Tablescapers, green givers or vintage lovers will all know the appeal of finding an antiques store they haven’t been to before. The best places are always discovered accidentally or come with a personal recommendation, hence why I compiled an initial list of some of the best Irish antiques shops during the summer. The response was overwhelming and, having been sent further information, this is a follow-up guide and a good place to start browsing online for special gifts or curios. As Niall Mullen of Niall Mullen Antiques so rightly says, “Antiques represent a niche in the Christmas gift-giving market – thoughtful pieces that represent a slice of history, often beautiful, useful and unique. They are also the perfect gift for the eco-conscious among us, with pieces seeing a second life and taking the place of a new purchase under the Christmas tree.”
Cobwebs, 7 Quay Lane, Galway, Co Galway
Specialising in antique jewellery, Phyllis MacNamara, the owner of Cobwebs Galway, holds a degree in Fine Art from Trinity College and has studied with Sotheby’s London and Cartier London. Just as she finished university, her sister decided to open an antiques shop, and, after offering to help for a week, Phyllis stayed for 45 years. Their location has developed from a derelict building on the point of demolition to feature in Bord Failte’s advertising on 5th Avenue New York. www.cobwebs.ie
Country House Antiques, Ladyswell Street, Cashel, Co Tipperary
Country House Antiques comes highly recommended if you want to custom paint antique, vintage or contemporary furniture. A consultation with a free quote are extra incentives to visit.
Crystal Antiques, Dundalk Street, Liberties of Carlingford, Carlingford, Co Lough
Any visit to Carlingford is not complete without a rummage through the two antiques shops in the village, where interesting objects are plentiful. Crystal is the largest antiques store in the north east, while its neighbour Village Vintage has accessories and clothing items that will appeal to magpies in search of festive sparkle.
Danny’s Curiosity Shop, near Ashbourne, Co Meath
Situated in the most unexpected location, that being on site at the extremely popular Newbarn Farm and The Donkey Shed café and restaurant, a pet farm and vegetable market. Danny specialises in vintage and collectible memorabilia; a recent discovery was a restored Oliver typewriter which originated in 1908. Danny is on hand to guide you through
his finds. www.dannyscuriosityshop.wordpress.com
Gartland Antiques, Drumganus Lower, Broomfield, Co Monaghan
When Level 5 restrictions lift, this is an amazing place to head on a day trip outside Dublin. It is located beside the family home in the countryside, where the stock is of superior quality, and if trying to source good Georgian pieces it is definitely worth making a call and booking an appointment prior to any visit; www.gartlandantiques.ie.
Herbert Gould, 384 – 392 Lisburn Road, Belfast, Co Antrim
While not technically an antiques shop – it’s an interior design consultancy with haute accessories and enviable furniture, occasionally the shop stocks antique items such as Asian bowls, wardrobes and art. How to combine and style contemporary and antique pieces seamlessly is one of Gould’s fortes; www.herbertgould.com.
Johnston Antiques, 70 Francis Street, The Liberties, Dublin
This is a family business, founded in 1950, in the heart of Dublin’s Antiques Quarter, Francis Street. They specialise in Irish 18th-century furniture having built several important collections for clients; www.johnstonantiques.net.
Killarney Antiques, Lissyviggeen, Killarney, Co Kerry
A specialist of “Killarney ware” – the statement pieces are curated by Pat, the owner, who is refreshingly unpretentious, and has incredible encyclopaedic knowledge about antiques; www.killarneyantiques.com.
LNV Home, 679 Lisburn Road, Belfast, Co Antrim
A relatively new shop has popped up on Lisburn Road, Belfast and is definitely worth a visit. Owned by Helene Vaillant, it stocks a small edit of mid-century antiques with a French slant – together with a selection of art, rugs and Durance candles (with gorgeous Durance advent calendars too). www.lnvhome.com
May’s Antiques, Killorglin, Co Kerry
This is a small house clearance/antiques shop in Killorglin. Owner of the boutique hotel, Barrow House, Daragh McDonogh says she has never knowingly passed May’s without picking up a curiosity or artefact.
Monte Cristo, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, Dublin
Its tagline “We choose what to sell as carefully as you choose what to buy,” sums up Monte Cristo’s appeal to loyal customers.;
Mulligans of Foxford, Chapel Road, Foxford, Co Mayo
Designer Lou Brennan says, “From household to farm machinery and everything in between, John Mulligan has a mixed selection of fire grates and surrounds, picture frames, china plates, school desks and plenty for the keen restorer. If the weather is dry, John will bring more out onto the street to look at. Take the time to stop by when you’re next in Foxford and find yourself a gem if you’re lucky.”
Needful Things, 3 Aungier Street, St Peter’s, Dublin 2
For the nostalgia-hearted, there’s something for everyone in this treasure trove of a store owned by John Healy, especially books. This is the place to pick up a classic novel or invest in antique volumes of your favourite book – a thoughtful present idea for Christmas; www.spottedbylocals.com.
O’Sullivan Antiques, 44 Francis Street, The Liberties, Dublin 8
Commanding a prime location in Francis Street, Dublin, they are also located in the centre of the New York antique district (51 East 10th Street). Dealing in fine Georgian and Regency period furniture, O’Sullivan Antiques specialise in mahogany, rosewood, satinwood and walnut pieces. Many who have stepped through the doors of O’Sullivan Antiques have described their experience as “stepping back in time and not wanting to leave”. www.osullivanantiques.com
Peter Linden, Dalkey, Co Dublin
Ireland’s leading specialist in antique carpets, rugs, kilims and tapestries, Linden’s pursuit of all that is rare and beautiful is undiminished. Having traded in high end Oriental rugs for over 40 years, he has learned to set the bar very high in order to obtain stock that is worth owning; www.peterlinden.com.
Shabby Shik Emporium, Ballymacquin Lower, Co Kerry
Daragh McDonogh, who renovated and furnished Barrow House with the help of several antiques dealers recommends this small “cabin” in Ballyheigue. The owner has a great eye, says Daragh, sourcing pieces in France and the Netherlands and then shipping them to Ireland, and sometimes upcycling them. “She sells these at bargain prices. It’s the kind of place that if you like it you have to buy it as it will be gone days later.” www.shabbyshikemporium.com
Sheppard’s Irish Auction House, The Square, Course, Durrow, Co Laois
Currently handling the auction of Castlehyde House – the home of Michael Flatley and other estates (until November 27), one local says this auction room is “simply amazing”. www.sheppards.ie
The Antique Shop , Canopy Street, Cashel, Co Tipperary
Stocking a wide range of well priced furniture, lighting and accessories, the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed and encourages browsing (not always the case in antiques shops!). You never know who might pop in – with neighbouring stud farms and their owners, as well as part time resident Andrew Lloyd Webber; www.theantiqueshop.ie.
The Natural Room Emporium, 68 – 70 Castle Street, Comber, Co Down
French enamel signs, cast iron religious crosses, barristers’ desks, taxidermy fruit bats – this new find in Northern Ireland is definitely worth a visit for francophiles. Set in the village of Comber, do have a (takeaway) coffee at either Winnie Magee Design or The Goose – both on High Street. www.thenaturalroom.co.uk
The Silver Shop, Powerscourt Centre, 59 William Street South, Dublin
This well-established, family run shop in the centre of Dublin primarily specialises in Irish and English silverware dating from the 17th to 20th century. Carrying fine period silver and gold jewellery, they cater to the tastes of both the connoisseur and the casual purchaser; www.silvershopdublin.com.
Timepiece Antique Clocks, 57 and 58 Patrick Street, Dublin
Nestled between the two ancient cathedrals of Christchurch and St Patrick’s. Timepiece specialises in the rarefied field of antiquarian horology – their main interest being in Irish horology, and they cultivate a collection of handcrafted timekeepers from the 18th and 19th centuries. Expect to find clocks of all shapes and sizes gracing the floor and walls of the shop; www.timepieceantiqueclocks.com.
Townhouse, Shop Street, Westport, Co Mayo
In the heart of Westport, Townhouse is a design-led shop offering an eclectic mix of antiques, contemporary design, homewares, Irish wool and linen accessories. Alongside throws and blankets from McNutts of Donegal they even have their own brand of knitwear designed in Dublin on sale in the shop. Ally Murphy is the owner alongside her husband, Paul McCarthy, and Townhouse leans very much towards sustainable and heritage brands and much of what they sell is handmade. @townhouse_westport
Treasure Trove, Bridge Street, Westport, Co Mayo
A classically-detailed shopfront of artistic interest, even the building is part of the heritage of Westport, from the early 1800s. Run by Lily Rutledge, this antique shop is full of curios and memorabilia. There’s a great selection of china cups and dishes, beautiful examples of glassware and decorative jewellery. What always catches Lou Brennan’s eye are the pieces of linen and needlework, all washed, pressed and in many cases expertly mounted onto tissue paper.
Weldon’s, 55 Clarendon Street, Dublin 2
This fourth-generation business was founded c1890 and is one of Ireland’s leading experts in antique diamond engagement rings, vintage diamond jewellery and antique Irish silver; www.weldons.ie.
Yeats Country Antiques, The Benbulben Centre, Branleys Yard, Rathcormack, Co Sligo
Established by Mervyn Blanc more than 25 years ago in Sligo, there are two locations now – in Francis Street, Dublin 8, and at the foot of Benbulben, only a stone’s throw from the burial site of WB Yeats in Drumcliffe, Sligo. Blanc is a second-generation antique dealer, and Yeats specialise in period furniture, particularly walnut, rosewood and mahogany items. www.yeatscountryantiques.ie
Action Cancer Something Different Shop, 168 Lisburn Road, Belfast, Co Antrim
While this is a charity shop, it’s worth a mention as it has the room to stock larger items of vintage furniture and accessories. Vanity tables, chaise longues, wardrobes and mirrors don’t hang around in this shop while the window dressers do a sterling job of styling the vintage fashion items too.
Special thanks to Daragh McDonogh, Roisin Ni Mhorda, David O’Brien, Lou Brennan and Barbara Stack. For more information on the best Irish antiques specialists, visit www.IADA.ie.
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