News Column

Taylor has big hopes for small antique store

May 12, 2014

By Suzi Bartholomy, Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky.

May 12--David P. Taylor may have the smallest antique store in town. The shop, which is named after its owner, will officially open May 23 during the first Art Hop in conjunction with Friday After 5.

The shop mimics his personality, he said. "I'm a minimalist."

Taylor's shop, at 119 W. Third St., demonstrates quality over quantity in its 18-by-12 showroom. Furniture includes an antique sugar chest, an English hanging corner cupboard, a dresser, a desk, lamps and paintings. He also has glassware.

The store is small, but Taylor has items in storage ready to sell. "I'm not a collector," Taylor said. "I buy and sell."

"I rarely carry anything that isn't from Kentucky," Taylor said. "We specialize in original 19th and early 20th century oil paintings, watercolors and pastels."

He has a painting hanging in his shop by 20th century artist Harvey Joiner, who was born in Indiana but lived and painted in Louisville. He died in 1932.

In addition to the downtown shop, Taylor takes his antiques on the road, having been a vendor in more than 150 shows in Kentucky Tennessee, Indiana and Ohio.

He buys from other antique dealers, estates and individuals.

"I don't go to auctions," Taylor said. "Buying at auction is often an emotional buy," he said. When interested in a piece of antique furniture, Kentucky painting, or decorative art, he considers its age, quality and condition.

He said when he was a child surrounded by his family's "old furniture," he didn't realize that some pieces were actually antiques.

Taylor began his business in 1989. Starting in June, he will have more time to devote to his store and attending shows.

For 38 years, Taylor has been an educator. He's taught history and social studies at Owensboro Treatment Center, and for the past five years, has been its administrator. He will retire in a month.

Taylor, 60, said that before the downtown revitalization, he had little interest locating downtown. But now he's looking forward to coming to his shop and talking to customers.

He knows the history of his pieces and enjoys talking about them. For an example, on Wednesday afternoon he relayed the information he had about the sugar chest that was nestled against the wall of his shop.

The chest is a large wooden box on legs. He said the quality of the wood denoted that the original owner had a better-than-average income. The chest has a lock that is a common feature. The chests were popular in the southern United States in the 18th and 19th centuries. Sugar was considered a luxury used by the wealthy. Households of lesser income used honey, molasses or maple syrup.

During the Civil War, sugar was $18 a pound, which today would be $545. Sugar chests were locked to prevent theft, he said.

An interesting item hanging above two blanket chests is a framed Victorian chair back. The chair's legs were not fixable, but the back of it was undamaged.

"I took it to Jamie (Dewitt), and he said he knew exactly what to do with it, and he was right," Taylor said. Dewitt owns 105 Studio, an art gallery and frame shop, at 105 Third St.

"It probably won't sell, but it's a conversation piece," Taylor said.

Suzi Bartholomy, 691-7293,


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Source: Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, KY)

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