It’s the end of an era, and if you haven’t been to Antiques & Tools of Business and Kitchen, you’d better get there soon. At the crossroads of the Pound Ridge business district, also known as Scotts Corners, you can’t miss Joan Silbersher’s “junque” shop.
Opened in 1989, Silbersher displays her wares both indoors and out. She neatly stages and tags the furniture, small boats, and milk cans that pepper the property, while indoors she fastidiously displays everything from vintage strap hinges, baskets, and glassware to well-loved tools once used by farmers, doctors, and cabinetmakers. A former real estate broker, newspaper publisher, and a font of fascinating trivia about her inventory, the 89-year old proprietor acquired most of her goods at tag sales and auctions. “I’ve had a ball and learned a great deal,” says Silbersher who is retiring and closing her doors March 31. “But, at a time when people are focusing on buying things they need, I sell things that are great fun to look at but are unnecessary. Since my lease was ending, I realized it was time to make a change.”
Long a magnet for movie set decorators as well as interior designers in search of the perfect tchotchke, Antiques & Tools has also attracted the attention of many high-profile neighbors over the years. The buzz about the shop eventually made its way to the staff at HBO’s Girls who thought the quirky little shop would be the perfect setting for one story line. A fun-filled day of shooting ensued, and the episode is expected to air on HBO February 19, 2017.
"I got a call from someone who said he was a big shot at HBO, and they’d like to film at my shop," Silbersher told Bedford Magazine. "They came at eight in the morning and filmed all day. They say it will be shown when the new season starts. I’ve never watched the show. I’ve heard it’s racy."
“Joan and I go way back to the 1970s when she started selling land through her Northern Westchester Land Company which sat in the front yard of A.T. Houlihan, predecessor of Houlihan Lawrence,” recalls Ebie Wood, who managed Houlihan Lawrence’s Pound Ridge office for decades. “Joan’s Antiques & Tools is like the old curiosity shop. What could be better than spending a rainy afternoon browsing and finding a treasure to take home?”
If you’re in the market for an antique nautical tool or a copper teapot, or if you just want to take a trip down memory lane, stop by Antiques & Tools at 65 Westchester Avenue, Pound Ridge. Everything is on sale 50% off from now through closing at the end of March. You will likely find something that reminds you of your grandmother’s house, and you just might purchase something you never imagined you needed.
Photos by Sally Green and Kathleen Usherwood