NC Antique Road Trip
North Carolina-made items such as furniture from free African-American cabinet maker Thomas Day, vintage pottery made in Whynot or Jugtown, and wooden waterfowl decoys are among the possible finds on the road for antiques in the Old North State.
Our Greensboro-High Point area is a great place to start down the antique road. Byerly’s, the recently relocated antiquing institution, has items ranging from mahogany and fruitwood furniture to folk art in its 32,000 square foot store. If you start your day here, you may finish it here, too. Ditto if you visit Greensboro’s Antique Marketplace. Housed in a two-story building, more than 100 vendors feature everything from French Provencal bedroom suites and vintage clothing to Art Deco pieces and claw-foot tubs.
Elm Street in Greensboro is our next stop. There, you will find Antiques & Accessories with its French period furniture and decorative glass. Down the street is Jules Worldwide Antiques, where china and sterling silver is on the menu. Nearby is Lion’s Crown Antiques, where you can find hand-carved furniture and decorative columns. Also on Elm is Rhyne’s Corner Cupboard, which handles unusual architectural pieces.
Heading up toward the mountains, we find Asheville and Biltmore Station Antiques, voted western NC’s top antiques dealer. Besides antiques, it has a wide assortment of collectibles. There are at least a dozen antique galleries in downtown Asheville. Lexington Park, with more than 90 dealers, is the largest of the antique malls. Also downtown are Asheville Antiques Mall and Stuf Antiques. If you are looking for rare books, Captains Bookshelf is at 31 Page Avenue across from the Grove Arcade.
Seven miles from Asheville in the town of Weaverville is Preservation Hall Architectural Salvage. Here you will find antique mantles, stained glass, windows, French doors and a broad array of antique plumbing fixtures.
Let’s head east to the state capital of Raleigh. Antique stores are clustered there on upper Glenwood Avenue and in the City Market. Carolina Antique Mall, voted one of the top antique shops in the Triangle by CitySearch, is our starting point. Don’t expect a musty shop in disarray. This mall is organized and shoppers are given a map to help them navigate. If the three Ws’ are your thing - Waterford and Waterbury and Wedgewood – you are in the right place. Beyond crystal, clocks and china, the mall stocks fine linens and antique furniture. Music buffs, listen up: the store has a good collection of 78 records.
Another CitySearch winner is Thieves Market, with locations in Cary and east Raleigh. It has been cited for its variety and helpful staff.
East of Raleigh is the city of Wilson, which claims to be the largest antique market on the East coast. With more than 30 antique shops, it may have a point. We’ll start at Boone’s Antiques, a dealer that boasts of having a four acre store. Edgar Boone, a tobacco auctioneer, started the business in the 1950s as a sideline.
In the 60s, Boone cranked up the antique business, and today has tens of thousands of pieces of antique furniture in store. Another interesting Wilson shop is Fulford’s, with its global collection of 12,000 items that includes an Americas Plum Pudding Chest, Scottish Pine Welch Dresser, and an English Regency Rent Table. They also carry vintage books and antique heart pine flooring. If American and Southern antiques are your passion, Langston’s 6,000-square-foot gallery is for you. Here you’ll find pieces from the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th century.
Our last stop is the Antique Barn and Hobby Shop, conveniently located near Parkers Barbecue and Bill’s Barbecue Restaurant. After all, antique shopping is a hungry business. Begun as an antique store, the Antique Barn has evolved into a hobby shop with tons of modern and collectible model trains.
This is only a sample of what the Old North State has to offer. So, get out there on the Tar Heel turnpikes and have your own antique roadshow.
added: December 22, 2008
updated: February 11, 2009