Tbilisi is a treasure-trove for hunters of the old. Until recently, you could snap up something really valuable for a bargain as the owners of said pieces of art or furniture needed the money more than the greed. Of late, though, and with the increased interest of local and foreign buyers, antiques dealers have smartened up and while you’ll still be getting it cheaper than elsewhere in the world, you’ll be paying more than you would have a few years back. Not as good for your pocket, but a proud sign that Georgia is coming back from the dark times of post-civil war poverty.
Velvet is an antiques store located in the hip neighborhood near the Marjanishvili metro - a formerly industrial area which has been undergoing a revival.
Velvet sells everything from clothing to furniture to clever home decor pieces. You can find an old typewriter, decorative lampshade, and classic Soviet posters. While you're shopping, you can also grab a cup of coffee, a cocktail, or a piece of cake at the cafe inside!
Fabrika, 1 E. Ninoshvili St., Tbilisi
This prestigious antique shop offering a wide selection of exclusive jewelry and antiques.
For more than 20 years, its designers and masters have cared deeply and lovingly about making Diadema jewelry distinctive and contemporary.
Each set of precious and semi-precious colored stones collections is unique.
Reliability, exclusivity and professionalism are the criteria that have led to the development of Diadema as the first Georgian jewelry brand and its successful operation on the market.
In addition to jewelry made in Georgia, you will find rare antiques and paintings by renowned artists.
18 Marjanishvili Str., Tbilisi
Not an antiques expert but still fancy taking home something with a genuine Soviet air? The best stop for the average browser is THE DRY BRIDGE FLEA MARKET. As The Financial put it, “It’s an open-air gallery where normal people can earn some money for day-to-day living by selling antiques and modern pieces of art. No fixed prices exist in this place. Sometimes you can buy a valuable item for far less than its actual cost.”
The rich variety of odds and ends on sale are as diverse as Tbilisi itself. In the tough days of Soviet Union and the early time of independence, the Dry Bridge is where empty-pocketed people of Tbilisi would come to sell their possessions for some quick cash. For a few, it's the same today, but for most it has become a livelihood.
You can find anything in the world here: vinyls, crockery, old currencies, fancy jewelery, paintings, tools, unique treasures from the Soviet Union era war such as helmets, knives, belts, binoculars, cameras and much more.
Head back across the bridge towards Alexandrouli Park and you’ll find a selection of antiques stores promising a wondrous cave of treasure buried in the elegant 19th century renovated buildings. Paintings, furniture, ceramics and more await the sharp-eyed buyer.
By Katie Ruth Davies
Image source: georgianjournal