Many antique shop owners have found that selling smaller items is a formula that works well for them. Some proprietors rent space in display cases or booths to dealers who pay them a monthly fee. Other shop owners have a mixture of furniture and smaller items of their own that they sell. Anthony Brooks has opened a shop that specializes in larger items such as salvaged cars and industrial pieces that may have otherwise been discarded. Reaction seems to be overwhelmingly positive with the shop drawing a steady stream of customers.
Anthony grew up in Auburn and liked to hunt for antiques since he was around ten years old. He dug old buried bottles and salvaged things from the Auburn dump. He liked to see the cars a neighbor, who had a salvage business, picked up. A successful, local antique dealer also made an impression on him.
When he got older, Anthony and his brother formed Brooks Brothers Used Auto Parts in Worcester, which they ran for 20 years. Anthony started picking up other items besides cars and filled a container full of pieces to sell at his Southbridge Street location in Worcester.
He has now opened a shop at a new location at 468 Auburn Street in the Cherry Valley section of Leicester, where all of his wares can be viewed and purchased by the public. The shop is open from 11:00 to 5:00 on Saturday and sometimes on Sundays.
There is an interesting mix of items to peruse. You’ll see salvaged cars as you are pulling in along with other items ranging from vending machines to industrial components from local mills. He seeks out old mills, machine shops, factories and other closed businesses. He does what he calls “organic picking”. He only sells items that he’s purchased directly from the source.
Anthony credits his parents for providing a good foundation for his entrepreneurial activities. His wife, Heather, is also supportive of his business. Anthony said she sometimes even accompanies him on his picks. He said there have been instances where he has less than an hour to look through a building and he can use the extra help.
One of his best finds was when he was asked to clear out an old Worcester sports equipment factory. He found baseball catchers’ masks from the early 1900’s and labels with colorful graphics.
Anthony said that he doesn’t typically post items on the web. He wants people to stop by his shop and take a look at the antiques and curiosities that he finds. He enjoys seeing people reminisce about the items in his shop. Anthony said that he has regular buyers from the West Coast. Some of his pieces are being used as props in the new Disney movie, “The Finest Hours”. It’s worth a visit to check out his latest finds.
I will be taking part in a number of upcoming events. Downsizing seminars will be held at the Paxton Senior Center on February 17th and at the Auburn Senior Center on March 29th. I will also be appraising antiques for a Quaboag Historical Society on March 6th. Registration is taking place for my “Evaluating Your Antiques” class on April 4th. The class is part of the Bay Path Evening School offerings in Charlton. Details can be found at www.centralmassauctions.com.
Contact us at: Wayne Tuiskula Auctioneer/Appraiser Central Mass Auctions for Antique Auctions, Estate Sales and Appraisal Services www.centralmassauctions.com (508-612- 6111), firstname.lastname@example.org