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This past weekend, I wanted to explore as many out-of-town antiques shops as I could find, and with interior designer Matthew Patrick Smyth as my guide, I found many! Our first stop was Mark Thormahlen’s Yellow Church Antiques in Millbrook, New York. Mark bought this old church building in 1999 and turned it into a shop filled with fantastic furniture and objects a year later.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

This is a painting of the church as it looked in the fifties. This was before it lost its steeple in a storm in the sixties.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

I loved this beautiful wood ladder that Mark found on the floor of the church. Though it is not for sale, the Chinese triple-back settee with gilded red leather seats in the foreground certainly is ($25,000).

Photo: Wendy Goodman

I see this dramatic gilded-wood mirror frame ($800) and I envision it in a a huge, gleaming white loft with polished black floors. The wood chair frame (French, circa 1940s, $900) in front would fit nicely too.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

This wonderful set of woven ceramic creamware bowls is $200.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Matthew designed this little studio after a Colonial Williamsburg building. You’ll find it near the pool on the property that he shares with author Jean Vallier in Sharon, Connecticut.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Inside, the ceiling and wall beams are made of cedar wood (which smells delicious). The sofa and chairs are from L.L. Bean and the folding wood table and Bull’s Eye mirror were found at a charity thrift shop in Sharon called Prime Finds (primetimehouse.org). Thomas Jefferson and some wood birds keep watch over the place.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

I loved this wonderful carved gilded chair ($5,500) in Darren Winston’s books and prints shop (860-364-1890) in Sharon. It is by artist Carol Leskanic, who gilds bones and other objects she finds on the forest floor.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Darren sells a variety of one-of-a-kind handmade cards ($5 each) using illustrations from vintage books that are too damaged to sell. They sit on one of the shop’s Saarinen-style display tables.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

I could have spent the entire day in Kent Hunter and Jonathan Bee antiques store Hunter Bee (hunterbee.com) in Millerton, New York. They have such a rich assortment of unique objects, like this antique writing desk made from an old chair seat and angled on tiny turned legs ($250). This would make a great cookbook stand.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Hunter Bee also has a variety of beautiful birdcages. The prices range from $55 for the painted light-green cage to $98 for the brass Victorian ones.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

This large pagoda birdcage ($895) looks like it could have held Matisse’s doves. It has removable trays in the bottom and is a gorgeous thing to own, even if you have no desire for birds.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

This round transistor radio ($2,500) in its original case belonged to the Duke of Windsor before being auctioned off at Sotheby’s. It still works! The large 1920s cast-iron urn by Fiske ($2,600) came from an estate in Michigan.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

The horn sculptures ($175–$695) are created exclusively for Hunter Bee by a woodworker named Frank Grusauskas. “He carves them from fallen oak, curly maple, honey locust, and mountain laurel, and then oxidizes or whitewashes them,” Kent explains. “Each piece is unique of course.”

Photo: Wendy Goodman

At first glance I thought I spied a Line Vautrin candelabra! Well, no, but it’s much cheaper than one ($145), and still great.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

And how about this four-tier revolving hardware-store fixture ($2,500). “Maybe we should call it a Lazy Steven,” Kent suggests. Imagine filling it up with kitchen utensils or artist’s supplies.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Last but not least, these wonderful miniature hats with original hatboxes ($48–$98). “When you gave your favorite Mad Man a custom hat, you could wrap it up with a miniature one as a gift certificate,” Kent says. “They are highly collectible today.”

Photo: Wendy Goodman

For me, the high point of the show is this, which manages simultaneously to be a painting, a force field, and an electromagnetic visual discharge. This is an artist sloughing off old consciousness, making something he doesn’t even know is art, giving up nearly all known languages of painting, and maybe violating the laws of nature by making something that seemingly puts off more energy than went into making it.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

For me, the high point of the show is this, which manages simultaneously to be a painting, a force field, and an electromagnetic visual discharge. This is an artist sloughing off old consciousness, making something he doesn’t even know is art, giving up nearly all known languages of painting, and maybe violating the laws of nature by making something that seemingly puts off more energy than went into making it.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

For me, the high point of the show is this, which manages simultaneously to be a painting, a force field, and an electromagnetic visual discharge. This is an artist sloughing off old consciousness, making something he doesn’t even know is art, giving up nearly all known languages of painting, and maybe violating the laws of nature by making something that seemingly puts off more energy than went into making it.

Photo: Wendy Goodman
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