Through History: A look at fun Antikvariát finds
by Jacy Meyer
having a hard time translating Antikvariát. I guess you could
say "used bookstore" but that doesn´t sound like enough.
A true Antikvariát is filled with old and secondhand paper products
of all sorts postcards, stamps, maps, drawings and illustrations,
in addition to books. In the Czech Republic they are a fascinating
glimpse into former times, whether you speak the language or not.
I´ll usually pop into one whenever I´m passing by, however more
often than not I don´t buy anything, preferring to root through
the piles and enjoy my finds and leave the actual purchasing
to someone who may have a personal connection to the chosen treasure.
a poker and a digger, so prefer the dark and dusty shops to the
well-laid out ones. Behind the counter I want a crusty old man
who looks like he hasn´t been out of his shop since before the
revolution, surrounded by a teetering pile of books. A good example
can be found at Antikvariát Pražský Almanach (Újezd 26, www.artbook.cz.) This placed is stuffed. The desk in the
middle holds boxes of cards and postcards; the walls covered with
old posters and drawings. That´s the key to smart Antikvariát
shopping: look up. The walls are usually covered with a variety
of old advertisements, drawings, maps and often paintings. If
it is old cards and postcards you like, head over to Antikvariát
Arco (Dlážděná 4.) A recent visit saw two people sitting on stools
pawing through the long boxes that held their selection. Next
door is Antikvariát Dobrá kniha (www.antikvariáty.cz.) I believe it´s the same owner;
they´ve given all their postcards and other memorabilia to Arco.
This is a larger shop with lots of well-displayed books. Be sure
to look to the children´s section; the picture books are always
at Národní 40 is Antikvariát Galerie Můstek. This nearly borders
on the fancy-schmancy side of the scale. It´s a small shop but
they have a wide-ranging selection of books; plus huge binders
filled with illustrations like military, fashion and anatomy designs.
The walls are covered with maps, prints and framed paintings.
While I normally don´t recommend shopping on Pařížská, do visit
Antikvariát Pařížská (Pařížská 8.) They actually only have a small
book selection, but a massive painting collection both framed
and not. Drawings and maps can also be found, but the neatest item
here is their stamp collection. Selections of stamps from Czechoslovakia
are neatly arranged in clear plastic envelopes. Staying on the
posher side of town, head to Antikvariát Karel Křenek (U Obecního
domu 2, www.karel-krenek.com.)
There´s no poking around to be done here everything is well
lit and laid-out. They have many maps and drawings from all over
the world; drawings preserved in plastic folders and display cases
filled with special items.
Knihkupectví Judaica (Siroká 7) offers all sorts of Jewish related
memorabilia including books, drawings and paintings. Antikvariát
Ztichla Klika (Betlémská 10, www.ztichlaklika.cz) is a large shop; around the corner
you can pop into Antikvariát Schwarz (Betlémské nám. 11.) This
is more of a bazaar than an antikvariát, but there´s a large bin
of old prints as well as some postcards and for the really retro
among us, records. Two other shops in proximity to each other
are Antikvariát (Křemencova 14, www.knizky.com) and Antikvariát Kant (Opatovická 26, www.antik-kant.cz.) Antikvariát looks like they are either
moving in or out. Some lovely drawings surround the door, and
immediately to the left are shelves offering books for 5, 10 and
15 CZK. Kant is one of my favs. The entry room is filled with
books for 5-15 CZK. They have many drawings, lots of boxes to
poke through (but also well-laid out and marked shelves) and English
books. Microwave Fish and Seafood cookbook for anyone? Also interesting
here are the actual photographs in one of their boxes by the counter.
Last visit there were a selection of ones from an operating theater,
and yes, someone was on the table.
Pražský Almanach and Kant, my favorite is probably Antikvariát
Dlážděná v Růžové (Růžová 5, www.adplus.cz.)
They have tons of illustrations hanging on the wall, more drawings
filed away by topic in drawers, lots of books and a bookshelf
with books in both English and German. Under the cash desk, there
are usually four boxes filled with books for 1 CZK! Which reminds
me always look through the bargain bins. I picked up what looks
like an old Czech textbook, Krásná a Slavná, copyright 1961, for
a mere 20 CZK. It has great illustrations and looks like it was
never even opened. This shop also has Czech Republic hiking maps.
times ahead folks. This should probably be listed on my tops list
as well but you need a certain mood. Out in Prague 7 is Antikvariát
(Dělnická 45.) This place is huge. And a mess. Boxes and piles
of books and magazines are everywhere. German and English books
are mixed in with the regulars; and some of the shelves are marked.
There are both a separate English and German shelf as well. Banana
boxes are overflowing with magazines and other publications
sometimes in English. The second room has drawers labeled maps,
but upon opening them you´ll see piles of drawings. Boxes of stamps
and postcards can be found closer to the cash desk; and there
are also two tables with porcelain and glass vases and such. Adds
to the yard sale ambience of the place.
you are looking for a special, rare or antique book or map, be
sure to visit some of the above websites. Some are in English
and have additional products for sale and may even do special
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