Veteran antique dealers open Harrodsburg shop

April 05, 2004|JOHN T. DAVIS

Veteran antique dealers James Tanner and Terry White are hoping the customers of their new shop, Antiques off Main, will like what the owners like. "We're going to have fun with it," said Tanner of the shop that opened last weekend on East Poplar Street in downtown Harrodsburg. "You always hope that the things we like, other people would like and want to take home with them.

"I think we like antiques a lot and enjoy associating with other people who like antiques. We always enjoy having them coming in."

Their small shop contains antique furniture, china, crystal, silver, art work and other items that appeal to the owners, both of whom have years of experience in the field.

White, a longtime Harrodsburg resident, opened his first antique shop 32 years ago in Burgin and does estate and insurance appraisals. He is also president of the Ragged Edge Theater board.


Tanner moved to Harrodsburg in 1999 after retiring as a division director with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He's been a collector of antiques for many years, and currently is on the board of Harrodsburg First, the town's historic preservation program.

"I'm very proud of what we've done here in Harrodsburg," he said.

Advocates for preserving old things

As one might expect, both Tanner and White are advocates for preserving and purchasing old things.

"If you buy a new piece of furniture, when you carry it out the door it becomes a used piece of furniture," White said. "It will go down in value immediately."

Besides the quality of the wood found in antique furniture, Tanner said, "older furniture gets a patina and a feel ... People have loved it and taken care of it, passed it down for generations. It's sturdy and has a visual appeal to it that some people like."

Generally, most antiques increase in value over time, White said, although "at times, things go out of style ... . That's a good time to buy them when their price is down.

"You can buy 19th Century silver flatware at a fraction of what it would cost to go to a store and buy new sterling."

Besides, Tanner added, "A lot of the patterns are more appealing, particularly coin silver. There's something about it that's kind of timeless."

Special items each month

The owners of Antiques off Main plan to have a variety of items, ranging in cost from a few dollars to several thousand dollars, to offer their customers. They also will have special items each month based on a theme such as "silver month" or "pattern month."

As an appraiser, White has to keep up on the monetary value of antiques. But neither he nor Tanner see the old things primarily as investments.

"People who love antiques because they have a history and an appeal to them they're going to buy them year after year," Tanner said.

"If you don't love it, you shouldn't buy it," White said. "I figure if I have to go out of the room and think about, then I don't need it."

Antiques off Main is located at 109 E. Poplar Street in Harrodsburg. The store is open Thursday through Monday, and by appointment. Hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on Sundays when the store is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Phone: (859) 734-6001.

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