New England is known for its wide array of rare and fabulous antiques, and New Hampshire certainly is no exception. The oldest selection of antique stores in the region are right here in the Granite State and offer some of the most unique wares in the entire country. Civil-war era pottery, cryptic photographs, lush oil paintings, farm-style wicker chairs and countless other trinkets and oddities tantalize antique shoppers as they tiptoe through each room bursting with items to look at. If you are visiting New Hampshire, walking on foot to each of these shops tucked in the gorgeous forest trees is certainly something you do not want to miss.
What can I expect to find in Antique Alley?
According to this New York Times article, Northwood’s Antique Alley has won a “following among serious collectors and leisure-time browsers for its rich supplies of early American art, furniture, farm tools, sea glass, books, yellow ware pottery, textiles, ironstone, china and glassware. Its loyalists also praise its prices, enhanced in their attractiveness by New Hampshire’s lack of a sales tax.” Several of these shops have been in operation for decades and offer handmade products of their own. What is really special about Antique Alley in particular is the fact that you can park your car on a sunny day and walk short distances from each shop through a pine scented forest. This would make a wonderful weekend activity! If you are looking to stay overnight and go antiquing the next day, here is a link that will help you book your room: Lodging and Accommodations. Once your room is booked, (or camping at some of our local Campgrounds) or if you are simply planning a day trip, check out this link for a complete list of all antique shops along Antique Alley: Antique Alley Shops
What should I be looking for in an antique?
According to reputable sources, any new antique seekers should follow the “RADAR” method. It is as follows:
- (R) Rarity: How rare is the piece? Are there many duplicates?
- (A) Aesthetics: How beautiful is the piece? Is it something that has been categorized as stunning or attractive?
- (D) Desirability: Is this a much-wanted piece? Is there a demand to own this piece?
- (A) Authenticity: Is this piece true to its time? Is it a duplicate of an original? Is this simply a reproduction?
- (R) Really great condition (See below)
If you are not very familiar with what constitutes rarity, desirability or authenticity, ask the shop owner and he or she would be happy to assist you. As far as condition is concerned make sure to check out for these flaws in any piece:
- Breaks and tears
- Dings and gouges
- Signs of repair, such as glue, runny paint, mismatched screws or nails, or putty
- Missing parts
- On figurines, broken noses or missing fingers (Copyright Ask.Com)