Hungarian Mantle

My husband and I lived in Budapest doing Christian work for almost 5 years, and we try to return for several months each year. 

Some of you read about my trip to the Budapest Flea Market last month, and now I'd like to show you how I incorporated some of my flea market finds into my decor. 

I'd also like to show you some of my other Hungarian decor items I've collected over the years. 

So come on in...

This little suitcase was a flea market find from a previous trip to Budapest and, perhaps my favorite souvenir. I'm not sure if it was originally made as a child's suitcase, but it's more the size of a purse than a suitcase.

On top of the suitcase is a Hungarian prayer book. I have a Prayer Book Collection in a number of languages. This prayer book was obviously well-used by it's original owner.

This small figurine depicts a woman in traditional Hungarian costume.

And to her right are other Hungarian prayer books and Bibles.

This little prayer book has a little purse-case. It's one of my favorites.

On the right side of the mantle there's a large hand-carved wooden tool which was used to soften rough cloth before wearing. I guess you could say it was the first "fabric-softener."

Behind this tool is a box with pages from a Hungarian hymnal decoupaged on it.  Read more about it here: Vintage Decoupage Boxes.

This figurine is from a Budapest porcelain factory that no longer operates. I actually have 4 of these little figurines, one for each of my granddaughters. She's on a piece of Transylvanian cloth (from the Hungarian area of Romania).

This coffee mill has a brass plate that says "Balaton" which is Hungary's largest lake. So I know it was made in Hungary, but I have no idea how old it is.

These two figurines are also from the out-of-business Budapest factory and they are in traditional Hungarian costume.

On the hearth, I have several vintage suitcases that I got in Hungary and on top of those, the wooden latch box is not was my grandfathers. The smaller box on top is a chocolate box from a famous Budapest bakery/cafe.

And a Hungarian book about England is on the suitcase. (See more about it on my May Mantle.)

On the other side of the hearth there's a small Polish suitcase, a vintage Hungarian bakery box, and a red Hungarian book.

I think the title is "A Little Eccentric."

On my library table in the living room, I have two of the other ceramic "granddaughters" on a piece of lace.

I created some height under one of the figurines by putting a small white box beneath the lace.

This little basket contains a deck of cards from a traditional Hungarian card game.

On one of my living room TRUNKS I displayed a couple of books about Hungary.

On another table in my entry area, I displayed another figurine on top of a Hungarian children's storybook (in English). On the other side 3 Hungarian Puli dogs sit on a little book. 

Behind the figurines is a framed piece of traditional Hungarian embroidery. I bought this from a flea market one of the first years we lived in Budapest.

The puli is an interesting long-haired dog, a Hungarian breed. I bought one figurine for each of my grandsons because my oldest grandson studied Pulis in homeschool and asked me about them. See a picture of a real Puli here.

This etching is a permanent part of my living room decor. If you'd like to know what an etching is, read here.

It depicts 3 girls on their way to church in traditional costume.

It was done by a well-known Hungarian illustrator.  I love the look on each girl's face...there's a story there, don't you think? My story goes like this: the girl on the right is a Christian who finds great joy in her walk with the Lord. The girl across is someone who is searching for meaning in life and very close to making a decision for Christ because she sees such joy in her friend's life. The girl behind is skeptical. She only attends church because her parents make her. She is skeptical now, but already she is seeing how Jesus has brought purpose to her friend's life and she'll be further impacted when both friends are following Jesus.

I'm so glad you stopped by my blog. I'd love to have you stick around and read about my real passion--my faith in Jesus. My home page features 1-Minute devotions to encourage, challenge and inspire you. Subscribe to have them sent to your email box each weekday. And check out my Marriage and Blogging Tips pages too. Thanks, Gail

Linked to Savvy Southern


  1. That was fun, Gail. I really like the etching and the story you've created from the faces.

    1. Köszönöm, Carol! : )
      (Carol understands, but for anyone else reading this comment, Köszönöm is "Thank you" in Hungarian.

  2. Nice!! I love all the Vintage items you have on your mantle! Thanks for linking up at Romance on a dime.

  3. When I saw the picture of the three girls on the DEEP ROOTS AT HOME link up, I knew it was you and had to see what you did with all your flea market goodies! I love the picture of the women in their shawls. That is a part of my heritage too. I have a lovely black one with roses that I love to wear as a scarf in the winter.

  4. Hi Gail, I saw your etching thumbnail on The Shabby Creek Cottage. (I also get your 1 minute Bible Devotions.) I love the etching! Also, my daughter and I read "The Good Master" when she was a girl--many years ago. Thanks for sharing your beautiful treasures.

  5. What wonderful treasures!!! And so meaningful for you, that's the way to decorate...a piece of your life, not what's in fashion.....

    Love the little suitcases and the tiny china figures....also the bible in the purse holder, thanks for sharing, this was very rich!!!!

  6. I'm in love. I love old world objects. I have some old Polish prayer books that were in teh family.. those things mean so much! That little figure of the girl with the pitcher is so thoughtful! I love her sweet face.

  7. I loved this tour! I think the prayer book purse is my favorite but there is so much here / it was great! :)

  8. This was a nice start to a busy day - thanks!

  9. i enjoyed my visit today and love your prayer book collection! thanks for sharing!

  10. i have just seen the puli and could hardly believe it was a real dog! so cute and it looks just like a stuffed toy with yarn for fur!


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