2275 The General S Daughter

Bonn. The Advent exhibition in the antique shop Kemp in Herwarthstraße has a long tradition. This year it will happen for the last time. Daughter Tina Beutter has to close the shop.


It is almost exactly one year since Martina Kemp (71) and her daughter Tina (38) fetched the countless boxes and boxes of antique Christmas tree decorations from the warehouse of her antique shop on Herwarthstraße. As always, they wanted to decorate the rooms at Christmas time with the precious items, made of glass and cardboard, tin and gold. Valuable Christmas tree balls and figures from days long gone. Tree decorations painted with gelatine or aniline colours, sometimes sprinkled with Venetian dew made of the finest glass beads or covered with glass fairy hair. Collectors and lovers of historical Christmas tree decorations are waiting for the tree decorations, often made at the beginning of the 17th century in Lauscha in Thuringia or Globenz in Bohemia, to transform Kemp’s antique shop into a small Christmas wonderland.

Since Martina Kemp unexpectedly had to take over the business of her father Fred in 1970, who had died suddenly, collecting and restoring historical nativity figures and Christmas decorations has become one of her passions. Martina Kemp's business soon became part of Bonn's history. Since the summer of this year, the 71-year-old, who suffers from sudden onset severe dementia, has been living in a nursing home near Fulda. "Homes in Bonn and the surrounding area are simply not affordable," says her daughter Tina Beutter angrily, who after a long and painful search had to decide on the home just 300 kilometers away.

Now she will invite the customers to one last Advent exhibition in her parents’ shop and say goodbye with a special sale. Perhaps some stories will be told then: For example, how the dentist Fred Kemp came to the shop long ago. At the end of the 1930s he could only have continued to practice if he had become a member of the National Socialist NSDAP. Kemp refused and decided to trade in figures of saints and household goods instead of being a dentist. He must have taken great pleasure in sitting between golden picture frames, antique furniture and - as he called it - "all kinds of frippery". "Art and kitsch," he explained to his art-loving visitors, "were very close together". 

The heyday of the antiques trade is over

His business experienced the golden years of the antique trade. Even in the 1970s and 1980s the antique trade was still booming. Tina remembers the times when the family was always looking for something special and beautiful. Whether in England, France or southern Germany: The Kemp-Beutters found the treasures everywhere, which made their shop in Herwarthstraße the target of collectors and lovers.

„These days are over," Tina concludes today. As an interior designer, she knows that today no one  burdens themselves with heavy furniture anymore. "You want to stay mobile," she says, "neither the artistic glasses, the hand-painted porcelain nor the silver cutlery are suitable for the dishwasher. Hardly anyone still attaches importance to furniture from the style epochs of Baroque, Classicism or Biedermeier. Prices for antiques have been falling for years. If anything

according to Tina Beutter, "crossover" is still in demand today. Combine unique pieces with modern design. Her shop still has enough ideas for this.

The Advent exhibition with a special sale, takes place on Friday, 16 November from 4pm to 8pm and on Saturday, 17 November from 10am to 8pm, Antiques Martina Kemp, Herwarthstraße 10.    

(Original text: Stefan Hermes, Translation: Mareike Graepel)

Source : http://www.general-anzeiger-bonn.de/ga-english/Last-Advent-exhibition-at-Kemp’s-antique-shop-article3982746.html