If you like the TV show “A Caccia di Tesori” (Treasure Hunters) where "pickers" Frank and Mike dig through old houses and barns searching for antique objects which they in turn sell for a profit, then this week story is for you. Share with your friends who are collectors, especially those planning a trip to Italy.
|1940s bedroom ensemble and chandelier|
Back in the 70s and 80s the Viterbo area was the perfect hunting ground for dealers and private collectors, especially young couples trying to furnish a first apartment with taste but little cash.
This is an article written back in 1980 in which I gave tips on where to discover inexpensive antique furnishings in the Rome area.
It is still true for the numerous second hand markets, restauratori, raccogliatori and rigattieri along the Via Cassia between Rome and Viterbo are the living proof.
There is a large market in Capranica, another at the entrance to Vetralla and several others in Viterbo. (Coming next-San Pietro Restauro in Viterbo)
|which Singer sings to you ?|
|lovely wood cabinet, price tag 100 euro|
Giordano, co-manager of Vetralla’s consignment shop La Soffitta della Nonna, explains, “During the week the local people bring us stuff they clean out from their cantinas and attics, then on the weekends the romani arrive to buy.“
Its a win-win situation for Giordano and his partner take 50% of the selling price, the original owners who supply the merchandise are happy to eliminate surplus furnishings and the out of town buyers are delighted to have sourced original antique pieces, often to be restored.
The century-old bedsteads and wardrobes fly out of the shop allowing the young owners (previously unemployed) a pretty good living.
|1930s vanity table|
On my most recent visit I noted some gold-rimmed dinner plates bearing the mark of the Richard Ginori factory which had just closed after 300 years: 3 euro each bought me a piece of history.
|old repairs on the back of the mirror|
|new home next to fresco by Valerio Cugia and icons by Catalin Pislaru and Irina Ojovan|
After the dust and grime of decades was removed it now has a place of honor on the library mantle.
The large warehouse is chock full of carved wooden bed frames, wardrobes and nightstands as well as old Singer sewing machines, classical chests of drawers and good solid tables not found at Ikea.
|solid table going for 100 euro|
There are shelves full of tiny objects much sought after by travelers, old records, typewriters and fridges from the 50s.
Frank and Mike would love this place.
Coming on Tuesday: A Family Business: San Pietro Restauri, Viterbo.
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