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Antiques Crawl

Don’t you just love the smell of old books? The sparkle of delicate glass lamps? The look of rusted farm equipment? The allure of mismatched jars? If you do, read on! Even if you don’t, I still encourage you to read on.

I’m sure everyone’s version of antiquing is different. You have your hardcore antiquers who look for specific items in curated (and expensive) shops. Then you have people like me who have no agenda and just prefer to walk the aisles willy-nilly for anything that catches the eye. 

In any case, antiquing is an experience to be lived: a journey to embark on to expand your imagination, to give you a sense of perspective, to carry you away to another era. And you’re welcome: I’ve outlined and mapped out some noteworthy shops to visit. 

Of course, there are many other very worthwhile shops on the peninsula that I would encourage readers to visit, but because of time constraints, I chose just a few. Look in next week’s issue for the story of a thrifting adventure.

Peninsula Antique Center, Egg Harbor

Walking into the Peninsula Antique Center, you are immediately greeted by a musty smell, but this is not uninviting – that’s when you know the place is going to be good. This large store has all of your favorites: dishware (my personal favorite is the green jadeite), old knickknacks, patches, paintings and so much more. I was caught by surprise when a room opened to my right, and inside were two old-fashioned cars and a carriage. My favorite thing, though, was the Cabbage Patch Doll army.

Olde Orchard Antique Mall, Egg Harbor

This giant warehouse was like a maze. As I walked through one room, another one magically opened before my eyes. I felt like I was in Labyrinth with David Bowie. One section had rows of glass cases, another had hundreds of road maps, another had rainbow dishware and another was dedicated to animal mounts. While I was exploring, I heard the out-of-tune chime of a miniature grandfather clock, then walked into a room full of ticking clocks that all began to chime, one after another. Spooky!

Bay Trading Company, Egg Harbor

This spot was a little more farm-centric than the others. Outside the building were numerous lawn decorations and old, wooden windows. Inside, there was a great variety of items from old clarinets to children’s toys from India to a box full of doll heads. The back section had a sign saying there were items from 29 countries, most of which were wooden furniture, chests and boxes.

Chelsea Antiques, Sister Bay

The two blue buildings on this property, surrounded by trees, present an inviting site. Chelsea Antiques is on the left; the Blue Willow Shop is on the right. Inside the elegant Chelsea, I felt a little out of my league. There were lots of shiny and expensive things that I prayed my purse wouldn’t accidentally bump into: polished spoons, paintings, furniture (including an antique cabinet worth more than $2,000), clothing and more. There were also a lot of new, modern items, making for an eclectic mix.

Koepsel’s Meadow Lane Antiques, Sister Bay

Located next door to the outstanding farm market, this shop was organized and inviting. Shops with antiques can often be overwhelming due to the sheer number of items, but this place was easily manageable. It contained lots of furniture – mostly cabinetry and chairs – and there was a glass case holding only wooden ducks. I also found a Hamm’s beer sign, but to my dismay, it cost $650. The woman working there probably saw the look on my face when I asked the price and was quick to explain: Something had to be replaced to make it light up, which increased the cost. Fair, but sad. (If anyone reading this has Hamm’s paraphernalia for sale at an affordable price, email me at [email protected])

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