AMERICA’S ANTIQUES MECCA
The BCAADA is proud to announce Berkshire County’s designation
as the Antiques Capital of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
37 DEALERS, EACH WITH A UNIQUE COLLECTION OF QUALITY PIECES
MANY NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED EXPERTS IN SPECIAL AREAS:
AMERICANA, ENGLISH, CONTINENTAL, SCANDINAVIAN & FRENCH COUNTRY ANTIQUES,
PORCELAIN AND FINE CHINA, JEWELRY AND COLLECTIBLES, SCULPTURE & PAINTINGS
LARGE COLLECTIONS WITH GREAT DEPTH IN MANY AREAS
ALL IN THE BEAUTIFUL, HISTORIC BERKSHIRES
The southern Berkshires were settled before the United States was born, and the towns of Berkshire, Litchfield, and Columbia counties have always been fertile ground for the lover of fine old things. The first antiques dealers here, naturally, offered American furniture, paintings, and folk art. With time, specialists in antiques from around the world have been attracted to the area, and now the shopper can find offerings from England, Canada, France, Italy, Scandinavia, and even China. The number of nationally recognized experts in specific periods and styles, with unusually large inventories and collected in close proximity, led Leslie and Leigh Keno, from television’s Antiques Roadshow, to describe this area as an “Antiques Mecca.”
In 1973, a handful of the dealers along Massachusetts Route 7 recognized a need to educate their customers, as well as themselves, about the nature and standards of the antiques trade. They formed the Berkshire County Antiques and Art Dealers Association, the first organization of its kind in the nation. The Association brought together those dealers with a commitment to accurate dating and full description of their offerings so that the antiques buyer could feel confident that their pieces were properly labeled with respect to condition and origin.
Now, thirty-nine years later, the Association numbers 37 members in three states and includes individual dealers offering everything from curios to museum-quality. In a single day, finds may include fine English library furniture, American paintings, country tables, antique wicker, painted furniture, country pieces, tin lanterns, brass candlesticks, Continental crystal chandeliers, porcelain dinnerware, Delft earthenware, American stoneware, architectural elements, and garden ornaments. As a bonus, our member galleries also showcase the work of local artists.
As in the past, the Associations mission today is to create and maintain better relations between customer and dealer. We do this by working to avoid errors in judgment in the dating and description of antiques and art. We believe the buying public benefits from these better business practices.
In 2011, the Massachusetts General Court designated Berkshire County as the Antiques Capital of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, recognizing the strong contribution our members make to the local economy and acknowledging their commitment to honest business practices. The southern Berkshires is truly the East Coast’s antiques mecca.