Anastacia's Antiques - A Victorian Collection of Oddities
I’ve spent a lot of time in antique stores – enough to distinguish that there are many different types, some of which are far more engaging than others. Some are primarily based around rustic décor, others are fully of kitschy tchotchkes, and many are just filled with random banal bric-a-brac that you’ll forget as soon as you leave the store.
Every now and again though, you’ll find one that feels different – one that is more curated, more genuine and soulful, darker. This antique store is one that you’d expect to find a haunted item or a tome of forbidden arcane lore in, one with things for sale that might give you nightmares. If you know me, you know that these are the ones I like the most. This is the sort of store that Anastacia’s Antiques at 617 Bainbridge Street in Philadelphia is.
It shouldn’t be surprising: founded by two former students of the Philadelphia College of Art, Anastacia Fahnestock and Scott Evans, Anastacia’s Antiques grew from a personal collection to a 2,400 foot showroom that focuses on “the darker side of Victorian era aesthetics”, and the store does have the aura of a late 19th century curiosity cabinet. You’ll find everything from antique store staples like unique furniture, political pins, and vintage clothing to the less common: circus memorabilia, antique bottles with mysterious substances, creepy dolls and puppets, religious iconography, and taxidermied animals. They also have a human skeleton on display and a wide collection of medical antiques, many of which are quite disturbing in their own right. I was particularly struck by a child’s leg braces, and another relatively inconspicuous item called a fleam. Having no idea what a fleam is, I looked up the term, and it turns out that they were used for medical bloodletting. I also found out what a taffrail log is – it’s something towed behind a ship to measure speed.
Even if you’re not looking to find absolutely incredible decorations for your next Halloween party, you’ll still find beautiful lamps, mirrors, terracotta tile, steamer trunks, and tons of other curios. Frankly, buying mass produced items out of catalogues is fine if that’s your thing, but it’s much more intriguing to spruce up your home with items that are one of a kind and have had a life of their own before they crossed your path – one that you’ll never know, and will always bring a dash of mystery to your surroundings. That is what you’ll find at Anastacia’s Antiques.
For more information on the store including hours and contact information, visit their website at anastaciasantiques.com/
Matthew Christopher PA Philadelphia Jan 10, 2022 Reviews
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Matthew Christopher Jan 10, 2022
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