Sunday, July 17, 2011

Antiques Shop

I descended the steep wooden stairs to the basement of the antiques shop. Shelves lined the stone walls and filled the rest of the space with just enough room to walk---very carefully---between them. Plates, pitchers and glassware crowded the shelves. Teacups hung from the rafters. Lidless sugar bowls and assorted tchotchkes lurked in bins on the floor. A cursory glance might bring to mind the sad scene of a hoarder's home. But no, that's not what this was. Sets were stacked, like with like. Price tags with carefully-written descriptions clearly indicated the owner's willingness to part with the Spode or Royal Winton. Too much stuff is not necessarily a sign of an illness. It could simply indicate a collector whose energy and enthusiasm outmatches the current pool of potential buyers.