Treasure Hunt

Whether You're Looking For Vintage Cufflinks Or A Hoosier Cabinet, The Baltimore Region's Antique Shops Offer Something For Everyone.

October 08, 2005|By KATIE LESLIE | KATIE LESLIE,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Furniture fanatics have known for years that the Baltimore area is a treasure trove of antiques. With fall's tempered weather, browsing through Baltimore and Ellicott City's antique venues is a perfect weekend activity. "Since Baltimore is the cheapest big city in the East, you can get a deal here if you do it selectively and creatively," said antiquing enthusiast R. Michael Charles, 57, of Baltimore. "I take a lot of walks, and antiquing is something that goes along with it." Whether you're looking for bangles, baubles, bed frames or bookcases, you're sure to find that little, or not so little, something in one of the Baltimore area's many and varied antique stores.

Fells Point

Fleet Street in Fells Point is home to several quirky antique stores with lots of cool finds at affordable prices. A must-see is Another Period in Time (1708-1710 Fleet St., 410-675-4776). This antique mall has everything from working Victrola phonographs to vintage cufflinks. A personal favorite is the antique Hoosier cabinet, the baking center that was all the rage in the 1940s. While there, be sure to check out other neighborhood antique stores, such as The Bowery of Antiques & Collectibles (1736 Fleet St., 410-732-2778), whose stock of vintage Baltimore sports paraphernalia changes daily.

Gaines McHale Antiques (700 S. Caroline St., 410-625-1900): This antique and home furnishings dealer specializes in delivering upscale English and European furniture. This is not the place to seek collectibles or "smalls," but if you're in the market for a one-of-a-kind 19th-century French armoire, chances are, you'll be in luck.

Federal Hill

Antique Center at Federal Hill (1220 Key Highway, 410-625-0182): A favorite of designers, this venue has a nice blend of unique, high-end furniture from around the world, as well as items for the home, such as rare porcelain and lamps.

Mount Vernon

Antique enthusiasts have flocked to Baltimore's Antique Row for decades. Crosskeys Antiques (801 N. Howard St., 410-728-0101) is most notable, offering English and European furnishings and home accessories such as 19th-century floor screens and chandeliers.

Imperial Half Bushel (831 N. Howard St., 410-462-1192) is a top resource for antique silver, particularly of Baltimore production. And for those seeking antiques of the paper persuasion, check out Drusilla's Books (817 N. Howard St., 410-225-0277) for a huge collection of rare and out-of-print books.

Keep in mind that these are just a few of more than 20 vendors on Antique Row, so allot plenty of time for this shopping adventure.

Roland Park/Hampden

C.H. O'Malley Antiques (4800 Roland Ave., Suite 103, 410-235-4488) specializes in American, French and Continental furniture and also carries a wide range of home accessories. This high-end shop is small yet immaculate, and from unique sets of china plates to 19th-century murals, there is something for everyone.

36th Street is Hampden's "antique row." Most of the stores are as eclectic as Hampden's reputation, with many selling both antique and used furniture under the same roof. This is the perfect neighborhood for antique shoppers of all budgets.

Avenue Antiques (901 W. 36th St., 410-467-0329) offers a wide selection of antique furniture, pianos, jewelry, dishes, vintage guitars, clothing and more. With over two dozen vendors, the stock changes daily. Oakenshawe Antiques (1021 W. 36th St., 410-889-2279) is also worth a visit, carrying traditional American antique furniture, as well as an impressive collection of "mod" mid-century and Danish designer furniture.

And when you're in Roland Park or Hampden, absolutely visit the two locations of Maryland's oldest consignment shop, The Turnover Shop (3855 Roland Ave./3549 Chestnut Ave., 410-235-9585). Both stores have a range of antique and used furniture, dishes, kitchenware, art and more. With its "red slash" system denoting deep discounts on marked prices, this is a perfect place for frugal shoppers interested in affordable antiques.

Ellicott City

Main Street in Ellicott City is the mecca of Howard County antiques. Taylor's Antique Mall (8197 Main St., 410-465-4444) is home to more than 100 dealers and offers a little bit of everything. Be sure to check out its large vintage jewelry selection and funky collectibles, like Wizard of Oz bobble-heads.

And that's just the beginning - in addition to antique and reproduction furniture, Caplan's (8125 Main St., 410-750-7678) also has a huge selection of antique stained glass. Cottage Antiques (8181 Main St., 410-465-1412) is a must-see for china lovers, sports memorabilia collectors and bargain hunters.

Some stores, such as Ellicott's Country Store (8180 Main St., 410-465-4482) and Shoemaker Country (8095 Main St., 410-461-5552), have both antiques and reproductions of furniture and collectibles - the perfect place to find gifts of old and new.

ANTIQUING FACTS

Basic questions

What is "antique"?: Officially, something at least 100 years old. But shops are full of collectible items of all ages.

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