Monday, February 7, 2011

Dixie Highway Shopping with The Empress II

 More Fun With Liz and Jane!
Jane, explained why the Dixie Highway is the best bargain hunting in America: "You have to understand, Florida is a big drain. As people downsize and retire South, they bring their favorite things. Eventually, a lot of it ends up on the Dixie Highway. " High and low Palm Beach style flows down the alluvial layers of possession. Remnants of great castles and estates mingle with common rubbish. Chinioserie, hand painted furniture, Italianate pieces, paintings and ceramics are heaped together, quite unlike Worth Avenue, a few miles away. The rule of thumb is: The more jumbled the shop, the better the buy. You have to sift for the gold, ignoring the prevalent common objects. Lighting can be dismal, chairs sit on tables, upon tables, and precious antiques are dusty.

A. Abbott Antiques Mall and Design Center overflows with everything from six foot 19th century Venetian Blackamoors, to this unique vintage folding writing desk, with an asking price of $499.00. Cleaned up, it would make a chic little laptop desk for a cramped apartment. I am imagining note paper, pens, love letters and party invitations, sorted within the nooks.

 Moving down the road, there is an Ali Baba cave at Shi and Erhard. It is dark, dusty and good.

431 Bunker Road, West Palm Beach

This opulent 18th century French Regency mirror is a real knock out. So is the asking price at $12,000!

Everything is relative. Down the road, without the dust, you can pick one up for $24,000 at Cedric Dupont.

Why, oh why, is this antique frame and glass, so shiny and new for this much money? Excessive restoration destroys value.  I have also witnessed the equivalent in the $75,000.00 range. Train your eye! Bruce Erhard's dusty mirror, way, way off  Worth Avenue, Madison and 1st dibs might be a clever negotiation.

This wicker valise has Brooke Giannetti's name all over it. Texture and patina add character and convert the generic to the unique personal.  This hardy, organic traveler would happily settle down in front of a sofa for a well deserved rest as the perfect coffee table. 

I do yearn for this chic vintage Greek Key outdoor furniture. With a $1,400.00 price tag, which includes the shipping, it is not a deal maker, as it still requires extensive restoration. Fellow shoppers, I have been stalking the elusive and perfect outdoor furniture grouping for way too long. If you see a bargain, send photos to!

Niki's shop: Sold as of Feb. 1 (561)-568-7288
                                                                   5109 S. Dixie Hwy

We're all about the Zebs!! If you really think about it, Zebra's do not look like anything in nature. The Greeks and Romans don't have a design god, but there must be one who envisioned this outlier.  What a stunning graphic gift. George Stubbs (1724-1806) painted the iconic zebra image that launched a thousand rugs.

Lars Bolander is in on it. Note the Venetian Blackamoor. I've seen the same one at Trelliage on Madison, but haven't found the source. 

It's all happening at the zoo, so..... Dog portraits are well represented up and down these streets. This holy terrier by Thierry Poncelet  is exhibited at Sold (address above). I love how the aristochiens' expressions match their garb.  This philosophical fellow will run you about $2,800. 

This congenial ancestor is coming up for grabs at Bonhams New York: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 [Lot 00214] Dogs in Show and Field: The Fine Art Sale  31 x 25 in.  oval
Estimate    3,000 - 5,000 USD.  The frame is magnificent and compelling for a price comparison or bargaining position. There is a wide range of prices realized at auction for this artist, so if you love Poncelet, do your homework. I can't resist my favorite Poncelet portrait, that reminds of of my precious miniature long haired Daschund, Violet. 

As far as events are concerned, Kofsky's Estates opens periodically to tout le Palm Beach. 

The front of this line is the place to be. You need a clear understanding of how things are categorized and located--collectibles are inside, center and to the right. You need to be on a mission, get to it quickly and grab it. The friendly staff will tag your items as you point. He who hesitates.... would be me. 

A pair of these tole, Italian flowers were still standing when the music stopped for $650. 

This pair of exquisite tole lemon tree luminaries (I can't call them lamps) sold for the same amount. If I saw them again, I'd jump. The dealer, that bought them, said they sold for twice the price before "le recession." I am all for price corrections. 

A pair of these contemporary, hand painted Chinoiserie wall paper panels sold for $1,200.00. They have perfect, understated frames, but I already have one in my living room and decided two more in the dining room were a bit much. The real find would be water color on silk panels, with bumble bees and butterflies--moving on.  We hit several more stores plus a 10 acre salvage yard before the end of the day, so I'll keep you moving. 

C. Bell is a high Florida contemporary and vintage shop that is fun to see. Many of their products are on our website, so if you like the look. poke around Dovecote Decor. Which reminds me. Lars Bolander has our carved chair, on his show room floor for $895.00. I presume shipping is added.

Dovecote Decor's price is $563.00 with free shipping, so we are looking out for our buyers! 

Circa Who has good quality vintage Palm Beach style, in a crowded, though well merchandised space. They have an excellent website, but I can't say the prices make me reach for my Visa card. Remember, bargains are usually covered with dust, take your antihistamines.  There is always something new, and my favorite discovery was at Donovan and Gray: 3623 S. Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, FL 33405 Tel: +1 561 838-4442 email:

These are Roldan figures--fun Spanish touristy souvenirs. Roldan and Klumpe dolls have a very specific and stylized look. They are made of cloth and felt, and were produced in Barcelona, Spain from the 1950s to early 1970s.

These dolls began as traditional Spanish flamenco dancers, and matadors. They range from 8" to 12" tall. At some point, somebody in the workshop lost their mind, and began creating animated caricatures. They might be the first action figures.

Energetic movement, professional clothing, exuberant hairstyles, and detailed accessories make these dolls the best I have ever seen--trust me. I had dolls, dollhouses, dollhouse figures and three daughters. Viewed as a collection, they represent a celebration of life in all stages, moments and identities. I'd like the entire shelf, which is for sale for $4,500 and has different 35 figures. But, I became distracted by the vintage clothes. I've never seen a better collection in my life. The clothes are a Proustian, croissant, inhale of fashion memory. I never owned or wore these clothes. I saw them in the New York Times Magazine Fashion section in 1967. If you love clothes, you will weep. Ripping through racks of vintage Pucci, in perfect condition, will tear any epicurean heart to pieces.

Other Great Stops on the Dixie Highway
Jay Millstein 
Antiques to Modern
5105 S. Dixie Hwy

The Sugar Chest
960 N. Federal Hwy
Pompano Beach, FL 

Greta S.
Decorative Antiques
3803 1/2 S. Dixie Hwy
West Palm Beach

Paula Roemer
505 Belvedere Road
West Palm Beach

Faustina Pace Antiques & Interiors
3633 S. Dixie Hwy

N.P. Trent Antiques
3729 S. Dixie Hwy
West Palm Beach


  1. Wow loved this post! I want to get in my car and head south like pronto! Especially after being in France where everything was prohibitively expensive but GORGEOUS! Oh, what I love above, that french mirror is stunning, the desk is a deal and needs a little TLC, love all the Zebra objects and the Poncelet dog's are fun, whimsical and beautiful all at the same time. I first saw them in a home we almost bought years ago they had a whole wall of them, it made for quite a room!
    Want to invite you to stop by my blog for my first ever giveway, a gorgeous french chair and the best part is the!

    Thanks, enjoyed this post very much!

  2. Thank you for this fabulous tour!! So many beautiful things, and the history behind the pieces is wonderful and helpful.
    Hope your week is off to a great start.

  3. Oh, I'd love to travel and shop with you!!!! What an "gimlet" should be just so...I love your blog and your observations...and you have FAB taste!!!

  4. I am mad for the Greek Key outdoor furniture. It is more than just a little off (and not good enough for a true classical house), but it would be fun for a mid-century suburban house. Thanks for all the treats!

  5. Oh my gosh! What amazing things, it is almost too much. I don't think I could have ever left even the first store. Happy Shopping!

  6. Theses kinds of adventures are heaven to me! The junkier, the better! Boy, I'd love to get to the Dixie Hwy with a large trailer and lots of time!

  7. It seems like treasures abound there! What a wonderful post!

  8. My Gosh I used to hit those places on Dixie hwy. Why didn't I know you when I lived there. I love these estate Tag sales, Looks like you are the Gal to hang out with. This was wonderful. I'd roll
    over and play dead for those white chinese chip chairs.

  9. Astute observations about the plentiful merchandise in Florida. An elderly antique dealer of my acquaintance never left her Florida condo complex for merchandise, literally shopping amongst her friends every winter, to ship up to Maine in the summer (LOL, I presume that at this point, many of those goodies have worked their way back to Florida by now, to start the process over.

    And *GASP*, that Chinese Chippendale set is out of this world. $1400 shipped for that style and quality strikes me as just fine.

  10. have a fine eye! I covet it all...thanks for sharing the fun...I hope there's more to come!? k

  11. I always love to travel long and shop with you!!!!I love your blog and your writing very much....Me gonna big of ur article... Fabelous french chair and its worth to get ...

  12. Yep, Liz, we didn't leave a stone unturned. Coming back for the next Kofski Estate Sale? Anytime kiddo, anytime! xxx

  13. Beautifull pictures,i just love to c all those images a lot.... Especially those Zebra objects and the Poncelet dog's are Very funny and beautiful ..french chair are excellent and the best part is the price...

  14. I feel like I should tip you for the great tour, so very fun! To do the Dixie Hwy tour would be a dream come true. I got a chance to visit the Guild Shop of Houston and though I'd never leave. I can't imagine any of those fabulous haunts! My favorite too had to have been the Poncelet; you just have to love that face. I have a dachshund/Chihuahua (chi-weenie). I bet your Violet is adorable?
    Have a very fun weekend ~ Deb

  15. Great works. Especially the Zebra in the jungle.

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