A new shop has popped up quietly in the middle of Gordonton village. In what used to be, many years past, a garage, Jim now sells antiques gathered over a lifetime’s collecting.
He began collecting back in the early 60s, and, when he opened a restaurant in Napier, used antiques as part of the décor. He has done the same ever since with businesses in Hastings, Palmerston North, and Wellington.
Antiques are an addiction, he says. “You go through phases of being interested in different things, like fine porcelain, silver or certain types of furniture. I ended up collecting lots of different things. Everything has its own history. I can’t imagine not being surrounded by them.”
The shop is replete with paintings, furniture, silver, glass and furs – near the entrance a gothic style table is supported by two hand-carved fauns.
“Not everyone’s cup of tea, but very unique. I got that piece out of a department store in Auckland.”
Nearby is an Edwardian teapot, on a high stand, with a small heating lamp underneath. Two mounted deer heads stare down on proceedings, and gloves and other items hang from a wrought iron garden archway.
“There’s a bit of everything in the shop, I tried to buy things you don’t often see, things that appealed to me, like the 1970s English bar, very swish. I fell in love with the colours.”
Seriously rare pieces are kept elsewhere – like a first edition Russell Flint signed print. He’s set up tea and coffee and has glass jars full of cakes, chocolates and lollies, a self-serve refreshment with a small donation jar to keep the goodies coming.
The shop is open Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and when Jim feels like being there.
“I love it here, I can potter about and it’s very peaceful. When you talk with some of the people that drop by, it’s like a day out. It’s not like work at all.”
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