The Roger Smith Hotel sources its in-room furnishings from antique and vintage shops around New York and Connecticut. On a recent spring morning, we visited some of our favorite stores in Manhattan to scope out new finds. Here’s an inside look at our trip to the best antique shops in New York City.
Pippin Vintage scours Upstate New York and Western Massachusetts for auction finds—focusing on both fine and costume jewelry dating back to the 1850s. Tucked in the back, a furniture wing has beautiful antique furniture, including funky mid-century high chairs.
Special Find: 1861 Rare Antique Enamel Ring, $985
This brilliant, 155-year-old oversized ring shines with pink tourmalines and natural pearls.
Pippin Vintage: 112 W. 17th St., 212-505-5159
Most New Yorkers know Olde Good Things from its three Manhattan locations and a roaming, sideless truck loaded with its wackiest items. We visited the Madison Avenue location, which sells furnishings like 1920s mirrors, neon signs and Art Nouveau chandeliers, many of which come from condemned buildings around New York City.
Special Find: 1951 Vintage Emerald Green Mohair Couch, $2,850
We imagine this velvet couch has seen many a gossipy parlor room chat—its regal, crown shape all but demands it.
Olde Good Things: 149 Madison Ave., 212-321-0770
Argosy is New York City’s oldest independent bookstore, and fills six floors with iconic first editions, historical maps, prints, autographs and other antiques.
Special Find: Old Book Cover: Marbled or Leather $5, Pictorial $10
Argosy has plenty of high-end antiques, like a $7,000 limited edition copy of Hansel and Gretel, but for more casual shoppers, we recommend grabbing one of these old book covers. Kept by the register, these sturdy bits of art make great gifts and decorations.
Argosy Book Store: 116 E. 59th St., 212-753-4455
Unlike at most other eclectic shops we visited, the pieces at tiny Lerebours have a uniformly elegant aesthetic. Empire-style French armchairs, Art Deco Italian sconces and Mid-Century Modern finds fill the space.
Special Find: 1950s Modern Brass and Glass Sputnik Chandelier, $11,500
Aside from having the capacity to be a prop in 2001: A Space Odyssey, the soft light and shining brass globe make this chandelier a favorite.
Lerebours Antiques: 220 E. 60th St., 212-308-2775
This Nolita shop sells rare antiques from around the world, such as 19th-century French model airplanes and cast iron gates. Next door, they have a great sculpture garden.
Special Find: De Moulin’s Lung Tester, $7,500
A popular prank in the early 1900s, this “lung tester” fooled many a bar patron. Jokesters would prompt unknowing friends to test their lung strength by blowing into the pipe, prompting white powder to explode over the blower’s face and a 22-caliber blank to shoot off and shock everyone.
Elizabeth Street Gallery: 209 Elizabeth St., 212-941-4800