Weekend flea marketing

This weekend was the Altonale street festival in our neighborhood. We went out several times to see what was going on and to enjoy the sights. We listened to a samba drum group (very loud and energetic!) and went to our artist neighbor’s atelier to see some of his new art. But  mostly we took advantage of the flea markets on Saturday and Sunday and boy were we successful!

Although I LOVE flea markets, I much prefer thrift stores because of one silly little thing: I don’t have to ask the price of something. I’m (stupidly) deathly afraid of asking for a price at a flea market, and if there is any haggling involved, I absolutely hate it. Thank goodness Tobias is good at it and pretty much tries to haggle on everything just for the principle of it. So I let him work his magic while I stood next to him, feeling extremely awkward.

So thanks to all of Tobi’s work, we got some really great things!


Our first purchase on Saturday was a chandelier! We’ve been looking for a cool vintage chandelier for our living room and actually have it on our wedding website as one of our projects that people can contribute to as a wedding gift if they like. (So it’s technically our first wedding gift…?) It’s not hooked up yet and we don’t have any light bulbs for it, but we’ll be getting those this week and then we can hook it up. The lady we bought it from has a shop here in Hamburg and she offered to give us the bulbs for free. We really love it! We spent the rest of the afternoon taking it apart, cleaning the crystals, and putting it back together. It’s missing a few crystals, but hopefully we can get some from the lady as well.


We also found these silver candlesticks for 4€. Actually, it was the very last thing we bought on Saturday and we literally cleaned out our wallets to buy it for a little less than 4€. We’re going to use them in the wedding at the candle ceremony, but they’re cool enough to use at home afterward too! I wish we had gotten a before picture, because these were super-tarnished when we got them. Tobias cleaned them with hot water, a bit of salt, and a few pieces of tin foil and the tarnish disappeared! A pretty amazing trick, if you ask me!


Tobias found this old desk lamp and haggled to get 17€ off the price, bringing it down to 63€. Not bad. Tobias found similar ones online that dated it somewhere between the 1930s-1950s, and it was double the price we paid for ours.


On Sunday, we were lucky again and got some good deals! Like this Russian U-Boot (submarine) clock we picked up. The original price was pretty steep (120€) but we got it for 90€. Still an investment, but it is really such a cool thing. Very unique! It even comes with a key that you have to wind it up with every 2 weeks to make sure it continues running. It also weighs a ton and we have to figure out some sturdy way to put it up on the wall.


Close-up of the Russian words:


I also got a few books for the wedding decorations, AND I found this awesome biography of Balzac, written by Stefan Zweig. (I had no idea Stefan Zweig was interested in Balzac! I read Schachnovelle in one of my college German classes and later saw the play here in Hamburg. And Balzac is the author I wrote my honors paper on in college! If you want to hear me speak French, my presentation is here on YouTube!)


We also found some nice cufflinks for Tobias for the wedding.

I don’t think I’ve ever bought that much at a flea market before! But really as I said, it’s all thanks to Tobias. He has good taste! And these are all things (with the exception of the Balzac book) that we’ve been looking for for a while, so it’s nice to have found some good stuff!

Have you been to any flea markets lately? Find anything good?


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