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Gil Antiguedades

by Elizabeth Gleeson (04/12/08).

Gil Antiguedades is a unique antique shop specializing in vintage clothing, textiles, and old-fashioned design and home accessories. A standout among other such shops in the main antiques district of Buenos Aires, Gil has been supplying loyal locals and interested foreigners with the finest vintage items from the 17th to the 20th centuries for nearly 40 years.

Situated on the charming, cobblestoned corner where Calle Defensa meets Humberto Primo in San Telmo, Gil faces Plaza Dorrego, the heart of this most bohemian of Buenos Aires’ neighborhoods. (Plaza Dorrego is also the nucleus of the ever-popular Sunday arts and antiques market, the Feria de San Telmo.) The store is jam-packed with items, including racks upon racks of silk and lace Victorian-era dresses, European-made satin nightgowns, Gatsby-style linen suits, and floor-skimming fur coats, not to mention proper English top hats, minks, flapper hairpieces, and impossibly wide-brimmed sun hats.

For women who have a mind to reinstate the ultra-feminine seductive ways of Buenos Aires’ golden tango years, there are vanities full of Asian paper fans and parasols, elegant cigarette holders a la Cruella de Vil or Carol Burnett’s Miss Hannigan, and stunning tortoiseshell ornamental combs. For a more formal piece, choose from the lovely selection of hanging lace wedding veils and the over-the-elbow silk evening gloves.

And for men in need of a wardrobe enhancement, I saw a silver match box dating from the early 1800s, ivory cuff links, an ornamental snuff box, or one of the tasseled, cylindrical red hats that call to mind British imperialism in India.

Gil also has a wide assortment of functional and decorative items for the home, such as tall etched-glass oil lamps, Staffordshire and M.I. Hummel porcelain figures, Dutch painted trays, and a few scattered Victorian teapots and cake pans, though Gil largely leaves the dishware to the other antiques shops. Regional loom weavings and ponchos are displayed on racks, mannequins, and spread out over chairs, along with gorgeous embroidered silk panels and Victorian table and bed spreads. A small section of the store is also devoted to children’s clothing and classic toys.

Gil is located in the southern neighborhood of San Telmo and is open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 11a-1p and from 3-7p, and on Sundays from 11a-7p. The shop is most crowded on Sundays when the antiques fair crowd rushes in, so try to arrange your excursion for the mid-week.

Name: Gil Antiguedades
Address: Humberto Primo 412 (intersection Defensa), Buenos Aires
Phone number: (5411) 4361-5019
Email: info@gilantiguedades.com.ar, gilantiguedades@yahoo.com.ar
URL: http://www.gilantiguedades.com.ar

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