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August 22, 2017


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History’s caretakers

Local antique shops keep the past alive


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Dan and Selim (Sal) Aysan are the father-son duo running Selim’s Antiques on Corydon Avenue. This shop specializes in fine and high-quality antiques and a bit of Winnipeg history. (Danielle Da Silva - Sou'wester)
History's caretakers
Photos by: Danielle Da Silva
What is one piece you would be sad to see go? There are many examples of Winnipeg’s rich history at Selim’s. This circa 1880s desk, inlaid with rosewood and Mother of Pearl, from England, was found in a Winnipeg home. “It’s the workmanship here. This is solid rosewood that’s been s-curved. Just those two doors are some of the most incredible bits of workmanship I’ve seen in a piece of furniture.
What is the most unusual/rare piece in your shop?
Many unusual items have come through the doors but this late 19th century salesman sample of a lap desk (left) and the full scale model rarely are seen together. 
“Salesman samples are collectible and they’re quite rare. When I acquired this, even my father had never seen one before. It’s oddly one of the rarer items.”  (Danielle Da Silva - Sou'wester)
The interior of the salesman's sample lap desk.  (Danielle Da Silva - Sou'wester)
Sitting in a vintage silver-plated Birks box, this flapper-era ring is one of the shop’s most remarkable pieces of jewelry. It is set in platinum. (Supplied photo)
John Cooper is the owner of Abbey Antiques on Corydon Avenue. After 25 years in business in the area, he’s developed quite the affinity for silver, glassware, and rare items. 
His notable pieces follow.  (Danielle Da Silva - Sou'wester)
What is your favourite piece?
Silverware is one of Cooper’s specialties. Identifying reactionary periods of silver work is one of his favourite pastimes. 
Pictured: a mid-Victorian (1880s) serving jug (left) and a candle holder (circa 1915), both English in origin. 
“I love seeing contrast like that, and I can point that out to people. That’s part of my teaching.”  (Danielle Da Silva - Sou'wester)
What is the most unusual/rare piece in your shop?
Sometimes there is an item too good to pass up and this Copeland claret jug is one such item. With a porcelain body and silver head and feet, this English decanter, cicrca 1913, is one of the most rare pieces Cooper has found. “This is wild and I think it’s a wonderful piece, and it happens to be extremely rare and very well made.”  (Danielle Da Silva - Sou'wester)
The claret jug in action.  (Danielle Da Silva - Sou'wester)
What is one piece you would be sad to see go?
This hand painted decorative table, about three times as large as a smart phone, is a masterpiece by Cooper’s standards. It was crafted by Meissen porcelain in Germany, circa 1850. 
“That’s the finest, best hand painting I’ve ever seen on anything. It is amazing.” (Danielle Da Silva - Sou'wester)
A close up of the hand painted Meissen porcelain, circa 1850.  (Danielle Da Silva - Sou'wester)
Things Antiques and Gifts on Corydon Avenue operates on a different model than many area antique shops. Things is run by volunteers and proceeds support the Winnipeg Royal Ballet. From left, volunteers Jane Fudge, Margaret Jocelyn, Sylvia Hannah, and Maureen Gardner. 
The following are some of their favourite items.  (Danielle Da Silva - Sou'wester)
What is the most interesting piece?
These opera glasses have the name D. R. Dingwall Ltd. Winnipeg printed on the back. The date and place of manufacture is not known. The local Dingwall firm amalgamated with Henry Birks and Sons of Montreal in 1933. (Danielle Da Silva - Sou'wester)
What is your favourite piece?
Delicate china, circa 1940, from Ireland’s Belleek region is volunteer Jane Fudge’s favourite piece in the shop. “It’s very elegant, and it’s beautifully made, and it’s all hand painted,” she said. (Danielle Da Silva - Sou'wester)
What is the most unusual piece in your shop?
This contemporary Dagmar Doll made by local artisan Marilyn Folson is handcrafted and one of the most unique items found at Things Antiques and Gifts. (Danielle Da Silva - Sou'wester)

Updated on Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 1:45 PM CDT: Replaces photo of ring from Selim's Antiques with correct 1920s period piece and correction to caption to reflect date and material.

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