Thursday, July 30, 2015

Vignettes Doing Double Duty - A Reflection of Beauty and Inspiring the Possibilities

One of the challenges with running an antique shop (or probably any shop for that matter) is that there are always more things to do than time in the day to actually do them. As a result, usually something has to give. One of those things is usually magazines… When you’ve got clients walking around in the shop, shippers trying to figure out where they’re delivering to and someone on 1stdibs offering you less than you paid for a pair of sconces… you don’t always have time to sit down and flip through the latest issue of Veranda or Atlanta magazine.

However, on those occasions I do find a moment and get an opportunity to flip through the pages of this magazine or that one, I always go right to the pictorials as I like to see what designers are doing in different settings, or, simply what’s out there. Magazines are one of the great resources for finding ideas on putting together vignettes. While I never try to replicate exactly what I’ve seen in a magazine, it’s seeing the execution of different pieces together that gets the mind working about what I have in the shop that might go with something else.

At the same time, I like to see when a designer or decorator has used something similar to an item we have in the shop – of course the ideal is that they would actually use the piece from the shop – and see what they did with it. I often find myself saying… “Interesting… I wouldn’t have thought of that table in that setting… but it looks great!”

This month’s Veranda magazine was full of beautiful vignettes and extraordinary views in a variety of settings.  From a hillside New England cottage to a Texas sized Houston manse to a waterfront Florida escape, it’s nice to know that great design and great pieces can add beauty and style anywhere someone’s willing to put their vision to work.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Living a Life of Passion: A Quarter Century and Counting

Confucius is frequently quoted as saying: “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” Whether or not the great Chinese philosopher actually ever said that is up for debate, but that that phrase has inspired many a person to take the entrepreneurial leap and try and live out its words is not. A small number of those taking that leap actually survive it… and an astoundingly small number thrive. Angie and Hugh Tyner thrive.

Angie and Hugh love to travel. Traveling is their passion. They haven’t been everywhere… but they’ve been pretty close. Angie has visited about 100 countries while Hugh has a bit of catching up to do, having “only” visited 80. (Antarctica is the only continent they’ve not visited.) Appropriately enough, the two actually met while traveling… while bird watching in Costa Rica in 1983.

At the time they weren’t in the antiques business at all. Hugh was in management with a chemical company down in Jacksonville while Angie was in wallpaper sales. As they began to travel together they started collecting utilitarian and decorative items from primitive cultures in places like Borneo, Indonesia and elsewhere.

Yua Wenga. Papua New Guinea

Head Dress, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea






Papua New Guinea


A few years later, when Angie’s company changed directions she decided to make a change of her own. By that time they had collected a wide variety of ethnic items and had wondered, over long walks on the beach, whether others might not enjoy them as well… so they decided to dip their toes in the entrepreneurial waters. They loaded up Angie’s car and traveled to the Lakewood Antiques Market in Atlanta. It turned out they had been right, others did indeed like their items and sales were strong. So they kept coming up to Atlanta.

As they sold more they expanded their buying footprint, purchasing Swedish books, Turkish olive jars, furniture and accessories as they traveled across Europe and the US. Eventually they grew from a car to a van to a trailer and finally to a box truck. It was time to make a change. In 1991 they decided to jump in with both feet and move to Atlanta and do antiques full time.

Once they were all in, they found success and decided to expand to other shows including Nashville, Round Top (Marburger) and High Point among others. They spent the next decade traveling around the world, buying pieces for both themselves and their shows. They rented a warehouse on Metropolitan Parkway and began to fill it. During this time they became well known for Swedish furniture, particularly Mora and Fryksdahl clocks.

Swedish 19th Century Clock

French 18th Century Mirror

Château d'Amboise, France

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

Matera, Italy

Swedish Period Rococo Chest of Drawers



Rome, Italy

Château de Chaumont, France

Rome, Italy

After a decade of living on the road, Hugh and Angie decided they needed to settle down and opened a booth both at the Stalls and the Interiors Market so they would spend less time on the interstate. Eventually they opened their own shop on Bennett Street, but still traveled to shows, only not quite extensively. At the same time they ramped up their traveling around the world expanding their offerings for the shop.

From Bennett Street they eventually moved to their present location at the Galleries of Peachtree Hills in 2010. With three floors, they finally had enough room to showcase their wares… although they still have the 35,000 sq/ft warehouse that is chock full of clocks, mirrors, iron chandeliers, chests, books and much more.

Amanda Lane Photography

19th Century Swedish Bench

French 18th Century Chest

French Gilded Wall Clock

Corinthian Capital Side Table

French Six Light Chandelier

Splash Boards from Papua New Guinea

Today they don’t travel to as many shows (you will still find them in Marburger, Tent C) but they still travel around the world as much for passion as business. In the last year alone they have been to Italy, India, France, Ghana, and the Baltics… not to mention Florida, Texas, and New Mexico!

And this is where I come in. I first met Angie and Hugh four years ago at a street tent sale. I remember, looking over and seeing them and thinking to myself “There is a great energy about them; how nice would it be to work for them?” And today I am, I manage their store here at the Galleries on Peachtree Hills, and I like to think that I help make the business run smoothly enough that they can enjoy their travel without having to concern themselves with what is going on here when they’re bird watching in the jungles of Peru or clinging to the armrests of a bus snaking up a half washed out road on the side of mountain somewhere in Nepal.

For a quarter of a century Hugh and Angie have been living the life that so many people only wish for. They have been able to live their lives doing exactly what they love and built a business that sustains them while doing it. Everything they know is self-taught, from furniture styles to international shipping logistics to showroom display. From buying furniture at Swedish auctions not knowing a word of Swedish, to sitting in a sinking boat in a river in Papua New Guinea to spending a day sitting on a broken down train in the middle of Burma, it’s been nothing but an adventure. At the same time, while seeing everything from the Sistine Chapel to the African Serengeti to the temples of Angkor Wat, it’s been nothing short of breathtaking. Angie and Hugh have lived Confucius’s dictum… they have made a vocation out of sharing their passion with the world for the last twenty five years. Today we are launching the A. Tyner Antiques blog, part travel blog, part snapshots from the shop, part interviews with designers and part random stuff we hope you’ll like. Many thanks for reading and we hope you will continue to do so.

Caroline Coyner
A. Tyner Antiques