Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Have fun pronouncing that tongue twister?  Snickering 'cause it starts with "fart?"  I don't care; it's the name of THE coolest shop I've ever been in.  The shop wouldn't be what it is without considering its import beyond its walls and contents, though.  Meet Freddy:


Freddy works in this shop in Stockholm, and it's a purveyor of exquisite nautical gear.  He's a cool dude, in large part due to his encyclopedic knowledge of every item in there.  More on him in a minute.

Fartygsmagasinet is chock-full of antique nautical and maritime equipment.  Every cubic foot seems to be filled with something precious, and I'm abjectly terrified of touching anything, so I scrunch my shoulders together as much as I can and explore gingerly.

I'll take two!

From simple little brass latches and portholes to chronographs, diving helmets, and air pumps, the shop is a literal treasure trove of items recovered from decommissioned and wrecked ships.  Their entire inventory is near ten thousand items, most stored offsite.  I believe only a couple thousand are in the shop, and most of them are exorbitantly priced, which will make sense very shortly.

On to Freddy.  At first we're just curious, but then we start testing him.  Turns out that he can, for any item we select, tell us: which craftsman in which city in which country made the item in which year,  which ship it was installed in, when the item was recovered from the ship, why the ship sank or was decommissioned, where the item went next, when it came into the care of the shop, perhaps when it was sold from the shop a couple decades ago, when it came back into the care of the shop, so on and so forth.  We're stunned.  I've never met anyone in any walk of life who's a repository of information like he is.

We decide to pass on purchasing any $10k chronographs (no credit cards accepted) and leave the shop in a mixture of shock and astonishment; it's simply not every day that one accidentally wanders into a place like this.

Next time you're in Stockholm, specifically Gamla Stan, you'd best stop in...


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