The Art of Antiquing

Cape Cod Life  /  September/October 2018 / , ,

Writer: Gabriella Messina

Nantucket basket from Kahn Fine Antiques

Nantucket basket from Kahn Fine Antiques

Cape Cod’s most loved antique shops are where you’ll find a nostalgic piece of Cape history

Looking for the perfect addition to your Cape cottage, or something to bring back from your vacation? Antiques have an inimitable, timeless quality. With different stores specializing in different time periods for antiques, Cape Cod LIFE readers have voted these antique shops the best when it comes to searching for a unique find.

For John Sylvia, of Sylvia Antiques on Nantucket, antiquing has always been a family business. Sylvia Antiques has been around since 1927, now with Sylvia at the helm. Focusing on American antiques from the 18th century to the mid-20th century, Sylvia Antiques has a range of items for shoppers to peruse. Sylvia notes that most of his pieces are American folk art, including a vast collection of marine antiques, many of which were created on Nantucket. Some of his most unique pieces are those with scrimshaw, a nod to the rich whaling history of Nantucket. No matter the time period of the item or the iconic design, Sylvia Antiques always strives for quality in their pieces.

Richard Kahn of Chatham’s Kahn Fine Antiques and Works of Art was introduced to antiquing after his grandfather gifted him an old musket when he was only 9 years old. This single musket inspired a lifetime of antiquing for Kahn, and his entire business reflects the time period introduced to him by that gift. With a focus on historic nautical and Americana items from the 1760s to 1860s, the gallery’s offerings include scrimshaw, antique china, firearms and weapons, and paintings. “We try hard to find rare historic objects from that time period,” Kahn says, and that’s proven when exploring his showroom.

Third-generation antiquary Parke Madden of The Weather Store in Sandwich specializes in “the arts and crafts of Cape Cod.”  Offering a selection of various weather pieces such as weather vanes and one-of-a-kind barometers, The Weather Store is also known for its marine antiques and paintings by well-known local artists. Regardless of the item, each piece from Madden’s shop will come with a story and connection to Cape Cod. Madden hopes that his antiques will “enhance the buyer’s experience of living on Cape Cod,” and tell a story that will be communicated through the antique. “If you can tell a great story or there’s a story connected to the object, then it’s a great antique,” says Madden.

Explore more of our “Best of” winners by clicking here

Gabriella Messina

Gabriella Messina, a journalism student at Boston University, is a former intern for Cape Cod Life Publications. Gabriella’s love for Cape Cod began in middle school when she attended school on the Cape. Since then, Gabriella looks forward to summers spent in Falmouth.