In Brussels, there are many places around town worth a look at if you love antiques & vintage or if you regularly follow antique roadshow: the Place du Jeu de Balle flea market, for instance, is a daily antique market which is held in a concrete plaza, in the Marolles District, and where you might find everything from refrigerators and wheelchairs to vintage clothing, antique bottles and cut glass.
And if you walk up to adjacent Rue Blaes, you will eventually end up in a scruffy, shop-lined street where a number of antique dealers showcase the very best of their finds.
A world of antiques
But there is nothing, to my opinion and experience, like the antique shop, Stef Antiek. Starting with the storefront; it says it all. Period. I mean, have a look at it, and tell me if that does not raise your curiosity to go and have a look inside just to make sure that it is just as crazy as outside. And you might really be surprised.
Actually, I did not expect an antique shop, which is located at the Kapellemarkt (Napoleon’s old stables, by the way…), like not too far from the very center of the city, to be this huge: you can browse through 950m² of antiques, vintage, original lightning, art-deco items, old building materials and so much more!
And when I say “browse”, I rather mean “excavate”: the items inside the shop are just piled-up to the roof or literally hang from the roof! A paradise for antique lovers.
These guys have used every single inch available, to display their treasures. And it seems they’ll never run out of one item in particular (unless it is really exclusive like a vintage Ducati Desmo from ’74, an antique Albatros speedboat or the scale model of a vintage Hispano Suisa): you’ll find 1,000 vintage chairs, 1,000 retro lamps, 1,000 different kinds of antique building material and more.
Do you need to furnish a house from the ground with vintage or antique items? Not a problem, Stef Antiek have you covered: the shop sells old antique building materials like doors & windows, cast iron & fences, antique bathroom equipment, vintage radiators, flooring, vintage garden decoration, old staircases, mantelpieces, bluestone, antique furniture, vintage lighting, and other retro decorative items.
I mean, if it’s not there, I don’t where you could find it (or if it even exists). It is just like the cave of Alibaba of my childhood, or since we’re in Belgium, the homeland of Hergé, the cave of Moulinsart castle, stuffed with antique armors, painting, and chests…
Do you need a complete interior of a barbershop, a herbalist, or a vintage coffee chop? It’s there. Maybe you’re more interested in an antique silver & brass lamp, an old English writing desk, an original Louis-Philippe armchair, various types of antique bottles, a vintage British carousel from the 40’s or a crystal chandelier? It’s’ there too… It won’t come cheap (prices are not the prices of a regular bric-à-brac as it looks like – these guys know what they sell), but maybe you will find something that is worth the price you’ll pay for it. And if you’re looking forward to finding values for antiques you own, they may help too.
Should you be on a quest for something or just going for a stroll, have a look around, let the inspiration do its share of work and it might be your lucky day. And the best of all is that stocks of antique changes daily at both places (Stef Antiek Blaesstraat 63 and Stef Antiek Kapellemarkt 6). It’s magic.