Victorian davenports in SeoulAbout four years ago, a tiny antique shop named “A Hundred Years Before” opened on “antique road” in Itaewon, selling things like old telephones and plates. The collection has grown since then, and the shop recently opened another branch that sells antique furniture. The name of the original store was changed to “Bavaria,” and the new shop, which opened last month, maintains the now two-store chain’s original name.
All antiques are European and personally collected by the owner, Kim Jeong-yun. Ms. Kim started collecting antiques because of her love for art, and spends most of her time searching for them at antique shows and flea markets. The store’s antique inventory is primarily European is partly because Ms. Kim actually resides in Germany and partly because European antiques are the trend in Itaewon. About 90 percent of antique shops located there specialize in European antiques, and Bavaria is said to have the biggest collection.
The original shop is divided into two parts; one is filled with small items, such as teacups, dolls and purses; the other is full of furniture, brass ornaments and gardening tools. The second shop sells more expensive furniture that is 150 to 200 years old.
Most of the store’s customers are owners of accessory shops or fashion boutiques. The antiques are often rented to photography studios or movie sets. Magazines rent the furniture or small antiques for photo shoots.
The two shops are stuffed with various knickknacks, and a customer can easily spend hours just browsing. Workers at the shops claim being in contact with antiques and people who enjoy them make work interesting.
“You can learn the artistic styles of each generation from the antiques,” said Go Ja-yeong, who manages the second shop. “Also, each country's antiques are different and unique, so it’s never boring.”
10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m,
Take subway line No. 6
to Itaewon Station, exit No. 4. Walk straight until making a right at the three-way junction
by Yoon Seok-hee