EUROPEAN ANTIQUE BUYING TOURS UNCOVER NEW SOURCES -- SPACES STILL AVAILABLE FOR 2006 2006 antique shopping trips scour shops, warehouses, barns, markets and castles. Huge selection, friendly prices and tax-free shopping.
HIDDEN TREASURES AND FRIENDLY PRICES MAKE CENTRAL EUROPE A HOT NEW DESTINATION FOR ANTIQUE HUNTERS
Philadelphia, PA – February 14, 2006 -- A Philadelphia company has retooled the classic antique shopping trip to Europe with new destinations, a brisk pace and hot sources in a region where most antique buffs never venture.
“Central Europe is a terrific source for affordable antiques, collectibles and furnishings in every price range right now,” says Philadelphia-based dealer Tom Conrad whose company, Heart of Europe Tours, (www.heartofeuropetours.com) offers five insider buying trips for antique buffs, dealers, collectors and designers. The trips include
Antiques Escape April 25-May 1
Achtung! Antiques May 7-16
Czechmania! May 18-25
Summer Antiques Extravaganza July 23-August 3
Fall Antiques Extravaganza September 26-October 7
The tours cover a large area of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire and the old kingdoms of Saxony, Franconia and Bohemia.
“It would be hard to find another region that is as rich in such extraordinary furniture, art, small antiques, furnishings, decorative accessories, jewelry and textiles," said Conrad. " Much of the area was shrouded behind the Iron Curtain and very few American antique buffs shop there," he added.
"We see antiques and collectibles in all price ranges, from all periods and in all styles -- formal, vernacular, country, primitive, Baroque, Biedermeier, various mid- to late-19th Century styles, Art Nouveau, Deco, Modernism, up to the 1970s," said Conrad. Antiques that are exported are tax free, he added.
The groups trawl old warehouses, shops, auction houses -- evens barns and castles -- foraging for treasures. Nuernberg, Prague, Bamberg and Dresden are among the cities included in the tours. The company has also ferreted out sources tucked away on back roads and in small towns and villages throughout the region.
The trips are designed to take the stress out of antiquing, says Conrad. Transatlantic shipping is included in most of the tours. “We take care of the details so participants can focus on ‘the hunt,’” he said.
Nearly all the American antique buffs who shop in Europe buy in France, Italy, England and the Low Countries. But wholesalers in those countries are importing antiques from Central Europe where the supply is immense and the prices are relatively low.
"Heart of Europe antique tours offer insider access to entirely new sources,” according to Conrad. “The sheer variety and volume of antiques and furnishings alone make these trips a winner. That, plus the great prices, makes our trips unbeatable for people looking for affordable new finds.”
Heart of Europe tours include airport transfers, travel by chartered coach, professional bilingual guide, hotel and breakfast, visits to antique markets, retail shops, trade sources and wholesalers, ongoing support during the trip, packing and transatlantic container shipping, export documentation and U.S. customs clearance.
Spaces are still available; the company offers easy online reservations. People who are interested should book soon because the size of the groups will be kept small, according to Conrad. The tours are designed for seasoned antiquers and people