A month or two ago we went to an establishment that looked promising from the outside, Nathan Liverant & Son Antiques. They were closed but I was able to peek in the window. I saw a silhouette of a windsor high chair and 'promising from the outside' turned into 'potentially perfect.' I knew that I'd return. I knew I'd be happy. I knew that the kids would need a baby sitter.
This weekend we did return without the kids. It took us about twenty minutes to get out of the entry foyer of this 1835 Baptist meeting house-turned-early-Americana gem and onto the main floor. There was so much that caught my eye. Every step displayed something that was perfectly in line with my interests on the floor, on the surface and on the wall.
What is best about a place like this? Well, that's easy. When I go to an art museum I can get about 5-10 feet from a piece. When I go to a historical site I can often only step 3-5 feet inside of a room. I set off alarms for leaning over a rope as I try to see detail from a distance in poor lighting. This weekend I got to see the fronts, touch the fronts, see the backs, touch the backs, open the drawers, take out the drawers, try to find all of the secret drawers, open the clocks, sit in chairs that were sat in while The Revolution was discussed and, most importantly, touch the molding and carving.
I also thought, for some reason, it was somewhat liberating to have the option to buy the pieces. I would have had to mortgage the house for many of them, but I had the option and I liked that.
Arthur Liverant, the proprietor and son of the 'Son', and the others that work there (I met Jean) obviously appreciate what they have and sell. They were a joy.
Museums are great. You're certain to find many things that you like in one. Nathan Liverant & Son Antiques is one of the few places that are EASILY better. Check them out if you're in the area. You may even want to go out of your way...but don't bring the kids (though I'm sure they are welcome).
And if you ever have the option, go see them at The Philadelphia Antiques Show. This is an absolute 'must' and one of the several things I'll miss not living in Philadelphia anymore.