As San Telmo’s go-to shop for antique cameras and timepieces, Pussam Antiguedades contains the collection of Samuel Pustelnik, who has also assembled an interesting variety of scientific apparatuses and bronze objects, and a nice collection of hanging, table, and floor lamps.
Situated among loads of antiques, arts, and home décor stores along San Telmo’s main commercial strip, Calle Defensa, Pussam is certainly not one of the finer shops that passersby will come across; the smudged front windows display dusty piles of nonfunctioning pocket watches, a mishmash of ceramic, bronze, and glass containers, and early models of microscopes, telescopes, and cameras that probably haven’t moved in years. The presentation being what it is, the relics that can be found within are nonetheless intriguing, especially for someone with a fascination with mechanics and small machinery.
Pussam’s clocks and watches have origins in both Argentina and Europe; any one of the pocket watches would make a great gift for someone who enjoys tinkering with the intricate insides of small machines. As always with antiques, it’s crucial to have some idea of what you’re looking at, or specifically what to look for, before shelling out the cash for such items. Antiquing in Buenos Aires can come with a hefty price tag, and bargaining isn’t common practice, so if you really want to get a watch or clock, or any other aged motorized object, up and running, make sure to find out beforehand if repairing is even a possibility. Pustelnik’s expert advice should be taken advantage of when making decisions here.
As for the cameras and microscopes, Pussam has one of the more ample collections in San Telmo and should be given a look before buying somewhere else. For photographers who plan to give their new antique cameras a try while still in Buenos Aires, consult with the very knowledgeable staff just around the corner at Buenos Aires Color (Piedras 800), the city’s premier developers. They can help you with just about any camera and supply and process all film formats.
Name: Pussam Antiguedades
Address: Defensa 1053, San Telmo, Buenos Aires
Phone: (5411) 4362-7605
Pussam is open Tuesday through Sunday from approximately 10am-7pm.
The store’s location on Defensa in San Telmo makes for a convenient stop during the Feria de San Telmo, the Sunday fair that turns Defensa into a pedestrian-only street and nearby Plaza Dorrego into a flea market. The shops are inevitably busier on Sundays, though, so come during the week if you want to avoid the crowds.