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GREAT NEWS - NEW LOCATION APPROACHING ...

Posted on March 20, 2017 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (510)
     Hi there, this is Mark, apologizing for the lateness in posting this blog.

     There's been a lot of work going on behind the scenes.   My previous location lacked the space to display the quantity and quality of merchandise I desired.   A couple or so months was required to locate an area that fitted the parameters of the  location that I felt would work best.   

     A great location was primary.  An adequate size was necessary, as well as adequate parking.    4310 Westheimer surfaced as the perfect location.  The complete 11,000 sq ft floor above Tenenbaum Jewelers and Bosscat Kitchen-Libations.  A new building on a plot of land facing Westheimer between Mid Lane and West Lane, with  Highland Village on the east and River Oaks District on west.

     Antiques Houston, Inc., will be doing business (DBA) as "Harrison's Fine Antiques & Art"

     First step was negotiation of the lease.   Then employing an architect to prep the plans, and get the plans to the City of Houston for approval.   The City usually take a full 30 days for approval, with changes to be addressed, that requires another couple of weeks for approval.    This stage has been accomplished, and the contractor should begin the build-out this week or next.    

     There'll be a soft opening hopefully next month with a Grand Opening most probably in May.  The intent of Harrison's will be to present a varied inventory of very high quality furniture and smalls.   Items lacking perfect condition  are being restored to original condition.

     Since November, I and my store manager, Manny Fuentez, have been acquiring exceptional items to present for sale.   We've purchased from local estates.  We've haunted the auction houses in Houston, Austin, New Orleans, Atlanta, and even pulled from Florida.   Until store merchandising, the inventory is being stored in a permanent warehouse in the heights area. 

     To insure your invitation to the Grand Opening Reception, please email your email and/or address to me at [email protected] .  There'll be a reception that I guarantee you'll not want to miss!




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The Most Difficult Year of All

Posted on August 20, 2016 at 1:14 PM Comments comments (57)
A MOST DIFFICULT YEAR ... Time passes so quickly, and there is always so much to do.

The difficult first:    Early March, 2015, Annis suffered an aneurysm stroke and passed within seconds.   
                                    A few months later, Lochinvar passed due to congestive heart failure.

     A most difficult year.  Throughout all the stages and months of grieving,  the pet Conure parrot helped me well.  And, yes, I'm finally accepted the loss.   Takes a long time to change from we and us, to me and mine.  

     Life does continue, though.   We'd already made the decision to move from The Antique Center of Texas and locate entirely within the Antiques and Interiors at the Pavilion, located at 2311 Westheimer.  So, the move was up to me.  A couple of months of  reducing display space, and a whirl wind month of  moving sales.    The shop was  officially closed at the end of July, 2015, at the former location, and firmly established in the Antique Pavilion in a little over 1,500 sq ft.  

     Of course, that's not all of the story.   Way to much merchandise to move and display properly in just a few weeks, so I packed a large inventory and had it moved to two storage units.    In the ensuing period, I've managed to empty one unit, and the second unit is down to only about  a fourth full.

     There's ample space to display at the Antique Pavilion.   A large section for bronze, ivory, art glass, religious, military, medicinal, Asian, tools, content books and decorative books, furniture,  "guy stuff", etc.   

     An antique estate linen boutique housed in its own area, featuring hankies, guest towels, lace, fabric and metallic trims, napkins, table clothes, purses, christening dresses, quilts, clothing, sewing collectibles, and much, much more. 

     A separate area for fine jewelry and high end costume jewelry.  Fine porcelains, chandeliers, maps, furniture, unusual items like large antique knife sharpener wooden cases,  fine mahogany jelly viscosity tester, antique English book press, sterling and silver plate, and the list continues ...

     Also an area devoted entirely to fine art.    Selections include oil paintings, watercolors, lithographs, mixed media, and very high quality bronzes.  Including placements by local artists.

     Yes, it sounds like I'm "Superman" to whip all this together!    The rest of the story:    I've hired an assistant, MANUEL (Manny) FUENTEZ.   Experienced in antiques and display, with a solid background in fine art.   Without his assistance, I'd never live long enough to accomplish what is now a great looking shop, with great antiques, collectibles, and fine art.

     So, my friends and clients, now is the time that life has re-started, and I welcome you to visit the Antique Pavilion at your convenience to view the miraculous changes and displays that are now exhibited.




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Riding the "Merry-Go-Round"

Posted on October 8, 2014 at 8:57 AM Comments comments (38)
Greetings, all.

     Why do we ride the Merry-Go-Round?    To catch the "brass ring", of course.

     Well, we have a lot of "brass rings" at the "Antique Center"  that haven't been caught yet.  Why is that?,  you ask?     Think high quality with a corresponding price.   Large Meissen, Majolica, porcelain table centerpiece, signed bronzes, original Chanel jewelry, 17th/18th/19th century fabrics and laces,  antique cast iron toys, 18th/19th c orientalia including porcelains/cloisonnes/bronzes, exquisite 19th c boxes, reliquaries, ... well, I guess you get the idea.    Most of the clientele that visit the "Antique Center"  haven't the knowledge or appreciation of antiques of these quality - and certainly are appalled at the value.

     So, what to do?    Expose these types of antiques in a venue that clientele visit that know and appreciate the quality of these types of antiques.

      WE'VE DONE JUST THAT!

     We have leased floor space and display cases in the "Antiques & Interiors At The Pavillion", located at 2311 Westheimer at Kirby - right in the middle of the River Oaks area of Houston.  Our operational center will  remain for now at the "Antique Center", but we're placing our "brass rings" at "The Pavillion".

     "The Pavillion" is open seven days a week - come and view our "brass rings", as well as other dealer's "brass rings".
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The "Silver Lining" ...

Posted on August 27, 2014 at 10:51 AM Comments comments (48)

The “Silver Lining” 
     “Lemons into lemonade” - the old phrase still works.   Our shop, in the Thompson’s Antique Center of Texas located in Northwest Mall, is encircled by mountains of dirt and concrete.   Yes, you read it correctly.    The highway construction enlarging the highway and overpass system around our mall nearly isolates us.    Customers knowing where we’re located have difficulty getting to us, and highway traffic around us can’t see us. 

     Shouldn’t take too long to figure out what’s happening.   Lower foot traffic through the mall results in fewer sales.    The rent and expenses continue, though.   It’s a no-brainer to figure out what’s gonna happen - rent and expenses will quickly exceed profit from sales!   DING!  DING!   DING!   Along comes the eBay train and we jump on it. 

     Long ago in the dark ages of the late 1990’s we listed and sold on eBay.   The time required to list was more than the time we had, so we discontinued.   So when we decided to start selling again on eBay, the learning curve began.    So much to learn since the 1990’s.   More common items are listed all the time and competition results in selling prices that are ridiculous for the seller, but great for the buyer.  
  
     The learning curve has about flattened out for us - stumbles and mistakes for sure, but we’re going well now.  It’s taken a while for us to determine a more profitable niche.  The different, the esoteric and the truly scarce item will sell on it’s own.   But the acquisition of those items isn’t consistent, so I’ve searched for another niche.    List something under the money and it’ll always sell - think $100 bill - list it for $80 and it’ll always sell!    BUT, you have to have an acquisition cost of less than $80 in order to make a profit.   Fortunately we’ve enough experience in the antique world that we can do such - so the run is on! 

     It takes a lot of time to sell on eBay.  An account must be established and linked to a payment method - bank account and charge card.   A PayPal account must be established the same way, and the two must be linked.   An item must be determined.   It must be photographed in many angles, the photos must be downloaded to a computer.   A very descriptive title for the listing is necessary.    The item must be accurately and carefully described to its best.  An eBay category must be determined, a price must be determined (auction or But-It-Now?), the length of the auction, calculation of weight and shipping costs, how soon the item will be shipped, method of payment, domestic or international selling, return policy, and then uploading to the eBay site. 
If and when an item sells, payment must be received, shipping labels generated, and then packing begins.  Think heavy duty packing - the USPS can sometimes be like an elephant stomping on your package!  Then you haul the package(s) to the post office ...

     Yes, eBay must make a profit as well.  There’s a fee for listing an auction item, a final value fee if the item sells.   Using on-line shipping postage via eBay generates a fee, using PayPal for payment generates a fee.   Basically, when the dust settles, the fees run 10-20% of the selling price.  So items must be carefully chosen to generate the profit margin necessary to make a profit.    THEN, most times the item doesn’t sell (if it does sell) the first time it’s listed - so sometimes an item must be re-listed multiple times. 

     Yep, you’ve got it!   This is a blatant method of getting you to view our eBay listings. It’s really quite easy.   Sign onto eBay.  On the opening page where you can search for an item, the word “SEARCH” appears on the upper right.   Don’t click it, but the “advanced” word to the right of “Search”.   When the screen changes, on the left side, click onto “by seller”.   The screen will change and then you enter our eBay name “antiquejunker” .   Then, at the bottom, click “search”, and our listings will appear!  Yes, it is that easy!     View our listings and hopefully you’ll find something that you didn’t know you needed!
 
HAPPY HUNTING  - and ‘til the next time,   take care and enjoy life - it’s the only one we’ll get ... 
Mark

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BREAKING NEWS .....

Posted on July 26, 2014 at 5:04 PM Comments comments (37)
 
     Whoopee!    Good news!   The hanky / handkerchief sales have really been increasing. 
 
     Andrew and I acquire older and distressed handkerchiefs.   We check them for damages, then give them a bath in the "Vintage Soak" that well sell to brighten them and remove any staining.   Lightly press them.    Those that already have embroidered names or monograms, we starch, iron and seal package them.   Then we attach the sealed package to a card for display.
 
     Then handkerchiefs that have no embroidered initial or name, we place them on stretchers and use one of our three embroidery machines to add color-matching names and or initials to the handkerchiefs - then process them the same way to have them carded for display.
 
     Seemingly there have been customers repeating purchases of the monogrammed hankies / handkerchief such that we sell quite a few every week.
 
     Named or monogram hankies / handkerchiefs - you ask, "Why do people buy those?".   They work very well as personalized gifts, Mother's Day, Valentines, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, birthday, anniversary, sympathy - and even as a gift to treat yourself!
 
     AND,   thinking out of the box, we do the same procedure on hand towels, guest towels, napkins, pillow cases, sheets, cocktail napkins, etc.  
 
     AND, we are capable of offering commission services.    Bridesmaid handkerchiefs, Family of the Bride handkerchiefs, Flower Girl handkerchiefs, Mother-of-the Bride handkerchiefs.   Commissioned sets of napkins, cocktail napkins, pillow cases, etc.
 
     STOP BY any day of the week to view my linen / textile / antique lace boutique Antiques Houston's 'ANNIS' ANTICS", located in the Thompson Antique Center of Texas in Northwest Mall, HW 290 at HW 610, Houston.
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WHOA! Time is flying by ......

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (36)
    Time has really been flying by!     We had an aunt, who when confronted with letting life pass her by, commented "I just wave hello as it goes by ..".    Well, we've been reaching out ant grabbing all the life that we can.    Yeah, that's a lousy excuse for waiting so long to talk on the blog, but's it's fairly true.   

Annis and I try to experience all in life that our bodies will allow.    Our brains emphatically endorse, but our bodies sometime can slow us.   Anyway, here we go.

The Thompson's Antique Center at Northwest Mall is still going well.   The road construction ( improved connection between 610, I-10 and 290 highways ) has hampered our foot traffic, but we're still managing to pay our bills.    The afore-mentioned jewelry purchase required that we lease additional space for a 'Jewelry Boutique".    The costume jewelry sells fairly well - but then, again, reduced foot traffic through the Center has slowed the selling pace of just about everything.   

Additionally, we've (Antiques Houston) leased even more floor space to create a "Lighting Boutique".  We offer small and large table lamps, floor lamps, lighted wall sconces, and chandeliers.   Naturally I was 'forced' to complement the space with a few choicer pieces of furniture, and comparable decorative antiques.  Actually, looks pretty good!  Come on by and check it out!

That's all for right now - but I'll be posting a little more regularly in the future.

As is said, "Stay tuned for breaking news!"   
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It's TRUE - Unbelievable, but TRUE .....

Posted on September 16, 2013 at 6:12 PM Comments comments (38)
ANNOUNCING:
    An acquisition of NASA space memorabilie now offered for sale!     Photos of outer space.    Candid photos
of astronauts at home and at training.    Documented patches that have been in space.
Provonenced signed photos of astronauts!    Group photos of astronauts - signed by each
astronaut in the photo.   An actual 4"x6" US flag that has flown in space.  

Documents from NASA departments, actual proofs of published literature.
A collection that sounds like it's too good to be true, but it's provenance and TRUE.

Come on by choose an item of your choice for your own collection or to serve as that
special gift.    This opportunity doesn't often present it's self - so don't let it get away from you!
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WHOA, the holiday season is upon us ....

Posted on September 16, 2013 at 6:01 PM Comments comments (38)
The holiday season is getting closer every day.    Now's the time to start thinking about gifts for 
holiday season - and about how we;re going to look for the holiday season festivities.

ANNOUNCING:
     A huge acquisition of estate costume jewelry!   At least 20,000 pieces!    AND, the lady
coyly said that she had personally worn each piece at one time or another during her
life.    Necklaces, bracelets, rings, pins, brooches, watches - so many designs and colors
and sparkles that the collection has to be seen to be believed!

AND, since the acquisition price was so reasonable, we're passing the savings on to 
our clients, and offering discounts as well!

BONUS:    Present a copy of this blog to Mark or Andrew and receive a $20 credit
against a purchase of costume jewelry!   (Disclaimer:   one copy per client/family)
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Summer's over and Fall is beginning ...

Posted on September 16, 2013 at 5:52 PM Comments comments (162)
Summer is complete and the fall season has arrived!

Fortunately, our antiques have been selling well enough that we've been able
to replenish our inventory with a variety of fresh items.  An 1800's solid brass 
fireplace fender and andirons.   A great additional selection of ivories - including
figurals, netsukes and ink stamp seals.    Fabulous lace from the 1800's and 1900's 
that can be easily used with today's clothing and pillow/craft items.   Some great
art glass, including Waterford, Sabino, Galle, Quezal, Steuben, Baccarat, etc.
Many additional sets of antique leather bound books brought out of storage.
The glass booth has been enlargened - a much larger inventory of sets of fine
dishes, Fostoria, depression glass, fine crystal stemware, hard-to-find Hawaiian
pottery, ruby glass, opalescent glass, lustres, chandeliers - we attempt to have
a varied offering!

There is now a nice selection of antique inkwells - glass, bronze, porcelain ...
A great selection of Royal Doulton.   Many, many black americana collectibles.
Old and rare books, including a wide range of subject matter.  A very good
selection of vintage and antique smoking pipes.    A lot of collectible hand knives.
A wide range of vintage/antique shotguns and rifles.    Military antiques and collectibles.


And, always, a huge selection of monogrammed handkerchiefs that can serve you well,
or be used as that special gift to someone.  Monogramed pillowcases.   Monogramed
guest towels of all sizes.    Christening dresses, and vintage/antique children's clothing.

We're open seven days a week exhibiting inside the "Thompson's Antique Center of 
Texas", located at the Northwest Mall, 9950 Hempstead Hwy, at the corner of 610 and 290.

A SPECIAL OFFER:     Bring a copy of this blog to Mark and receive $20 off an 
item of your choice.    (Disclaimer:   one copy per client/family)

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Finally! Another addition to the Blog!

Posted on August 14, 2013 at 3:53 PM Comments comments (41)
Another turn or two on the carousel of life, and here I am again!
 
We're always getting in additional antiques into the shop, and I'm determined not to increase the floor space.  So, that means that I have to continually be more innovative in arranging and place displays in a finite space.   Height and layers (shelves) seem to work best.
 
BTW, I have a 'partner' now!   Think "antique pickers" here.   A friend I've know for some time, Jimmy Heffernan, has supported himself all of his adult life buying and re-selling antiques to dealers.   Now that the larger antique centers are becoming fewer and fewer, he's had to locate more and more individual antique dealers to purchase his finds.   That meant  a lot of traveling for him.   One day, over a few slices of pizza, we looked up at the light bulb in the air!    Jimmy, how about you buy antiques real well, we split the purchase cost, you bring time to me and I'll do the merchandising/selling and we split the profits! 
 
No Brainer!
 
A slight problem, though.   Jimmy can buy items quicker than I can process them.  However, the cost of what he buys is incredibly low, so I can't possibly refuse them.    What does he acquire, you ask?   A lot of ordinary items, such as furniture, dishes, and glassware.   Usual things like 19th c lawn chairs, Vietnamese storage vessels, Victorian bed covers, dowry chests, stack bookcases, luggage, older designer wear, sterling, paintings, chandeliers, fireplace mantles, Steuben, Baccarat, Waterford, Lalique, Sabino, Lladro.   Unusual items such as advertising collectibles, large and small - Gulf, Texaco, Lion, Shell, Amoco, Sun Oil - paper, glass, wood, metal and lighted!   
 
Costume jewelry - man, don't get me started on that!    "Mark", he says, "I've paid a $1,000 for some boxes of old costume jewelry - must be 10,000 pieces!"     The 'boxes" wouldn't fit in my Jeep - we had to use Annis' Jeep for the overflow.    Trust me, there must be 20,000 - 30,000 pieces!    And yes, priced to sell.
 
BLOG READER SPECIAL:    Mention "blog costume jewelry" when you visit me at the shop, and your choice of whatever costume jewelry you select will be HALF-PRICE to you!!
 
A mention to the blog readers:  Annis has recovered well and completely from the cancer surgery.   No radiation and no chemotherapy! 
 
We have an always increasing and varied inventory of ivory and linens for your browsing pleasure.   With the alliance with Jimmy, we now offer furniture - mainly single pieces rather than matched sets.   Think side tables, lamps, trunks, desks, wagon wheels, huge baskets, baby buggies, framed art work (paintings, engravings, prints, watercolors), etegeres, dental chairs - and even a motorized cart used in Houston Shriners Parades (advertising Coca-Cola) from the '50s-60's!    Mid-century furniture and collectibles.    Quilts, tablecloths, napkins, lace, sewing collectibles.    Dress forms, rifles, knives, cigarette lighters, straight razors, gun cabinets, sports programs, photographs, postcards, militaria, monogrammed handkerchiefs, jade carvings, oriental jewelry, pearl jewelry, turquoise jewelry, rosaries, bibles - yeah, this does sound like an ad - a deliberate effort to get the words spidered by Google!    Who can blame me - have to advertise go get business, and the website and rent isn't free!
 
One thing I've forgotten to mention - you don't have to come to Antiques Houston, and the Thompson Antique Center to buy (although that would be appreciated!) - come on by just to the see 'new' old stuff, re-acquaint yourself - and of course, meet Mark, Andrew and Annis ....
 
Take care, friends  ...   not intending to be maudlin, but life is to be enjoyed!
 
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