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Antiques in Saas im Prättigau Switzerland

blog picsHaving spoken of my travels around Switzerland and all the quaint villages and their snowy twisting roads and green summer wonderland, here is a small view of the village i live and work in, Saas….Saas im Prättigau Switzerland. Our village was recently incorporated into the Klosters/Davos municipality which actually makes sense as all the amenities are so close to each other and within 10mins to Klosters and 25/30 mins to Davos. It is a great location for secret lovers wanting that utmost privacy as the homes/apartments are set well away from those prying eyes. Some are on the real outskirts of the centre of the village, which by the way is real small and has no central switchboard, you know what i mean. The roads have recently been resurface and new walkways with a small central meeting place with a fountain and believe it or not a fabulous new bus station as well as a spanking new designer toilet…..and its free!!!

So what is so special about Saas….it sits on a plateau overlooking the valley and with spectacular views of the alps on both sides. The houses are mostly very traditional with about 15 new modern homes built in the last 15 months and more are set to be built. Over the years there has been very little built and from the new buildings going up shows that Saas is one the favorite places due to its quiet and serene atmosphere as well as the spectacular views. Presently there are 729 persons living in the village with the average age between 25 – 64 and the male/female ratio nearly one to one implying that this is a family village. It really is ideal for those who are ardent painters, climbers, hikers, bikers, skiers and those who really want the tranquil and seclusion of a fine holiday getaway.

Two local hotels cater mostly to foreign guests as well as Zurich visitors who normally come on winter holidays as the amenities are really super. One can catch a bus to Klosters, a great skiing resort amongst other things to do on the main street. A cable car ride to the very top and then to ski all the way back down to Saas. There is a small railway station, which has a restaurant run by an ex chef from the famous Orient Express. The terrain also caters for langlauf (cross country skiing) and tobogganing. There are several fantastic runs from the very top down a scenic ride to the base of Saas. Another fast and can be dangerous but thrilling run is two villages away with easy access.

The local river….the Landquart….runs at the bottom of the village and the waters are crystal clear with many twist and turns with little rapids as well as a recently re-contructured wooden bridge. The old bridge being washed away a couple of years ago and it was frightening as well as spectacular to watch the torrents of water carrying everything in its path. Hmmm not so nice for those further down who suffered loss but what i really want to draw attention to is the setting of this thrilling river and its surroundings. There are sign posts set up guiding you on walks to be taken crossing the river and walk ways giving you a choice of a calm amble or steep climb. One is also able to rent an entire log cabin  or simply an apartment at the most affordable prices adding here that the hotels have an included ski pass and bus tickets.

Here is a link to the prospectus of Saas….Saas Prospectus. Airbnb have several apartments on their books.

A link to our Antique shop in Saas….Antiques Saas

 

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Pair of bronzes by Mathurin Moreau Huntress and Hunter

Some time one finds exceptional items in the least expected places and these bronzes were just one of those places and time.

Traveling all over the beautiful country side of idyllic Switzerland, i chose to travel through the villages rather than the highway to my final destination. The winding roads rising and falling through the smaller villages (dorf) was a delight and also gave me an opportunity to stop off for lunch and dinner. Most of my stops would include those villages who had a local charity shop as they are filled with items given away but the generous public. By generous i really mean generous ! Items like Lalique,Daum (plenty of)Galle,Christoffel,silver gems and so so much more even down to a small painting by Picasso from his blue period at the princely sum of Sfr.120.00. It needed to be confirmed as one of his by his daughter but then that was quite another task. Tons of other stuff can be found for a few Francs.

The meals had over my travels were excellent and i chose the dish of the region not always being true to dish being served as being a veggie it was not always that easy. After three days of travelling i was looking forward to getting back to my normal diet.All dust and dusted i had a car load of very saleable items and needed to wash and spruce up the items as they were sold as found, this i rather like as after a good inspection, before buying, one sees the collectibility and value of these beauties ready for the market place.

It is rather difficult to get invited into a local home to buy items but on the odd occasion it does happen and i guess it all boils down to the charm. An older couple who noticed what i was buying entered into a conversation and after half an hour i was on the way to viewing some items they were willing to sell off. Keeping my eyes rather steady and not showing too much excitement i noticed the bronzes not knowing that these were among the many wonderful items on offer. They were so dusty and dull but i knew what to do after studying the pair of bronzes so after some negotiation i had them wrapped and packed. The huge crystal chandelier was a battle but well worth it and which took a week to get it into its glorious condition.

When it comes to bronzes and ensuring that they are what they are one needs to have a broad knowledge of what a good bronze is and if in actual fact it is a bronze, are the basics of overspending or buying a  gem at a bargain. These two are missing their plinths but that does not detract from their glorious color/patination. I have simple done a warm soapy wash and a light wax ,as the new owners whoever they maybe, have the choice to have a professional clean to their required taste.

Love it when people interact when on the buying trips as this is when sometimes it all happens. My next travels will only be in the 1st quarter 2019 as no doubt there will be a lot of snow to contend with. If you have travelled through the small villages in the snowy period, as pretty as it is, is rather hair-raising at times due to the narrow roads and sharp turns, being honest, i am getting older and slightly more nervous. Eekkkk,,,,should i ever have said that. I did mention ::::Honest::: and that means an Apple rather than a Banana.

Should you wish to visit Switzerland i am always available to help with destinations and all my favorite hunting spots.

 

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Antique Fair..Sammler Brocante Zurich November 2018

The latest news on the newly established Antique Fair in Zurich…Albisgütli in the Schützenhaus opening 9 November 2018. This fair….Brocante will host over 50 dealers from around the country showcasing a great diversity of art,antiques and collectibles from early c1700 to mid 1970s in all the various forms.

Art will be well represented, so i am told, as well as fine silver from around the world. Those who would like to top up their collections and their tableware then this is the fair you would find most interesting. The dealers have been storing up their best and will certainly open their back cupboards revealing their quirky collections. So whats on offer? Silver in copius amounts as well as Art through the ages,Porcelain from the finest to the more recent 1970s as well as Jewellery and Glass of which will be some of the finest and most collectible ranging from.. Murano artists to French …Lalique….Daum and the like. One area i am not familiar with is the postcard section which ofcourse will be on offer and in the past i have seen them do great business.

Light fittings to stunning wall mirrors, furniture encompassing the ages and so much more. This would be the time to visit this fair should you be looking for that special Xmas present or to find a great bargain, yes they do exist, believe it or not !

There is plenty of parking available or simply hop onto the local tram/bus and Bobs your Uncle you will be there in a few minutes….Zurich based ofcourse. Bus /tram 13 or 17 here is the map….https://map.search.ch/Z%C3%BCrich,Albisg%C3%BCtli-Station-Stop

Opening Friday 9 November 14 – 19 Hrs……Saturday 10 – 18 hrs…Sunday 10 – 17 hrs

We will be represented on stand number 27 with all the little treasures and collectibles. Hope to see you there.

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Switzerlands best kept secret…EXPOSED

One wonders what & where the real secrets are about this wonderful country and to ones delight there are many to be found,yet this secret is a jewel and delight.

The Prättigau valley said to be the best of all and hosts many breath taking places and views that one can imagine, alp upon alp,valley after valley and constructions unimaginable attained in early 1900s and all these still stand proud.

On one of our excursions we set off in the direction of what we heard to be one of the most quaint villages in the Swiss alps, St.Antönien which borders on the Austrian alps. Fortunately we were in the region so did not have to travel too far, 30mins, to get to what we had heard was a jewel in the alps. Driving up the steep twisting and sometimes sharp bends overlooking the villages below we finally came to a small village Pany which in itself was so delightful we stopped off for a German apple tart and a cup of specially brewd coffee, taking in the breath taking views.

But we were still not where we were told to go and lingered a little longer walking the main street of this tiny *dorf* village. The houses been built in traditional Swiss chalet style and some over 200 years old. The fields were dotted with Swiss cows having huge bells around their necks and as they moved en masse it sounded like a special bell ringing concert. As it was very quiet and the air  very light yet crisp clean and fresh we heard each bell ringing its tone, leaving us relaxed and wanting to sit a while longer.

So time had come to travel a further 4Km to our destination in great anticipation of what we were set to find. Once again the slow winding road took us along the mountain side and straight ahead we saw the welcoming sign *Wanna* standing in the middel of nowhere with fields of lucious grass,trees and once again in the distance a cow or two.

We parked along side and clambered out the car to take in this most amazing view that spanned the alps before us and then turned back to find out what *Wanna* was all about. A Typical Swiss house built of wooden logs and some farming equipmet around we had wondered whether this was the right place to discover that well kep secret. On our arival we met the owners who greeted us as if we had known them for years,speaking english as well as several other langages. The outside terrace with tables chairs and umbrellas as well as a outdoor hot tub and still we were at a loss as to what this was all about. We entered the most charming interior filled with exposed beams meters thick and rooms leading off each other with a huge modern kitchen with shining stainless steel fittings and a view on the mountain through the expansive kitchen window.

The secret was about to be revealed as we stepped into an area where we disposed of our shoes and started to climb a short staircase leading us into a very large lounge complete with a romantic fireplace and a pleasant fragrance wafting through the air..The furniture with muted tones but all the same very inviting.The magic thing here is that should you or your team/guests wish to rearrange the setting to yout taste and comfort you may do so. There is that once again a huge window which allows in all the brillant sunlight and what views! So yes the secret is out….. a charming yet elegant and luxury mountain hotel with limited rooms and they are all doubles, so a single traveller has the same luxury at i believe a small increment. The seducingly lit hallway leads to the bedrooms off either side with plain wooden modern doors and the bedrooms are excellent….not that large that one can have a barn dance but hey just so comfortable and pleasantly elegant yet simple. No clutter around which gives this wonderfully re-modelled hotel its serene feeling of elegance. Choose one with the skylight window which allows one to gently fall asleep watching the stars…starry starry light…ho hum.

Meals are cooked as per the day and all ingredients are locally sourced from the small farm itself or from its neighbors. Hmmmm fresh creamy milk,eggs and local meat are all on offer.  A large buffet breakfast available with all things mountain Swiss.There is a wine cellar where you can go and choose your own bottle/s and the choice is amazing. Off to the right is a large sauna with a toilet and shower area, towels etc… which leads off to the outside Hot Tub…a huge favorite in winter….eeek…for the brave at minus something!

I am sure i have forgotten a lot more but then it was all too short a time to take it all in.So whether its summer or winter this is the perfect place to unwind completely with all your cares smoothed away with its total modern and fresh architecture as well as surroundings. Summer time allows you go hiking,paragliding or even hiking to the far away caves that were once inhabited by large…scary…bears and smugglers…so those who would like to let their hair down….Johnny Deep style, this will be for you. Winter time and there are ski-lifts & pony lift in the area as well as tobogganing, night walks through the moonlit snow seeing all the small villages on the other side of the valley with their warm yellow lights twinkling in the night.

There is so much to see and vist in this alp area thats if you want to get about. Also a great place for a country wedding or sepcial events, conferences or group outings.

A *Wanna* to remember experience all in all.

A couple of links :

*Wanna* Mountain Hotel :http://www.wanna.ch/

World Monument Bridge :  https://www.google.com/search?q=world+monument+bridge+saginatobel+schiers&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b

Prättigau Valley Switzerland : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pr%C3%A4ttigau

 

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Switzerlands Antique/Fleamarket Bürkliplatz Zurich

Once again the market has been very busy with so many new dealers and local housewives selling their wares,some treasures and lots and lots of second hand items.

This market which is at the bottom of the main street, Bahnhofstrasse, is host to some of the most exciting collectibles which are to be found amongst the trash. Its always striking that many do no research into what they may have as a treasure and that allows those dedicated collectors and dealers alike to find the *jewel* that is tucked away amongst the other *stuff*.

The tables are set on the alloted space and as usual everybody brings far too much and this then leads to things been piled up or set under the table. These are the tables one needs to watch as under the pile of plates one finds a rare plate by Fornesetti and early english wares dating to 1740/90 which are priced at a few Swiss Francs. Under one table a friend discovered a rare Lalique table lamp and walked away, after parting with 30Sfr, with the biggest bargain i have seen in this last year. Italian glass being plentiful but then the more desirable pieces been controlled by two dealers who snap up whats on offer early morning, so being up and sparkly at 5.30am onwards certainly allows one to snap up the bargains. With this being said not every dealer arrives at that time and unpacking goes on till 10am, so there are still great items to be found, like the Lalique lamp.

So whats on offer ? A vast variety of goodies and mostly porcelain, glass, jewellery, silerware and textiles. The items are mostly marked with a price and others simply seem to know the asking price of the somewhat 100 items they have on display. Wish i had such a good memory but then i rather like pricing my goodies as i think this is a fair and open sell. Ofcourse no matter what you price the item at there is always the bargaining that will take place.

The market as seen in the attached pictures runs till end October on each Saturday from early morning till 4.30pm. There are a number of good fountains for drinking water and ample shade. There is also a kiosk that sells goodies to eat and drink being more of the smaller bites than a large meal but meals can be had in the numerous restaurants close by. To cool off there is the Zurich lake across the road and one can also take a boat trip around the lake. The bus stop is right opposite with connections to all sections of Zurich with the main station at the top of the Most expensive Bahnhofstrasse. Well i guess expensive is only relative.

Clothing and footware are plentiful and at bargain prices. One simply needs time to look for that super deal, thats if you are into second hand. This is the place to find great deals as well as desireable collectibles. A suite of early Daum Nancy drinking glasses priced at Sfr.7.00 each i am sure you will agree is fantastically cheap and as they say a *schnapchen*. Early English wares as well as Chinese items are readily available at affordable prices as people are simply unaware of what they have, infact these are to be

found at real real next to nothing prices.

Wishing all who visit a successful hunting trip, as thats what its all about i guess. Some dealers also buy wares so if you have something to throw out rather bring it along to sell. Many are eager to buy but i will advise to have a price in mind as dealers are rather reluctant to make an offer which i understand to a point.