegelkwartier you are given a glimpse of what lies beyond the doors of some of the private residences and canal houses. You can imagine Empire porcelain sets clinking as Grand Dames serve afternoon tea on long wooden oak tables. And you can picture how life used to be lived with Dutch style in the days of yore.
to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TE6EhAqNRKI/AAAAAAAAFB8/TOI_iNBrtNM/s400/052.JPG” border=”0″ />If you’ve only one day to dedicate to antique shopping while in Amsterdam – this is it.
The Spiegelkwartier houses over 100 specialized art and antique dealers whose wide variety of objects for sale range from archeological finds to 17th century furniture, glass and Dutch Delftware, from oriental art to Art Nouveau, from tribal art to contemporary art, from old medical instruments and clocks to jewelry and, last but not least, icons, paintings and old master prints.
to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TE6EhjGj2LI/AAAAAAAAFCE/YYELo9h3USg/s400/063.JPG” border=”0″ />This is my favorite place to spend any day in Amsterdam – the best days to go are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays when you’ll find the greatest numbers of shops are open! Mark your agenda’s for the Spiegelkwartier’s Open House this September 25 – 26 and consider booking an Antiques Diva Tour of Amsterdam to find your way into hidden courtyards, past countless canals and to antique shops spotting both the Spiegelkwartier and further afield in Jordaan and Old South!
Before I dash, I have 3 last words of travel advice before you go:
Firstly, remember that in Holland cash is king. Normally when you hear me utter this word of advice it’s because cash allows for better negotiation, but in the Spiegelkwartier where not many of the vendors will bargain significantly, that’s not my primary reason for warning you of this. In Holland, due to the high transaction fees for credit cards, not many small shops and vendors accept credit cards. Though an annoyance, you can do bank transfers should you find something you can’t live without. And by the way, even though you shouldn’t expect a major discount on Dutch antique negotiations, it is always worth asking for one! In general, in Holland, you can expect a courtesy 10% discount, but not much more.
to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TE6Eg502wJI/AAAAAAAAFB0/ourrAavHWuQ/s400/048.JPG” border=”0″ />Secondly, watch out for the bicycles. The small road width of the Spiegelstraat with its charming brick lane feel can lull you into thinking this is a pedestrian street – but it’s not! It is a main thoroughfare with bicyclists peddling past you. Crossing the streets always reminds me of playing Frogger as a child!
And lastly, don’t wear kitten heels. Amsterdam streets are killer on my shoes and a day out antiquing inevitably results in a trip to the shoe cobbler if I forget to wear my loafers. Of course, maybe I’m going a little “too far” with the comfortable shoe option in the picture on the right?
Until next time, Happy Shopping.
The Antiques Diva™
(photo credit right: The English Rose)