I had the best Saturday ever!
I popped over to The Junque Shop at 269 Riverleigh Avenue in Riverhead. This traditional-looking storefront, full of my fave stuff-antiques, junktiques, junque and collectibles- now has a sister store next door! Blend is a designer clothing and accessories store. Such beautiful things and they take consignments, hmmm.
My shopping partner and I were strong, we only bought what we could carry and then we pushed on to Greenport.
Our first stop was at Trader Bill’s in the Sterlington Commons at 313 Third Street. This was my first time with Trader Bill, he opened the store in 2010. Located in an unprepossessing but sizeable plaza storefront, truly Trader Bill has something for everyone. No trip there would be complete without a cordial visit with Trader Bill himself and his Yellow-naped Amazon parrot, Crabby. (Make sure you see BOTH rooms downstairs – Bill keeps the door between them shut to contain Crabby.) Nina, Trader Bill’s human assistant, is very knowledgeable and helpful.
My first thoughts upon entering Trader Bill’s?
“Wow, this is a lot of stuff! And I get to dig!”
“Man, he sure has a lot of Oriental stuff.”
“Holy crap! This stuff is ancient!”
I was reminded of that story that was all over the press last year. A British couple, clearing out the home of a deceased relative, finds an Oriental vase in the attic. The local expert doesn’t know quite what to make of it so they put it in an auction. It sold for $69 million!
If there’s one place on the East End where you might stumble on a $69 million vase, it’s Trader Bill’s. And there are SO MANY potentially-$69-million-vases to choose from! Plus antique, inlaid room screens (200!), handmade, inlaid furniture, sculpture, ginger pots, plant pots and horse figures. Plus wall art and some good, old American stuff too – like 36 antique shaving mugs on a shelf, next to 45 German steins! And sports cards, memorabilia and loads of jade. You have to see this place! Plus Bill offers it all “wholesale to the public.” Bravo!
Trader Bill is Bill Kreisner. Kreisner’s business career took him to China 80 times. As he said, “When other guys were chasin’ women in the Orient, I was buying antiques.” Lucky for us.
Kreisner bought thousands of pieces from the central store in Peking. In other words, it’s the real deal. Nowadays the wealthy Chinese classes pay top dollar for Kreisner’s pieces on Ebay.
I went home with a gorgeous Qing Dynasty vase (Bill says it’s actually a skullcap rest). Mine has a beautiful black bird and deep pink flowers on it. Bill explained that, because these old pieces are hand painted, each is unique. He also assured me that he doesn’t take the time to research them. So I may have bought a $69 million piece for $50 and there could be more! ‘Love it.
Trader Bill’s was exhausting in a good way, after a quick pick-me-up at the Greenport Tea Company, we managed our usual stops at the two thrift stores in town and Lydia’s Antiques and Stained Glass on Main Street. My friend bought some very practical thimbles for her quilting and I picked up some jelly jars and a postcard. We are so strong!
We decided to take the ferry back to the South Fork. We stopped at my fave “pit stop,” Greeny’s, at 55 North Ferry Road (Route 114), on Shelter Island, for a quick massage and sandwich. I like to watch people getting massaged while I eat, is that weird? It’s relaxing. I always feel healthier after a trip to Greeny’s and now they’ve opened up their outdoor seating area. It’s a sweet little get-away.
I’ve added the Junque Shop to my list of monthly junque stops. I look forward to another visit…but that Trader Bill’s really haunts me. I cannot wait to get back there to do more “research.” Maybe this Saturday…
Trader Bill’s, Sterlington Commons, 313 Third Street, Greenport. Open Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. , 631-477-6690. Also on Ebay.
The Junque Shop, and Blend, 269 Riverleigh Avenue, Riverhead. 631-334-8444. Open 10 a.m. – 5p.m., closed Tuesday and Wednesday.