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Take Up a Collection

One man's junk is another's treasure— and a great dealer helps with hunting and gathering better than anyone. Whether you're looking for a gift or cultivating your own passion, start here.

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A Fair Shake: A cobalt glass cocktail shaker is $475 at Mood Indigo.  

BARWARE

WHAT'S HOT? Sixties glassware; items from nightspots like the Stork Club; Czech crystal.

AUTHENTIQUES PAST & PRESENT
255 West 18th Street;
212-675-2179;
fab-stuff.com
Great for mid-century kitsch: cocktail shakers with printed recipes, goofy swizzles, shot glasses with quirky logos ($10 to $150).

MOOD INDIGO
181 Prince Street;
212-254-1176;
moodindigonewyork.com
Specializing in cocktail shakers and barware, but also Fiestaware, Russel Wright, and kitschy salt-and-pepper shakers. Lots of pieces from $50 to $300.

NELSON ANTIQUES
184 Ninth Avenue, near 21st Street;
212-989-6910
Marion Nelson sells British and American barware from the thirties, like ashtrays, whiskey jugs, and figural Beefeater pitchers (typically $20 to $300).

BOOKS

WHAT'S HOT? Contemporary signed first editions; Tolkien; U.S. history; presidential autographs.

ARGOSY BOOK STORE
116 East 59th Street;
212-753-4455;
argosybooks.com
Argosy has a little of everything— incunabula, posters, autographs, prints, and modern first editions— and the price range is nearly as diverse (from $10 into multiple thousands).

BAUMAN RARE BOOKS
535 Madison Avenue, near 54th Street,
212-751-0011,
and in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel;
baumanrarebooks.com
One-of-a-kind tomes that "changed the world and changed thought," Natalie Bauman says. A first edition of Darwin's Origin of Species is $88,000; Atlas Shrugged is $1,800; signed modern firsts are $200 and up.

MARTAYAN LAN
70 East 55th Street, 6th floor;
212-308-0018
Rare books in nearly every subject and antique maps predating 1800 here. A 1796 edition of Lavoisier's chemistry textbook is $550.

URSUS BOOKS & PRINTS
981 Madison Avenue, near 76th Street;
212-772-8787;
and 132 West 21st Street;
212-627-5370;
ursusbooks.com
Peter Kraus has five centuries' worth of rare books (fifteenth-century Bibles can run $25,000; recent art books start in the low hundreds).

CAMERAS

WHAT'S HOT? Prewar cameras with uncoated lenses.

LENS AND REPRO
33 West 17th Street;
212-675-1900;
lensrepro.com
A dealer attracting collectors "who want to touch it, kiss it, and have it on their mantelpiece," says co-owner Jeff Kay. A 1920 200-mm. Goerz Hypergon sold for around $10,000; a screw-mount Leica or a Rolleiflex is $600.

OLDEN CAMERA
1265 Broadway, at 32nd Street;
212-725-1234
Eighty-year-old Olden specializes in high-end collectible cameras like Leica, Alpa, and Zeiss. A circa-1970 Leica M4M mint-condition camera, still in the box, runs $4,000.

CARS

WHAT'S HOT? Sixties Mercedes five-passenger convertibles; late-sixties muscle cars.

COOPER CLASSICS
137 Perry Street;
212-929-3909;
cooperclassiccars.com
Owner Elliot Cuker calls his cars "rolling sculptures." The priciest on the floor is an immaculate 1957 gull-wing Mercedes 300SL ($275,000). Twenty grand will get you a '64 Mustang convertible.

BIMMERS & BENZ OF NORTH AMERICA
201–04 Northern Boulevard;
718-225-8400;
bimmers-benz.com
Bimmers-Benz deals exclusively in European classics at all levels. A 1988 Lamborghini Countach is at $75,000; a 1989 Porsche 959 sold two years ago for $180,000.

CLOCKS

WHAT'S HOT? Late-1800s carriage clocks; French clocks from the Industrial Revolution era.

FANELLI ANTIQUE TIMEPIECES, LTD.
790 Madison Avenue, near 66th Street;
212-517-2300
Known for investment-quality clocks; Sotheby's and Tiffany send folks here for repairs and advice. An American Chelsea ship's clock from the forties is $750; a 1760 grandfather clock is $25,000.

THE TIME GALLERY
1050 Second Avenue,
at 55th Street;
212-593-2323;
timegallerynyc.com
Eighteenth-century clocks— French lyre clocks, cartel clocks, English musical bracket clocks— are this shop's specialty ($5,000 and up).

COINS

WHAT'S HOT? U.S. $20 gold pieces; pre–Civil War American coinage.

STACK'S COIN CO.
123 West 57th Street;
212-582-2580
The largest dealer in the U.S. The rarest coin to cross this threshold— a 1933 American $20 gold piece, never released by the Mint— just sold for $7.5 million through Sotheby's.

DONALD BRIGANDI
60 West 44th Street;
212-869-5350
American coins at all price points: A $20 gold piece from the 1850s recently went for $75,000, but there's plenty here for under $100.


Hero Worship: Superman swoops in for the first time ($50,000 at Metropolis Collectibles).  

COMIC BOOKS

WHAT'S HOT? The Incredible Hulk; Spider-Man.

COSMIC COMICS
10 East 23rd Street;
212-460-5322
cosmiccomics.com
Cosmic Comics specializes in vintage and modern books, from a couple of bucks on up. Avon Westerns and Phantom Lady books sell for $5,000 to $10,000 each.

METROPOLIS COLLECTIBLES
873 Broadway, near 19th Street;
212-260-4147;
metropoliscomics.com
Owner Vincent Zurzolo specializes in golden age (1938–1955) and silver age (1956–1969) comic books and has more than 100,000 in stock. Movie posters and other memorabilia, too.

COSTUME JEWELRY

WHAT'S HOT? French paiste pieces; Eisenberg.

KENTSHIRE GALLERIES
37 East 12th Street;
212-673-6644
kentshire.com
Faux-bauble lovers know Kentshire for items by the grande dame of designers, Miriam Haskell, the rarest being a suite owned by Joan Crawford ($5,850); typical pieces run $300 to $3,000.

LORRAINE WOHL COLLECTION
860 Lexington Avenue, near 64th Street;
212-472-0191
Wohl also specializes in Haskell pieces. In stock now: a thirties necklace ($4,500) that's a duplicate of the one Coco Chanel received from the Grand Duke Dmitri (her lover). Plenty here for under $1,000.


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