Booth # SC5

Frank Bellamy

Q: If money was no object, what antique or collectible would you buy right now?

A: Probably a restored 1950s cabin cruiser with lots of pretty wood.

Q: What is the most gorgeous antique you ever saw, in a private collection, or even a museum?

A: A few years ago, we attended a touring exhibition of many Lousi Comfort Tiffany lamps at a Chattanooga museum. I could not pick just one; they were all gorgeous.

Q: What sells the best in your booth?

A: I just have a small showcase here, but the answer is the same as in my booths in two other malls: a wide variety, from rusty tools to glittering rhinestones, from primitive graniteware to sterling flatware, from Victorian art glass to country stoneware, and everything between.

Q: What is the most interesting story you know about any of the antiques you have ever had, or even a compelling story you know about an antique you don’t own?

A: My most interesting story is about a relic, which is truly an antique, but not a purchased one. In the mid-1970s while visiting my grandmother in Gulfport, Mississippi, I found an Indian arrowhead on the beach. I had picked them up for years in Tennessee, but was shocked to find one there. On that same trip, I found an unusual, small, circular piece of driftwood, which I used to frame the arrowhead. It remains one of my most prized possessions, not because of value, but because of the fact that I found it myself, and in such an unexpected place.

Q: What antique trend do you love right now?

A: I cannot think of any, but do like it when people repurpose, recycle, and/or reuse items from the past.

Q: What genre of antiques do you have as a collection? Is there a genre of antiques or collectibles you would like to collect in the future?

A: Again, I collect many things from various genres: Farm and kitchen tools from 19th and early 20th centuries; Victorian glass; flow blue; mulberry; advertising character collectibles from the first half of the 20th century, like Chessie, Elsie, and Redi-Kilowatt; early 1900s firearms and coins. My wife had collections of enameled jewelry, Bakelite, cameos, cats, and snowmen. Perhaps the only thing we have collected from the "modern" era is Lotton art glass. I cannot speculate on starting any new collections in the future; I just don't know.

Q: What era or sort of antiques do you not like?

A: I don't know of any I do not like, but I don't care much for European furniture. They are NOT antiques, but I do NOT like shabby chic junk or really any painted wood. I just do not understand why anyone would want to ruin pretty wood by painting it. Guess I am straying from the question, but I hate fakes and reproductions, especially when sold as old. There should be more stringent laws to combat imports of cheap repro stuff, and those who knowingly deal in them should be arrested.

Q: Are antiques a good investment? Why or why not?

A: I believe antiques are a good investment if they give you joy, happiness, fullness to life, etc. If you are looking only for investment for monetary gain, they are likely not to be frequently.

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