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A piece of the past as a souvenir: hunting antiquities in the Danube Bend

  • Hype&Hyper
    Not so long ago mass production outsourced to distant countries was an unknown concept. Behind the objects there were no stock-indexes, fake marketing messages or planned obsolescence, but human stories, sophisticated expertise and long working hours. Customers didn’t order products from websites, and did not buy them in the depths of opaque commercial supply chains or from wholesalers and distributors, but directly from the craftsman who prepared the object. The Danube Bend abounds in opportunities if we want to choose an ancient object as a souvenir to take home with us. On the one hand the history and traditions looking back on the diverse past and different ethnic groups of the area, on the other hand undiscovered treasures attract visitors.
    Not so long ago mass production outsourced to distant countries was an unknown concept. Behind the objects there were no stock-indexes, fake marketing messages or planned obsolescence, but human stories, sophisticated expertise and long working hours. Customers didn’t order products from websites, and did not buy them in the depths of opaque commercial supply chains or from wholesalers and distributors, but directly from the craftsman who prepared the object. The Danube Bend abounds in opportunities if we want to choose an ancient object as a souvenir to take home with us. On the one hand the history and traditions looking back on the diverse past and different ethnic groups of the area, on the other hand undiscovered treasures attract visitors.

    ‘Ódon-Fon’ (Ódon-Fon Antiques) Vác (Vác, Naszály út 18.)

    If someone mentions the Danube Bend and antiques trade within the same sentence, the antique mall located in the former factory building of Vác metal foundry must inevitably come up. With its dimensions, stock, equipment and specialities it deservedly earned a reputation as the “biggest antique deposit of Europe”, since it awaits antique hunters in more than 4500 square metres, on several floors. This is also due to the fact that the Discovery Channel’s British treasure hunters, the team of Drew Pritchard and the Salvage Hunters shot footage here, dedicating a full episode to the deposit the size of which alone is impressive. As we enter, we understand why an antiques trade with such turnover needs such a huge place. The carefully prepared, labelled and registered antiquities grouped by topic are lined up in perfectly transparent way.

     

    For interested customers one day is probably not enough to walk around and study all objects thoroughly. We find an amazing range of furniture, everyday objects and giftware of civil and peasant life, grandfather clocks, wall clocks or even station clocks, toys, vehicles, industrial and medical devices, paintings, photographs, etchings, completely furnished grocery store, tools and signboards of various professions, and everything that we would not even dream of, how impressive it can be as an antique. One of Ódon-Fon’s costumers is Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren, who upon one of her visits left with a truckload of goods.

    ‘Tolerián Antik’ (Tolerián Antique) Vác (Vác, Naszály út 18.)

    Although located in the immediate vicinity of Ódon-Fon, the lavish store specialised in antique furniture, decorative items and giftware deserves a specific mention.

     

    ‘Szentendrei régiségpiac’ (Szentendre Antiques Fair) (Szentendre, Bükkös part 32.)

    From January 2021 the Antique – Retail and Flea Market and Local Crafts Fair is organised on the third Sunday of each month. The highly successful event is hosted by the Market of Bükkös Part. Since there are lots of “amateur” merchants, we may find products that we would not encounter in specialized stores. Don’t miss mulled wine, cheese raclette and the delicious pastries!

    ‘Visegrádi Ószerész’ (Antiquities Dealer of Visegrád) (Visegrád, Fő u. 42.)

    Naturally, it is also possible to find antiquities in Visegrád, home to the Royal Palace and Citadel. We may dig through fabulously elaborate old maps, blueprints, paintings, everyday objects and giftware in an authentic environment. At the same time, we can also get second-hand bookshop experiences browsing through the book supply.

    ‘Nagymarosi Antik galéria’ (Antique Gallery of Nagymaros) (Nagymaros, Fő tér 16.)

    We can complete our shopping trip by visiting the antiques shop located next to the building of ‘Bethlen-kocsma’ (Bethlen Pub) in the neighbourhood of the iconic farmers’ market of Nagymaros.

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