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...jen o'connor's...Artful Adventures & Daily Inspirations

I Love Art, Adore the Handmade and Treasure the Vintage. I am the Fun Mom, the Silly Friend and the Writer who wants to make more room for beauty in the everyday.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Another Adventure

I gave myself the day off last Thursday and joined my folks on their monthly jaunt to the Stratford Antique Center…It never disappoints!

It’s one of the last, good multi-dealer antique fortresses and within an hour’s drive of Manhattan, Danbury and Springfield.

I have been shopping there for 15 years (my Mom is one of their original dealers) and I still can nab some steals and deals...and splurges... whenever I visit. They have had no press, I think all in the know may have selfishly kept this place a secret….but it is time to share!

Here's the locker area where you can stow your coat and purse to shop hands free...they always have a pot of fresh coffee to enjoy...and I like to grab one of their 6oz glass bottles of Coca-Cola from the old vending machine.

My first find of the day....a wonderfully curvy silver plated pitcher. It was a steal for $12.50 at the center!

Here it is already in use in my dining room.

Here's my splurge! If you read this blog, you know I have always pined for old metal and folk art ferris wheels. I found another antiquuing wiht Ro, Lisa and Stacey last summer. Here's my latest splurge ensconced in the den.
...and here's dealer Betty Martin with the ferris wheel "in the rough" before it was mine!

General Manager Steve and Assistant Carol make this place tick...
…16,500 square feet…big clean…well-lit and active! This huge facility was a warehouse and it sports 30 foot ceilings…look at these rows and rows of cool stuff…200+ dealers make this place well worth the trip!

Here's my Mom and Sandy chatting about "Red Bull"...the elixir of life! As Sandy was shopping, she heard my name and recognized me from this blog...too cool. Hi Sandy!!!! It was great meeting you and hope to see you at "heART of winter. Check out her blog! and her art!
This booth packed color punch and had a ton of advertising signs.

Lots of shabby chic finds in this booth.

I loved this tureen. Such a shape... it must work out! is a favorite booth...

I really wanted this the arrow shape...

Piles of transferware tempted me. I nabbed two sugar bowls for $8 each!

My Dad and his best little pal, Rory like to shop for old metal cowboys.

This booth was loaded! I needed more time to explore!

My niece loves these shell boxes. I love them stacked like this! doggies...

....metal findings...
...wonderful "Sunday" painters canvases, I love the expression on the gal on the right...

What’s else is there?
Tons of good stuff, very fair prices…this place is shopped by dealers…prices are reasonable enough for them to re-sell
GOBS of lighting
Good mid-century accessories
Fun kitchen items
Wonderful furniture
Some primitives and folk art
Small industrial apparatus, one booth of architectural fixtures
Mostly American…little European
What I left that I wish I had bought:
A pair of Hitchcock chairs...what was I thinking!!!
An ironstone tureen…no room…no need… but oh so pretty
and a funky metal chair (great to look at but totally uncomfortable!)

In this age of instant gratification and ebay haunting and hunting, I still prefer to shop for antiques in person….I love the summer’s shows, but in the winter months this place beats the blues for sure….I can get out and shop when it is 10 degrees at a large airy venue (and not one of those musky, low-ceiling malls!).
Don't miss this place if you live anywhere nearby...

…Exit 31 on I -95 in Stratford, CT…open 7 days a week 10-5…this is a busy mall with new items being brought in each week by the dealers…I like to get there once every 6 weeks and never fail to find a perfect something for someone (or myself!)

Hope you can add this Antique Adventure to your "TO DO" list.
xxoo Jen


Theresa said...

This place sounds great Jen. I guess Brian and I are going to have to make a road trip sometime.



Victorian Lady said...

Looks like great fun! We have one kind of like that in Arizona, but I think the antiques are better on the east coast. Thanks for sharing and I love the ferris wheel!


Theresa said...

I bet Victorian Lady is talking about the Brass Armadillo in Phoenix. We use to go there when Brian's parents lived in Mesa Arizona. It's a very nice place indeed. We went out there every year. If you're ever out that way make sure that's on your to do list.



Debra said...

I was at the Stratford Antique Center Sunday with my husband. It is so much fun. I always manage to find a few treasures to take home. On the way home to Woodbury, CT, we stopped in to check out The Seymour Antique Center and a few of the other little antique and collectable shops in walking distance of each other. I had never been in them before but I will definately go back. They are definately worth the trip if you are in the area. ~Debra

Sandy Mastroni said...

Dear Jen , It was WONDERFUL to meet you ! Your kids are SO cute and I love your mom. Too bad I got stung by 50 attack bees right before you took this photo. [lol]
Thank you for adding me to your blog. It really was great to meet you. I love your website too.
Everything you wrote about Stratford Antiques is true. It's a great antique center [I ALWAYS find a treasure there ]and everyone who works there is great too.

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