Articles by Susan Alon
Holidays are Here!! (the Holidays Were Here??)
It is a fast countdown to Christmas, the candle
blaze of Channukkah already gone. The solstice
is Thursday, and have we all completed our holiday
lists? Pollsters say a majority have not. So enough
of the antique philosophy, the shop etiquette,
and blandished encouragement, let's shop.
If you are not aware of how excellent, plenteous
and diverse the antique marketplace is from Branford
to Old Saybrook, you are in for an agreeable surprise.
Just a few years back, you had to leave the state
to find an antique. No longer. Now the professionals
dealers visit the Connecticut shoreline. So many
dealers, so much choice of merchandise,
so much better the bargain.
Make a day of it (or half a day including lunch).
Shops are open daily year-round but you may wish
to check for hours and dark days, most shops are
open between ten and five, with many staying later.
Between exits 54 and 67 on Interstate 95 the shoreline
towns are home to more than 500 antique dealers,
either in 'group' shops, or individual locations.
You can begin at either end, use Interstate 95
or drive Route One, Boston Post Road traveling
from town green to town green, and within a twenty-five
minute ride find anything you could possibly desire.
Planning your trip could not be easier with our
'virtual' virtuosity without leaving your computer.
Individual towns have good Chamber of Commerce
sites with memory friendly tags, i.e. www.branfordct.com ;
www.westbrookct.com . The Connecticut River Valley & Shoreline Visitors
Council is the most encompassing of all at www.visitctrivershore.com . For the eastern end visit www.lighthousemaps.com and see what is available from Clinton to the Connecticut
River in bright colors.
Branford has two upscale multi-dealer shops, neighbors
on Route One: Antiques atWilderwood (764 E Main,
203-483-5406) and Clock Tower Antiques (824 E
Madison has several 'consignment' antique shops:
Madison Trust, (891 Boston Post Rd, 203-245-3976);
On Consignment, (77 Wall St. 203-245-7012). Also
Lawton Art & Antiques, 837 Boston Post Rd,
203-245-4949, a choice individual shop
Clinton begins the snowball effect with more than
a dozen shops both individual and multi-dealer
within three miles. Traveling east from Madison
along Route 1 you come first to the Loft (59 W
Main, 860-669-4583); next on the same side a few
blocks further, John Street Antiques (23A W Main,
860-669-2439), across the street, As Time Goes
By (xx W Main, xxx xxx xxxx); a little further
in the Historic District, The Clinton Antique
Center (78 E Main, 860-669-3839) with more than
85 dealers; MiRIAMGREEN's (88 E Main, 860-664-4200,
this author's shop); Waterside Antiques (109 E
Main, 860-669 0809); traveling east again on Rt.
One, a more seasonal multi-dealer shop Clinton
Village (327 E Main, 860-669-3533); across the
street Square Rigger Antique Center, another group
Old Saybrook has the largest concentration of
group shops along Rt. 154, exit 67 off 95 where
you will find Antiques Depot, Essex-Saybrook Antique
Center, Old Saybrook Antique Center, and Antiques
and Acquisitions, all within three miles of downtown,
and offering the wares of more than 300
high end dealers. If you want to wander up the
Connecticut River, continue up Rt. 154 to Essex,
Deep River, and Chester. For information on these
shops and others space does not allow me to list,
again visit the Lower Connecticut River Valley
@ http://www.ctrivervalley.com . But these should give you a beginning.
Each shop has an eclectic personality, no shop
has the same inventory, in fact no shop will have
the same inventory it had the first time when
you return, so if you see something you like-buy
it. If you are looking for special items, furniture,
glass, silver, paintings, rugs, china, try the
group shops for the largest selection, than find
the individual dealers who specialize in what
you want. Happy Hunting. And remember--the chase
is always at least half the gratification, possession
the remainder, and telling the story immeasurable.
Snow or no snow, think Christmas. We truly have
so much forwhich to be thankful. Have a joyous,
peaceful, and memorable holiday.
||Editor's note: Susan Alon, rare book
specialist and former Yale curator, is proprietor
of MiRIAMGREEN Antiquarian Bookshop &
Gallery located at 88 East Main in Clinton (860-664-4200).
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week, what makes a book rare, valuable, or just