West Palm Beach’s “Antique Row” has dozens of vintage and antique shops, some high-end and others that are more modestly priced. The merchandise varies from vintage clothing and jewelry to furniture and decorative objets. Strengths include items from the mid-20th century including one of my favorites, lucite. On a recent trip I saw great lucite and chrome magazine racks and lamps at Cashmere Buffalo, although my focus was on jewelry.
One of the top vintage jewelry dealers in the country, D. Brett Benson, has a shop on antique row with an eye-popping selection of jewelry. When I first walked in I was wowed by his incredible selection of designer costume jewelry. But then I saw the jewelry in the showcases at the center of store filled with Mexican silver, modernist silver, Art Deco jewelry and some great Arts and Crafts pieces and was really impressed. There were exceptional pieces of silver jewelry by Spratling, Aguilar, Theodor Fahrner and many other great designers. This is a shop for serious collectors and fashionistas, so don’t expect bargains; it takes a lot of time and money for a dealer to amass a collection like this and even though the prices were high, they were fair considering their quality. Plus, the manager Kevin was delightful, and since it was “off season” and the store wasn’t busy, we had a lovely chat.
While I didn’t find a lot of jewelry for resale on Antiques Row, I did acquire a large-scale “boomerang” modernist brooch with matching earrings by Anton Michelsen, the great Danish jewelry manufacturer at Elephant’s Foot Antiques which, for the most part, has furniture and decorative objects in more traditional styles and not much jewelry. Interestingly, I often am able to purchase jewelry at shops that don’t specialize in it. Antique dealers sometimes acquire pieces that are outside their area of specialization when they purchase an entire estate and are willing to sell them at reasonable prices because their customer base is not in the market for them.
Where to eat:
Gulf Stream Bistro and Seafood Market is a great place to grab lunch. I had a nice platter of fried oysters ($9.95) for lunch and they were perfectly fried, as were the accompanying French fries. They also make a nice conch chowder. Note: prices are higher at dinner.
Another great place for dinner is Table 26, just north of Antique Row on Dixie Highway. Entrees are $20-36.
Antique Row is located on South Dixie Highway between Belvedere Road on the north and Southern Boulevard on the south. There is a map of Antique Row available at most shops located on it. The map is also available on the West Palm Beach Antiques web site.
Gulf Stream Bistro, 3815 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach
Table 26, 1700 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach