Tuesday, August 16, 2011

First place Antiques RoadShow

This 18th-Century Qianlong Jade Collection from the 18th century Qing Dynasty is the most expensive piece ever appraised on the Antiques Road Show.  $1,070,000

Friday, July 15, 2011

8 Must-visit Antique Row Destinations

Philadelphia is a city rich with history dating back to the days before the nation was founded. Today, it is a bustling city with a definitive skyline, corporate headquarters, medical centers, and apartment buildings pulling in some considerably high rent. It has earned its rank as the country’s sixth most populous city and one that continues to grow in size as more industries take root in the “City of Brotherly Love”. Despite all of the new industries, tall buildings, buses and subways, Philadelphia stays true to its roots, and in some areas, tourists and residents alike have the opportunity to walk on streets that are centuries old. Whether you’re touring Independence Hall, visiting the Betsy Ross House, paying respects at Ben Franklin’s grave site, examining the famous crack in the Liberty Bell, or filling your tote bags with one-of-a-kind items around town, Philadelphia’s Old City District is sure to take you back in time.

If you’re up for some serious centuries-old shopping, dining or just relaxing, you want to head to an area known as Antique Row, between Lombard and Spruce and extending all the way out to South Broad Street . The business owners in this area are passionate about the items they carry and many offer up stories of an item’s past as you bring it to the register. The Historic Antique Row Business Association works closely with other organizations around the city to attract locals and tourists to the area and to promote all of the pieces of history they hold behind their doors.

There are a number of great little shops along “the row” carrying items like antique furniture, vintage oriental rugs, books, clothing, art, and jewelry. Here is just a sample of the kinds of unique shops you can check out when you’re in the area:

Blendo, Past & Present: 1002 Pine Street

The owner has chosen items that span the century, finding the common thread of beautiful functional design in an affordable mix of products. The store is chock full of vintage furniture, ceramics glassware and clothes, and there is a wonderful assortment of new and vintage hats for men and women along with an absolutely fabulous collection of beautiful, fun and affordable jewelry.

Twist: 1134 Pine Street

Twist was voted Philadelphia's best Life Style Store by Philadelphia Magazine, and sells everything from Zinc to Industrial Age dining tables, 600-thread-count Egyptian cotton bedding sheets to ostrich feathered handbags and soft children's toys. They also have an interior designer and author of City Living: Creative Ideas For The New Urban Home available for design consultations and event planning.

Cottage: 1201 Pine Street

This sunny shop carries an eclectic mix of antiques and furniture with offbeat accents like Peruvian textiles and sculpture from Easter Island. Mint jazz-era end tables, cozy, decades-old leather wing chairs, or framed 19th-century American oil paintings will turn your living room into a showroom.
If you’re looking to for a quick bite, a swanky bar or a nice dinner destination, Antique Row (like the rest of Philadelphia) has also got a great selection of places that will make your taste buds smile. Check out some of these Antique Row eateries:

Valanni Restaurant: 1229 Spruce Street

The exotic tastes and flavors of Mediterranean and Latin countries create a distinct dining experience where nearly everyone is sure to find a dish they love. This unpretentious and welcoming place is a favorite of locals and Center City sophisticates alike.

Giorgio on Pine: 1328 Pine Street

This rustic BYOB trattoria dishes out authentic Italian cuisine in a casual atmosphere and has gotten rave reviews since it’s opening in 2008. The owner, Giorgio, is known to be very friendly and frequently interacts with the guests, making them feel right at home while dining there.

The Foodery: 324 S. 10th

If you’re looking for a place to grab a quick bite, head over to The Foodery on 10th or at their other location in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia. At either location they have a selection of over 800 American and Imported Craft Beers available by the single bottle or with their “make your own six pack” deal, and they also offer deli sandwiches, snacks, and a variety of chocolates and cheeses.

With all of this shopping and eating to do, you’re going to need a place to stay if you’re not from the city. Of course, there are great hotels all around Philadelphia, but if you want to be within a short walking-distance to all of the great places described above, you should consider booking your stay right in Antique Row. Here are some places to call home while visiting the city:

The Alexander Inn: 12th and Spruce Streets

This boutique hotel may be designed after the Deco cruise ship designs of the 30’s, but that doesn’t mean this place is lacking when it comes to modern amenities. The Alexander Inn has Direct TV including CNN, ESPN, and eight free movie channels. They also have a free, 24-hour fitness center, free e-mail access and they serve a breakfast buffet every morning that includes fresh baked goods, cereals, juices, fruits, and beverages. That’s a lot of great perks that you just can’t seem to beat, and they also offer historic tours and discounted indoor parking.

Antique Row Bed and Breakfast: 341 South 12th Street

This quaint bed and breakfast has been called “a gem”, “cute and charming” and “in a great part of the city” by visitors commenting online, and it seems like the owners are quite reasonable to work with as well. The location of this B&B could not be better, as you will be close to markets, restaurants and parks, and will only be about 3 blocks from South Broad Street, known as “The Avenue of the Arts”.
Philadelphia is known as a city of neighborhoods, with each one as unique and distinct as the next. Antique Row is one of those unique and distinct areas of the city that is a must for anyone living in or traveling to the area and never leaves the wants of its visitors unfulfilled.

References: AntiqueRow.org, DailyCandy.com

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chester County Antiques

Picturesque Chester County, Pennsylvania, located a short distance to the north and west of Philadelphia, offers many opportunities to shop for antiques and collectibles.

This affluent county, which includes many communities that are part of Philadelphia's Main Line, is rich in history, culture, and commerce - a fitting backdrop for sellers and collectors of antiques.  

Dating to 1682 when it was established by William Penn as one of the three original counties in Pennsylvania, Chester County is full of beautiful homes and farmhouses dating from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, many of them made from native Pennsylvania fieldstone.  Named after Cheshire, England, the county is part of the Delaware Valley that comprises Philadelphia County as well as several other surrounding counties. 

Many of the finest antique shops are located along the Main Line area of the county, with some also in West Chester, PA as well as a handful further north in the county.  All these shops are within a short drive of Philadelphia, and even the furthest point of Chester County is less than an hour's drive from Center City.  These shops offer a tremendous amount of diversity and opportunities for antique collectors and investors, ranging from traditional English and early colonial examples, to Amish-made pieces and even Asian furniture.  Shops in the area also specialize in gold and silver antiques and collectibles.

Chester County Antiques, in West Chester, features Dining Tables, Chairs, and Wardrobes, as well as Japanese chests, dressers, and cabinets. They also feature steamer trunks, makeup chests, money boxes, and hope chests.

Wilson's Main Line Antiques, in Berwyn, PA, has a 5000 sq. ft. showroom and features English and Continental antiques, including side tables, fireplace tools, inkstands, chests, and shelves.

The Brandywine River Antiques Market, in Chadds Ford, PA, is home to more than 40 area antiques dealers. It offers a collection of 18th and 19th century furniture, country and primitive furniture, Wyeth prints and books, Botanical prints, Dresden fine porcelain, and more.

These are just a few of the many fine antique shops in and around Chester County, PA.

Update: I've had a chance to start thinking about my antiques website (buy and sell Chester County antiques online), and I'm looking for a decent and affordable small business web hosting solution. For the website I have in mind, the web host should have cPanel and support one-click install of WordPress. I don't really need many other bells and whistles. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Philadelphia Antiques Show 2011

The 2011 Philadelphia Antiques Show in South Philadelphia, PA will feature more than 50 antiques dealers, including many Philadelphia antiques dealers as well as dealers from elsewhere in Pennsylvania and across the United States.

Philadelphia antiques dealers scheduled to appear at the show include these and others:

Avery Galleries (Bryn Mawr, PA) - specializing in American paintings by Milton Avery, Walter Emerson Baum, Gifford Beal, George de Forest Brush, Charles Ephraim Burchfield, Emil Carlsen, Bruce Crane, Arthur Dove, Daniel Garber, and more.

Diana H. Bittel Antiques (Bryn Mawr, PA) - featuring 18th and early 19th century fine American furniture and marine-related paintings, sailor's shell valentines, and prisoner-of-war items.

Alfred Bulard Inc. (Philadelphia, PA) - featuring 18th and early 19th century English furniture and works of art; tables, mirrors and clocks, breakfronts and bookcases, side cabinets, sideboards and side tables, and desks and writing tables.

Greg K. Kramer & Co. (Robesonia, PA) - specializing in 18th and 19th century Americana including painted furniture and period furniture, folk ark, stoneware, reware, mocha, blown glass, and painted dower and blanket chests.

The Philadelphia Print Shop (Phildelphia, PA) - featuring antique prints, maps, and relate books.

The show will take place at the Philadelphia Cruise Terminal at Pier One, in South Philadelphia, PA. Nearby are the Philadelphia Airport as well as major Philadelphia professional sports venues including Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles, and Citizen's Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Philadelphia Antiques Show
April 9-12, 2011
The Navy Yard, Philadelphia Cruise Terminal at Pier One
5100 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19112 (Pennsylvania, USA)