Antique Bull Market (Online)

by Editorial

Branded as the online home to “the most beautiful things on earth,” 1stdibs, the leading online marketplace for high-end antiques and 20th century design, has established itself as the millennial approach to antiquing. The site’s founder, Michael Baron, is credited with reinventing the antiques business by creating an online shopping experience that’s defined by a vetting process so thorough that designers, collectors, and high-end consumers have no qualms about purchasing items in the $50,000 to 250,000 range, without having even seen them in person. The inquisition-level review of potential vendors begins with secret site visits to evaluate pricing, service, staff knowledge, style, and, who knows, maybe even the clientele. The process culminates, for the lucky ones, with an invitation to join the 21st century, even while dealing in items from previous ones.

I have been a fan of this site since its debut 9 years ago. The company’s vetting process obviously works: the dealers are fantastic to work with and the items are always, unusual, unique, and never to be overlooked, beautiful. Featured items on the site change frequently, as a result of monthly field trips by photographers to update the site’s offerings. The overall experience is about as close as you can get to a weekend spent lazing about a Paris flea market without leaving your living room.

The site has long featured some of the best respected shops of Paris, New York, The Hamptons, and Palm Beach. The big news for Washingtonians, though, is that a group of our very own antique dealers have been handed those sought-after invitations. D.C. has long been known for federal style townhouses appointed with furnishings befitting our fair city’s history, but our area antiquarians have really entered the global scene, offering items with far more than only regional appeal. These lucky few include Darrell Dean, David Bell Antiques, DHS Designs, Carling Nichols, Cote Jardin, Gore DeanHastening Antiques, L’Enfant Gallery, Metro Interiors, Red Barn, Sixteen Fifty Nine, Sparrows, and Spurgeon-Lewis Antiques.

So, no excuses, you can peruse the best that DC has to offer, and maybe check out what they’re buying in the Old World, without having to give a second thought to the usual antiquing perils of odd store hours, dust, and the nerve rattling fragility of very expensive china. To get you started on the path to collecting stardom, here are my selections for Washington’s most beautiful things:

Spurgeon Lewis

American, hexagonal form single-light fixture, originally candle now electrified. Circa 1835

Spurgeon Lewis Antiques

112 N. Columbus Street Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone: 703 548 4917

Gore Dean

Tony Duquette designed, and built, resin tabourets. Circa 1950’s

Gore Dean Antiques

1340 Smith Avenue Baltimore, MD 21209 Phone: 410 323 7470


Chinese, black lacquer low table Circa 1800’s

Carling Nichols

1675 Wisconsin Ave. NW Washington, D.C., 20007 Phone: 202 338 5600 David Bell

Set of three mid-century modernist sculptures with iron finish.

David Bell Antiques

1655 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Washington, D.C., 20007

Phone: 202 965 2355

www.davidbellantiques.comCote Jardin

French large butcher trade signs. Circa 1800’s

Cote Jardin Antiques

3218 O Street, NW Washington, D.C., 20007

Phone: 202 333 3067 DHS Designs

Italian walnut table with claw feet. Circa 1830

DHS Designs

6521 Friel Road Queenstown, MD 21658

Phone: 410 827 816 L'Efant

Thailand, carved wooden Buddha hand. Circa 1900’s

L’Enfant Gallery

1442 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20007

Phone: 202 625 2873

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