HAMBURG'S TINIEST DEPARTMENT STORE

Kleinstes-Kaufhaus-18

Step inside Kleinstes Kaufhaus, Hamburg's smallest department store.

If you’re looking for yellow buttons, a wooden carpet beater, orange eggcups, a grey coat, a super-8 projector, a meat chopper, a poodle bottle cover, kitchen curtains, 1000 piece puzzles, champagne glasses, a violet umbrella, lemon soap, a brown-pink teapot, red shoes, or beige lamps, then you’ve come to the right place. Hamburg’s Kleinstes Kaufhaus, or smallest department store, has the most overwhelming and incredibly well ordered selection of everyday items dating from as far back as 1800 up to 2014.

Angela and her husband have been running this shop together for 27 years and have stocked it with everything and anything they could find from the first day. And while the items are varied the whole shop is meticulously organised into rooms, sections of rooms, walls, shelves, and boxes so that every individual item is next to another version of that item. There is a box for hair brushes, a shelf of handbags, and a wall of plates.




We couldn’t resist having a rummage through the boxes of photos, books, and maps. I came across an old German botanical reference book dated 1839 with amazingly detailed painted illustrations of the plants, flowers and trees of Germany, each almost as glossy and real as a photo. As I flicked through I found a four leaf clover which had been kept in the book by the finder presumably for safe keeping. In the years that have passed since the owner of the book had found the clover it had dried and pressed, its leaves now brown and translucent.



For 27 years this shop has been selling everything from every time and everywhere. And if you want the chance to stumble across something as rare and special as I did then I suggest you go and visit.