Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 43
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors

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Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast

It’s New to Us by Jean Stratton

BEST BEAR: “We have 20 dealers here, focusing on furniture, glassware, pottery, porcelain, jewelry, toys, textiles, coins — it’s a real variety and in all price ranges. Vesta Truempy, owner of Broad Street Antiques in Flemington, holds a very special Knickerbocker Toy Company (“Animals of Distinction”) teddy bear circa 1910-1930, featuring jointed limbs.

Super Array of Antiques and Collectibles Are Available at Broad Street Antiques

“Ever consider giving more meaningful, less expensive gifts that someone will keep for the rest of his or her life? Consider quality over quantity. Isn’t it wonderful that there is real wood — an alternative to chipboard and plastic? And usually for less than the new copy itself.

“Here at Broad Street Antiques, you can spend from $2 to $2000 on a gift. A $5 lace handkerchief can be as beautiful as a $300 tablecloth, although most of our hundreds of antique textiles are under $50. A $35 print can be as attractive as a landscape oil painting. We have those too,”

Vesta Truempy, owner of Broad Street Antiques at 110 Broad Street in Flemington, is enthusiastic about the great selection at her store. It includes a tremendous range of items, from Hersey, Fostaria, Fenton, and Cambridge Depression glass — and the much-collected crackle glass — to vintage toy cars and trucks and 1930-40 radios to Christening dresses and sterling silver jewelry.

Ms. Truempy, who has been an antiques and collectibles dealer for almost 20 years, is partial to “Victoriana”, items from the Victorian age, especially those from the 1870s and 1880s. “I have a Victorian house, and I have collected Victoriana for years. I think I was born ‘out of era!’”

Special Items

Growing up in New Jersey, she was aware that her father brought back special items from the famous Englishtown Flea Market. Later, she became an aficionada of garage sales, collecting a vast “array of everything.”

“I eventually started a store with items I’d collected from going to garage sales for over 25 years,” she reports. “I had an eye for it, and I liked it. Most of us in the antiques business are here because we love it.”

Prior to opening Broad Street Antiques in 2005, Ms. Truempy was part of another antiques center in Flemington, which included 85 dealers.

To be identified as a true antique, a piece must be at least 100 years old, she explains. “Antiques are so popular because they are better made. They stand the test of time. And they have a history, a story.”

Also, she adds, “In order to be sure of good quality and authenticity, people should go to a reliable dealer, someone with a good reputation and who has been in business for a substantial amount of time. You can also do research on the internet; that’s a good way to learn. And you can visit different dealers to begin to see what you like.”

In addition to antiques, the store offers a tremendous range of collectibles, including those from the 1920s (a very popular period), ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s.


“If you want a special gift for a lady, and jewelry is her thing, we have estate gold, diamonds, pearls, and lots of stunning costume and sterling jewelry, including Tiffany, Native American, and Mexican,” says Ms. Truempy. “It will send her heart soaring because you spent time selecting something she won’t see on all of her friends.”

Ms. Truempy recalls a bride-to-be, who stopped in and “bought eight of our biggest rhinestone pins for her bridesmaids. Another bride bought hundreds of chandelier crystals to attach to her reception favors.”

Ms. Truempy especially enjoys finding these items. “I most enjoy the ‘hunt’. We go to estate sales and flea markets, and also people bring in things. It’s so rewarding when someone comes up with something terrific. It’s also a real ego-rush when they like something I’ve chosen. They share my appreciation of the items.”

Porcelain cups and saucers, diminutive figurines, perfume atomizers, trays, pitchers, piggy banks, framed paintings (including one of the famous baby portraits by Bessie Pease Guttmann) — if you can think of it, it is no doubt there!

Christmas Ornaments

Did you say Christmas ornaments? “Our Christmas ornaments range from $1 glass to $250 antique Dresden,” reports Ms. Truempy. “There are brush trees, Japanese glitter houses, and full boxes of ornaments from the 1930s and ’40s. All of our Christmas stock is not here yet, but will be soon. This year, there will be a ‘forest’ of ornaments from which to pick.”

Many suitable holiday or other occasion gifts are in abundance, she adds. “Our pottery and porcelain include Fulper, Nippon, Roseville, Limoges, Lenox, Royal Doulton, and Stangl. For silver lovers, we have sterling and silver-plated tableware and oddments of Victorian items. Did you know that there was a silver tool called a marrow scoop that removed the marrow from large bones to be eaten at the table?

“There was also a tool to pick up one piece of asparagus at a time. We have sugar spoons, epergnes, lemon forks, and vases and kiddush cups. And if you broke one of your mother’s favorite wine stems or cordials last Thanksgiving, you may well replace it here in time for this Thanksgiving. We also have early American pressed compotes and bowls that are beautiful and surprisingly inexpensive for their 100 year-old-plus age.”

The variety of items that people collect is amazing,” says Ms. Truempy. “Our customers are a real mix: men, women, all ages. Some are younger people just starting out; others are older people who have been collecting a long time.

Favorite Item

“Some collectors will be looking for a favorite item. It can be a whole bunch of things — from bottles to a specific-sized piece of furniture or mirror. Men often collect toys, old metal cars and trucks, and metal items generally. They also like coins. We always have a special request list.

“Every collector is really knowledgeable about their specific area — even more than a general dealer is. We are learning all the time.”

Customers and collectors also surely appreciate the friendly and down-to-earth atmosphere at the store. Everyone feels at home, and shares ideas and information.

Ms. Truempy is happy to report that business is up 25 percent from last year at this time, and she looks forward to it getting better and better. “We offer a 30-day layaway plan, with 20 percent down, and we are always ready to take a look at your things. If we like it, we’ll buy it.”

Most of all, Ms. Truempy is happy to provide customers — and herself — with a chance to find a unique gift. “You’ll feel good about what you’re giving — a piece of history. Every year, I pick out my own gift, drop a hint at home, and find my favorite thing on Christmas morning. Life is good.”

Broad Street Antiques is open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s easy to get to — about a 35-40 minute drive from Princeton. (908) 788-2727.

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