Heidelberg Antiques, European Quality and Charm

IMG_0862By Jon DeStefano

After moving from Ohio, Diana Neisler started in the antique trade in Colorado with a booth in the Antique Guild. After awhile she moved out on her own and now operates Heidelberg Antiques at 1460 South Broadway on Historic Antique Row. Heidelberg Antiques is a unique shop in the heart of Antique Row at 1460 South Broadway, phone 303-282-7004.

Diana studied art history in Paris, France at the Sorbonne, the University of Paris and she also studied art history at UCLA while her husband was doing his medical residency there.

She credits a lot of her success to other people including Jack Kramer who had the shop next door at 1264 Broadway. ” He helped me a lot,” she said. She also is grateful to Rachel Hoffman, the head of the Antique Row Association, who supported her numerous times, not the least of which was when her shop was vandalized. And the list goes on as Diana notes a litany of antique people who have helped her and then expands the list to family members who contribute so much to her efforts.

IMG_0873Diana’s daughter and her husband and family live near Heidelberg, Germany and it gives Diana a good reason to visit them. Her daughter and husband are both lawyers who have an international law firm. Their granddaughter goes to an international school there.

She explains, “It gives us more reason to be there.” Diana loves going on buying trips and over the years has made a lot of good friends throughout Europe, she takes 2 to 3 trips a year which helps explain the shop’s great inventory. She is one of the top European and Black Forest antique dealers in the country.

She continues, “A lot of people come in the store and they say it is so different. There are a lot of animal carvings so it appeals to people who like animals. There is a huge selection of European furniture made in numerous great European cities including Zurich and a lot of pieces that fit well in mountain homes and cabins. Many of her customers come from Vail and other mountain resort areas throughout the country.

Diana’s brother also helps her. She says, “He secures fine European antiques.” He lives in Germany and has a warehouse there where he stores what she buys. When he finds special items, he ships them to me on a pallet.  The antique sleigh pictured in this article is a fine example of the highest quality European workmanship. “We have two of these sleighs, each a little different, both unique. Also the furniture pieces in my window are exquisite Walnut pieces from Switzerland with inlaid walnut and lighter woods. They are extremely hard to come by.”

Diana’s husband Jim pitches in, too. He is a retired GYN and now spends his time helping Diana at the shop. While he doesn’t admit he likes it he always seems to have a good time visiting and assisting customers and he is good with the customers explains Diana.

“The first time I left my family and my country to make a life with my husband so it is okay that now he has to help me, it is also a nice social outlet for him,” she smiles.

The truth is that while Diana has had a lot of help she does more than her share of helping others but doesn’t speak much about it. She reflects on one of her favorite people, “When Sharna Coors was opening Ski Country Antiques, I shared some ideas with her. She has done very well and Ski Country Antiques is beautiful. I am so proud of Sharna.” They also share a common heritage with their husbands and families and a great fondness for German antiques and furniture.

Diana loves being on South Broadway’s Historic Antique Row. “I don’t think I would like to be anywhere else because there is a good accumulation of quality and very different antique stores. That is good. A lot of great cities have a place where a lot of antique dealers are, places like Munich, Berlin, Paris and so forth. Visitors come here to Colorado’s South Broadway and find a variety of different antiques from all over the world.”

One of the fine pieces she has in her shop is an etching by Picasso, of a fawn playing a flute. It is quite unique. She says, “I had it hanging in my home but but now I have pictures of my grandchildren where it was so I brought it into the store.”

“Come shop,” Diana invites. “Our prices are very reasonable. In the summer we have a lot of tourists and we are able to ship things all over the world. When we ship out of state they don’t have to pay tax on their purchase and it offsets the shipping costs.” She also has a wide variety of smaller items her daughter calls flea market items.

The store is actually in two adjoining units. She took the other space because she did not want to have a marijuana place by her shop. So far the additional space has worked out well and she hopes to continue with it if the price of rent is not unreasonable.

She also has numerous beautiful Biedermeier pieces. Biedermeier comes from Biedermeier man meaning simple man, the furniture is simple but very elegant and dates as far back as 1820. They use cherry, walnut, pine and birch woods and it is a beautiful contrast to the more ornate pieces of European furniture. One of her numerous unique pieces is a Baroque Solid Walnut Armoire circa 1750 from a castle in Southern Germany.

When you visit Heidelberg Antiques on Antique Row, it is like shopping in Europe. You are surrounded by unique furniture and accessories that are old world quality and quite exquisite. The best part of the visit is meeting and enjoying Diana and her husband Jim as they make the visit more than enjoyable. It’s charming.



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