The Many Faces of an Antique Mall

I’ve never been into antiquing in the traditional sense – classic side tables by old masters, tufted velvet couches, Victorian lighting fixtures, English bone china. But I love antique stores for the bric-à-brac and the curios, for the oddities of yesteryear cluttered into collapsing bookshelves, for the history of the objects’ creation and provenance, for the stories of the collections and the people who assembled them.

I’m lucky enough to have a friend who operates an antique mall in the rural Midwest. I’m able to wander the mall in the early morning and late at night when the mall is quiet, empty, and oddly contemplative. Something new always catches my eye. On a visit earlier this year, I was captivated by the faces of the mall peering at me – the porcelain figurines, the glazed cats, the album covers, the statuary, and the old family photographs – and had to document them.

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