Photo by Julia Purdy
Mary Ann Stickney Miano and husband Ed Miano stand in front of The Antique Shop, Rutland.
By Julia Purdy
Rutland County has traditionally been fertile ground for visitors and locals alike who are looking for “finds.” Even though the number of antique, vintage stores has dwindled in recent years, those that remain offer many possibilities for treasure hunters. The Mountain Times crisscrossed Rutland County to find them.
3 Crows Vintage
24 McKinley Avenue, Rutland
802-773-0795/800-924-8948; email firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: mrtwitters/website: www.mrtwitters.com
Open daily, April-December
Location: On the left, 1.6 miles N of the main intersection of Route 7 and Route 4, Rutland
3 Crows Vintage is one of “The Shops at the Purple Picket Fence,” the local landmark for the Mr. Twitters home, garden and gift shop.
Mr. Twitters opened 25 years ago as a tile and home decorating store, then morphed into a small garden center. They still sell bedding plants, but in 2014, husband-and-wife owners Becky and Joe Rizzi replaced the tile inventory with a potpourri of antique and collectible home furnishings and accessories. The couple buys at auctions and estates and accepts a limited number of consignments. “We realized the recession was never going to end,” Becky Rizzi said, and they wanted to get around the problem of internet shopping.
Joe Rizzi specializes in refinishing, repainting and repurposing old furniture. “We like things that are fairly sculptural,” Becky Rizzi explained. “Things like Grandma used to have, no 50s modern.” Part-time employee Sue Haviland said, “Refinishing interests some of the younger people, it breathes new life into the old things.” The result is an eclectic, imaginative inventory.
The Antique Shop
45 North Main St., Rutland
Open Thursday through Sunday, year round
Location: intersection of Route 4 and Route 7, N of Main Street Park
Mary Ann Stickney Miano is a veteran of the Rutland antiques scene. Although she has been in the antiques business for 38 years, she described The Antique Shop as a “retirement project” that she and her husband, Ed Miano, an retired college professor, operate together.
Stickney’s group shop runs the gamut in price and period. “You get a variety, including price,” she said. She focuses on high quality offered at reasonable prices — smaller articles for under $20, on average.
As a Revolutionary War reenactor along with her husband, Stickney favors the 1700s because of the workmanship and ingenuity that came out of that period.
Christini N Me
62 Merchants Row Rutland
802-236-1199; email email@example.com
Open daily except Sunday or by appointment
Directions: On Merchants Row near West St.
The Christini in “Christini N Me” is Christini Zullo. The Zullo family has owned The Sandwich Shop next door for years; Christini grew up in California. She specializes in what she calls “primitives” of the 1700s and 1800s, but handles large Victorian era furniture pieces as well. Wood and iron implements, glass and bottles of all kinds and periods, enamelware, statuary, curios and lots of toys crowd the store. Zullo buys at estate sales from Maine to Florida and western New York. She also buys from individuals, outright or on consignment. A “lifetime” of networking brings sellers to her by word of mouth.
“I love to support downtown Rutland and the other merchants here,” Zullo said. “That’s why I opened my store here.”
The Curiosity Shop
20 Merchants Row, Rutland
802-417-4500; email firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen and Chad Goulette opened The Curiosity Shop in 2014 and moved to their current space on Merchants Row the next year. The Goulettes buy out whole houses and bring in “whatever we can get and sell at a good value so someone can get a decent piece of furniture,” Karen said. “We have extremely high turnover,” Karen Goulette said. “We’re very busy.”
The Goulettes’ permanent criteria are condition, quality and interest. Otherwise, their taste is highly eclectic. In addition, the Goulettes consult with buyers, offering advice and opinions on matching and provenance. Like many dealers, Karen Goulette’s love of old things has roots in family. She went “fleamarketing” with her grandmother as a child, and her great-grandmother taught her “all about” linens and textiles. Chad makes repairs, reupholsters, repaints or strips, depending on what the buyer wants, he said. “To see someone cherish a piece that you’ve brought back to life” is satisfying, Chad said.
35 Strongs Ave., Rutland
Open daily except Sundays, year round
Ernie and Faith Stone opened Elegant Seconds in 2014. It’s a store that appears larger than it is, due to ample natural light and thoughtful displaying of its broad range of items, all in excellent condition. A one-time television repairman, Ernie Stone now mans the shop full-time.
The Stones buy whole estates and do house cleanouts throughout southern Vermont and nearby New York state. Besides quality used furniture and kitchenware, estate and costume jewelry, Depression glass, Americana and lighted advertising signs, the shop offers a full bookcase of movie DVDs and stacks of vintage LPs. Elegant Seconds is one of the few shops of its kind that carry select electronics. The Stones buy game systems, Bluetooth accessories, guitars and amps. Stone is also licensed to buy precious metals and deals in gold and silver. He does not deal in such items as tools, chainsaws, generators.
New Face Vintage
Stone House Antique Center, Chester
802-446-2961 (home); 802-875-4477 (Stone House);
Open daily, year round
Formerly located in Wallingford, New Face Vintage specializes in clothing and accessories in all styles and materials from the nostalgic 1940s to 1960s, especially a large collection of hats, shoes, purses, gloves, a few men’s items, some linen. New to Stone House, owner Barbara Kaminski plans to rotate her large inventory depending on the season. For this fall, Kaminski will feature wool, satin, or gabardine winter outfits in rich colors, including holiday suits and furs, holiday suits, long skirts. Going into the winter she will display dressy holiday apparel and slinky lingerie.
The Perfect Image Antiques & Décor
6800 U.S. Route 7, Brandon
Open year round; stop in or by appointment
Location: On the right, 3 miles N of the center of Pittsford village on Route 7
Linda Smart Lacombe’s boutique-like shop is hung with window frames that have traded glass for mirrors or that glitter with sea-glass or stained glass. “I take the old and make it look wonderful,” she said. Lacombe also uses her knowledge of architectural style to design interior details for condos, second homes, and gardens.
Lacombe knows her period styles, too. She collects early primitive and country antiques and salvages architectural details from all over New England. Now in its 18th year, the shop is part of a 200-year-old cow barn that was once a working farm. She keeps prices reasonable — “Anybody can come in and find a little something,” she said.
Lacombe does not accept consignment or “yard sale” items. The Perfect Image has customers worldwide, but Lacombe does not do business online. “It takes all the fun out of it,” she said. “People are too much in a hurry today. They need to stop and smell the flowers.”
The Popular Pioneer
1360 US Route 4 East, Mendon
Open Thursday through Monday, year round or by appointment
Directions: At the corner of Town Line Road and Route 4, Mendon
Rutland native Michael Bishop turned his hobby into a business in December 2016, as a “dealer’s dealer” specializing in authentic American antiques from northern New England, but his offerings attract collectors, interior designers and locals as well. He also handles architectural salvage: stamped tin ceiling panels, a banister, doors and windows, wooden trim.
Bishop buys mostly from local auctions and barn sales and prices his inventory reasonably, as most items do not include historical documentation, although he does his homework and can discuss each piece. He acquires based on condition, the unusualness of the item, and the stories behind the objects, focusing on Vermont origin. “Vermont sells,” he said, especially to clientele visiting from other states. “I got bit by the bug. I surround myself with this history because it’s so meaningful for me.”
Slate Valley Liquidators
862 VT-Route 4A, Castleton
Open daily, year round
Location: On the right, 4 miles E on 4A from the center of Castleton village
This business is owned by the Knapp family and Barb and her husband Greg Knapp Jr. run the store. The Knapps buy estates, do whole-house cleanouts, buy out auctions or buy direct. They do not accept consignments. The Knapps favor dark wood such as walnut and mahogany and avoid particle-board or pressed board pieces unless they are mid-1950s vintage. The back of the building houses the “picker warehouse,” where customers can rummage through boxes and piles to find anything from old sleds and scythes to school desks, snowshoes, garden tools and sports equipment. Prices are geared to the local market, and the Knapps are willing to negotiate.
Like other area dealers, Barb Knapp cares about the future of the pieces; she wouldn’t sell a fine dark wood hutch to someone who planned to paint it white, or break up a matched bedroom set, she said. “To me it’s about putting the right thing in the right person’s hands at the right time,” she said.
2580 Franklin St. (U.S. Route 7), Brandon
802-465-8161; email email@example.com
Open daily except Tuesday, year round
Location: On the right just N of Otter Valley High School on Route 7
Upscale Resale is a mom-and-pop business, whose owners, Leo and Penny LaRocque, are capping 50 years of a treasure-hunting hobby. Most of the furniture is solid wood, including solid maple and oak, Penny LaRocque said. The store also features Vermont-made furniture that comes in with estate acquisitions, such as Arlington-made Cushman maple, Newport-made glider rockers, Ethan Allen maple, Monkton Sled Company, and Vermont Tubbs.
The LaRocques opened Upscale Resale in November 2015. Both grew up in the area and have “always had a thing” for auctions and estate sales, Leo said. “Every sale you go to is like Christmas. We have something for everybody’s budget,” he said.