Every island adventure is incomplete without pirates and a treasure hunt. If you are visiting Djerba Island in Tunisia, you can embark on a pirate adventure traveling on a pirate ship to the island of flamingos to spend an amazing time of swimming, dining, and fun games. But what about the treasures?
Antiquité (French for antiquity) is one of Houmt Souk’s best kept secrets on Djerba Island. This antique shop was established in 1991 in the center of the souk. The entrance can be a bit difficult to find amidst the surrounding jewelry shops, but entering inside will feel as if you are stepping into the cave of Ali Baba. Antiquité is an antique haven with a treasure trove of antiques curated throughout Tunisia and parts of Africa. A visit to Antiquité is a must for any antique collectors in search of hidden gems, but it’s also worth seeing even if you only want to spectate, as the experience is akin to visiting a museum.
The Hunt for Traditional Tunisian Antiques
The owner of Antiquité, once lived in Germany but now spends his time traveling to the souks (markets) and shops across Tunisia in search of antiques and vintage items. His collection of antiques are worth perusing based on the owner’s careful appraisal of each item’s age, rarity, condition, utility, or other unique features. Don’t expect to just spend a short time at Antiquité. This antique shop is brimming with treasures, artifacts, and offbeat items displayed on two floors. You can easily find yourself losing track of time as you sniff through these hidden gems.
Every Curation is an Invitation to the Past
Every curated piece of antique is an invitation to the past. Step back into time as you discover the hidden gems in this antique shop. The following are just some of the hidden gems you can expect to find in Antiquité:
Among the many traditional Tunisian clothing and garments, the bakhnoug which is traditional female clothing for weddings that are popular in Southern Tunisia is of particular interest.
Kitchenware and Dishes
There are lots of traditional silverware, dishes, and cooking utensils of various sizes to discover. You can easily spot an oversized keskes that was once used for cooking couscous at traditional weddings. There are also some oversized dishes used for feeding 10+ people during festivals which are no longer used anymore in Tunisia. Some dishes such as the tibssi (traditional dish) stand out as some of the unique kitchenware among the vast selection.
Farming and Agricultural Tools
There are many traditional farming and agricultural tools displayed on the upper level. You will find these tools on display in museums such as the Guellala Museum, but you have the rare opportunity to purchase these rare items to own. You will also find a rare jarousha (plow) on the lower level which was once a primary farming tool but had since been replaced by tractors.
Tunisia has always been well known for its weaving. There is a vast selection of carpets with unique beauty and originality located on the upper level. There are some special carpets used for weddings that are of extreme rarity.
Tunisian Vintage Doors, Windows and Shutters
The unique decorations and designs of Tunisian doors make it an iconic symbol of Tunisia. There are all sorts of vintage doors including wooden doors, iron doors, nakcha (studded doors), and doors with an assortment of decorations and colors. These doors are collected throughout Tunisia from Tunis, Kairouan, Sousse, Sfax, and Djerba. There is also a unique collection of windows and shutters to discover.
You will also discover various forms of pottery, mainly originating from the Guellala region of Djerba. You will want to keep an eye out for the jidiwaa which is a handmade pottery cup used for storing and drinking water. Traditionally, water collected and stored using the jidiwaa naturally maintains at a cool temperature.
Other Tunisian Antiques
Other Tunisian antiques include coins, silver necklaces, wooden trunks used for storage, blanz (large iron keys), ambala (candleholders), vases, mosaics, paintings, and more.
African Decorations and Ornaments
There is also an assortment of decorations and ornaments collected from sub-Saharan Africa.
Visit Antiquete to Discover Amazing Tunisian Antiques
Address: 14 Rue Bizerte, Houmet Souk, Djerba