Antiques at the end of the line

The 22 line to Bílá Hora offers some sightseeing and antique hunting

Sometimes people are looking for one nice antique item as an accent to a room or as a souvenir to take home. Outside of the city center there are a number of small antique shops, with quite a few along the 22 tram line from near Prague Castle out to Bílá Hora. The route also has some other points of interest, including the Strahov and Brevnov monastaries, the Hvězda summer palace, Our Lady of Victory in Bílá Hora Church and the Bílá Hora memorial. It is easy to combine some sight seeing with antique hunting by hopping on and off the tram.

At the end of the 22 and 25 tram lines is the newly opened family-run shop called Antik Bílá Hora, which specializes in Czech glass from the Jablonec area but has other porcelain and other collectibles as well, but almost exclusively Czechoslovak-made items. Jablonec nad Nisou in North Bohemia used to be a center of decorative glass production in the past.

Colorful perfume bottles, glass beads, porcelain tableware and figures, and small furniture pieces are among the most popular items in the shop. There are also have glass lighting fixtures including a chandelier. From time to time they also have puppets and toys, such as a few vintage plush animals.

“A lot of the pieces we have you can't really find anywhere in Prague. They are nicely designed and cozy,” Antik Bílá Hora proprietor Gabriela Dvořáková said.

The perfume flacons come from the time of the First Republic, with some in the Art Deco style. Many of the companies that made them closed during World War II, and didn't reopen under communism.

The furniture pieces have for the most part not been restored, but retain the look of age. “I think it is nice to mix them with modern pieces,” Dvořáková said. “They are special I think.”

She takes her inspiration in furniture decorating ideas from Rachel Ashwell, who has written several books on the idea of shabby chic, which takes an eclectic approach to home décor by emphasizing the beauty of little imperfections.

They also have some vintage coffee service sets for times you want to impress your guests. Porcelain production was popular in the Karlovy Vary area, and also in Germany. Brands they have include Rosenthal, which is popular with collectors.

The small store doesn't want to be a trash shop, overfilled with all sorts of old items in all kinds of conditions. The owners prefer to have a high-quality selection that is nicely displayed, so people can take their time and look around to see if something grabs their attention.

The idea isn't that you could furnish your whole flat from the shop, just pick up a few individual pieces. “Nothing to fussy. I would like people to use it,” Dvořáková said. “We want to bring new life to old pieces.”

The shop is new, and they hope to expand into having more clocks, vintage pictures and vintage fabrics.

So far this is the owner's first shop in Prague, though they have a sister shop in Jablonec with more glassware, and a network of suppliers there as well. They also from time to time buys pieces from customers, if they are interesting and in good condition. The owners also are willing to keep an eye out for particular items people are looking for.

For more visit www.antikbilahora.com or www.facebook.com/AntikBilaHora

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