You might not think of Long Island City as a destination for fine antiques, but you should. Among the neighborhood’s specialty shops are an emporium of Art Deco delights and a purveyor of museum-quality frames. LIC home style is not limited to antiques, however. You can also purchase Le Creuset cookware, contemporary art, and goose-down comforters, among other essentials for the well-dressed home.
21-21 41st Avenue (between 21st and 22nd Streets)
French chaise longues trimmed in bouillon fringe, Murano glass table lamps, Maison Jansen bar carts, and a blinding array of gilt sunburst mirrors are among the Old World pieces you’re apt to find in this trove of a shop. The owners source much of their merchandise in Europe and specialize in 19th-century furnishings, though you might find an American Mid-Century Modern dresser or 1970s lamp among the mix. Favorite recent finds include a 1940s French brass umbrella stand cunningly shaped to look like a partially open umbrella replete with a dog-head handle and an ornately carved Napoleon III bookcase made of ebonized oak.
39-06 Crescent Street (between 39th and 40th Avenues)
If you’re looking for a 92-inch statue of the Roman goddess Diana by Jean-Antoine Houdon, a twin of which can be found in the Louvre, this is the place to go. The family-owned shop specializes in fine and decorative arts from the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. A visit to the store (by appointment only) is as awe-inspiring as a stroll among the European Sculpture and Decorative Arts wing of the Met.
21-25 44th Avenue (between 21st and 22nd Streets)
Speaking of the Met, Diego Salazar has sold antique picture frames to the museum, as well as to MoMA, the Chicago Institute of Art, and Madrid’s Prado museum. On any given day you might find a 15th-century Italian tabernacle, a 17th-century faux-tortoiseshell frame from the Netherlands, or a 19th-century grillwork frame designed by American architect Stanford White. Salazar will also help you determine which frame best suits the works in your collection, though most (if not all) of the pieces in his shop could take place of pride on a wall even without a companion painting.
47-17 Fifth Street (between 47th Avenue and 47th Road)
A bright, large, and well-organized hardware and homewares store, Kitchen Plus More stocks everything from colorful Le Creuset pots to a rainbow’s worth of Valspar paints, Cuisinart blenders to Downright comforters. Even if you come in simply to have a key cut or pick up a Phillips-head screwdriver, chancers are good you will leave with a retro-style kitchen canister, a Seda France scented candle, a gleaming shower caddy, or Caldrea Ginger Palmelo Countertop Spray as well.
46-36 Vernon Boulevard (between 46th Road and 47th Avenue)
Custom framing may be what Matted is best known for, but it is also a shop that sells a small, eclectic assortment of art, decor, and gifts. A painting of whimsical robots in a baroque frame might hang above a shelf of silvered-glass jewelry boxes; an array of colorful stirring spoons might sit below a blindfolded Snow White painted on pages of an old book.
38-15 30th Street (between 38th and 39th Avenues)
Family-owned Nesle has been selling antique chandeliers, sconces, and candelabras from Europe since 1936. More recently it added high-quality reproductions by European artisans to its mix along with American lighting and a smattering of decorative items; one recent offering was an early 20th-century cigarette box of gilt bronze and elaborate enamelwork by Edward F. Caldwell depicting a medieval noblewoman on a horse. Among the reproductions are a Louis XV-style five-light lantern, a gilt bronze ceiling fixture with a dazzling cut-crystal bowl, and a Georgian-style chandelier dripping with crystal chains and pendalogues. Original pieces run the gamut from early 20th-century painted tole sconces to a pendant fixture made of gilt-trimmed pink Minton porcelain.
51-2 21st Street, Fifth Floor (at 51st Avenue)
Paul Stamati Gallery claims to be the “world’s leading source for Art Deco lighting by Lalique.” While you will find an impressive assortment of chandeliers and sconces by the French master of glassworks, the shop has plenty more to offer as well. Recent treasures included a rare circa-1940 vanity made of sycamore, gilt bronze, and parchment by French architect and designer Maxime Old; a mahogany bar by André Arbus commissioned in 1936, embellished with leather, brass accents, and frosted glass; and midcentury horse-shape wrought-iron andirons.