I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter many interesting people in my business. I often meet with estate administrators, attorneys handling estates, people downsizing or moving and collectors who want to sell their collections. During my travels I also often interact with antique dealers, shop owners and other auctioneers. One of the most pleasant people I’ve had the opportunity to get to know is Maureen Prokos.
Maureen was born in New York and moved to Dudley with her family when her father became a supervisor at Cranston Print Works. Her mother was involved in restoration and collecting along with teaching refinishing. Maureen acquired her mother’s appreciation of antiques.
Maureen was a substitute teacher when some friends invited her to join them at their antique shop. In 1976 she agreed to work with them in their business at 40 Hamilton Street in Southbridge. Her friends decided to pursue other interests but Maureen continued selling antiques and opened “the Flea Mart” across the street at 37 Hamilton Street which she still runs today. An attorney asked her to run an estate sale and she also began running them regularly.
When discussing how the antique business has changed Maureen notes that young people aren’t buying antique glassware and instead opt for dishwasher safe products. Some of the things that we see sell well at auction like antique toys and Sterling silver also do well in her shop. She also sees people buying things to repurpose or upcycle. Silverplate flatware is purchased to make wind chimes and jewelry. Garden statuary is made from some of the china that she sells with plates stacked together and cups placed upside down.
Maureen sees the internet being used more and more as a tool for antique research. Her husband and a son are architects so it’s no surprise that she feels strongly about buying sturdy older furniture. She suggests families and young adults who are starting out buy maple or other solid wood instead of pressed wood furniture. She also recommends going to auctions and buying one good piece instead of a number of lesser items. Maureen also notes that even if your home is furnished with mid-century modern furniture, a nice piece of older antique furniture can be a focal point.
One of her greatest estate finds was a group of valuable, rare coins. She once handled an estate with newspapers piled up to the ceiling throughout the home. When she cleared the papers she found over $100,000 in antiques buried beneath them.
Maureen is very active in the community. She is involved with several civic organizations. She is a Cancer survivor. Maureen is very proud of her 5 children and 6 grandchildren.
When you visit Maureen’s shop she’ll welcome you warmly. The shop carries a wide variety of antiques, collectibles and household items. It is open every day except Wednesday and Sunday from 10:00 to 4:00. Stop by and you’ll have the chance to see and buy antiques and talk with one of the most pleasant and knowledgeable people in the antique business. The thing that Maureen says she enjoys most about the antique business is the different people she meets.
I am interested in hearing from collectors in the area who would like to be profiled and share more about what they collect with our readers. Contact me at 508-612-6111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be running an estate sale in Hopkinton on Saturday October 17th. We also have an online auction running in Shrewsbury with a live preview on October 24th and 25th and bidding ending on October 28th. See more details at www.centralmassauctions.com or follow us on social media.
Contact us at: Wayne Tuiskula Auctioneer/Appraiser Central Mass Auctions for Antique Auctions, Estate Sales and Appraisal Services www.centralmassauctions.com (508-612- 6111), email@example.com