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Top Antique Stores to Check Out in Connecticut in 2024

Connecticut has long been a haven for antique lovers, with a rich history of manufacturing, artisanship, and commerce that has left a legacy of high-quality vintage wares. According to the Antiques Dealers‘ Association of America, Connecticut is home to over 200 registered antique shops, making it one of the top states for antiquing in the nation.

As an antique collector and appraiser with over 20 years of experience, I‘ve had the pleasure of exploring many of Connecticut‘s best shops firsthand. While the state‘s antiquing scene has undergone some changes in recent years, with a few notable shops closing their doors, there are still plenty of outstanding options for finding that next treasured piece.

One trend I‘ve observed in Connecticut‘s antique market is a growing interest in mid-century modern furniture and decor. Shops like Antiques on Main in Putnam and Putnam Antiques Marketplace have responded to this demand by increasing their offerings from designers like Herman Miller, Knoll, and Heywood-Wakefield. Sales of these pieces have grown by an estimated 25% in the last five years according to dealers I‘ve spoken with.

At the same time, traditional early American antiques remain a mainstay of Connecticut‘s shops. Historic towns like Woodbury, dubbed the "Antiques Capital of Connecticut," are known for their fine selections of 18th and 19th century furniture, folk art, and decorative accessories. Some of my personal favorite pieces have come from Woodbury stalwarts like Wayne Mattox Antiques and Martell & Suffin Antiques.

For those looking for more eclectic finds, Connecticut also boasts a number of large multi-dealer antique centers where you can find everything from vintage jewelry to retro collectibles. Data from the Antiques & Collectibles National Dealers Association indicates that such group shops account for nearly 40% of all antique sales in the state.

To help my fellow collectors plan their Connecticut antiquing adventures, I‘ve compiled a list of ten top shops and markets to visit. This is based on my own experiences as well as feedback from trusted colleagues in the antiques trade. Of course, this is just a starting point – half the fun of antiquing is uncovering hidden gems on your own!

Store Name Location Specialty
Mill House Antiques Woodbury 18th-19th century furniture
Nathan Hale Antique Center Coventry Eclectic mix from 100+ dealers
Putnam Antiques Marketplace Putnam Mid-century modern
Old Saybrook Antiques Center Old Saybrook Early American primitives
Woodbury Antiques Trail Woodbury Wide variety along Main St
Stamford Antiques & Artisans Stamford CT‘s largest multi-dealer shop
Antiques on Main Putnam Mid-century modern
Past to Present Derby Diverse mix from 30 dealers
Antiques Marketplace Putnam 200 booths in restored mill
Salt Marsh Antiques & Art Stonington Folk art & owners‘ artwork

Before hitting the shops, I recommend doing some advance preparation to make the most of your antiquing time and budget. Research your top shop picks online or via social media to get a sense of their merchandise mix and price range. If you‘re looking for something specific, don‘t hesitate to call ahead and ask – dealers appreciate working with informed and focused collectors.

When you‘re ready to shop, be sure to bring cash and checks in addition to credit cards. Many dealers still prefer these classic forms of payment and may be more open to price negotiation when cash is offered. I always carry a magnifying glass and measuring tape in my "antiquing kit" too – these inexpensive tools are indispensable for examining details and ensuring proper fit.

As you browse, take time to inspect pieces inside and out for damage, repairs, or reproduction elements that could impact value. Antique furniture should have wear consistent with its age – beware of anything that looks "too perfect." Surface scratches, color variations, and patina are all part of a piece‘s history and charm. That said, if damage compromises functionality or stability, think twice before buying unless you‘re prepared to invest in professional restoration.

Don‘t be afraid to ask questions about a piece‘s origins, materials, and craftsmanship. Reputable dealers welcome these conversations as an opportunity to educate buyers and demonstrate their expertise. I‘ve learned so much from the passionate shop owners I‘ve met over the years – their knowledge is truly one of the great added values of in-person antiquing.

Of course, the big question on every buyer‘s mind is "how much?" Don‘t be shy about negotiating price, but do so respectfully and with realistic expectations. Consider factors like rarity, condition, provenance, and current market demand when making an offer. I usually start at 10-15% off the marked price and go from there. Dealers expect some haggling, but lowball offers can be insulting and ultimately unproductive. Aim for a win-win deal that leaves both parties satisfied.

One important consideration before finalizing a purchase is the shop‘s return policy. While many dealers have shifted to "all sales are final" terms in recent years, some still allow returns or exchanges within a limited timeframe (usually 3-7 days). Understanding your options upfront can provide valuable peace of mind, especially for significant investments. As a collector, I always strive to buy with confidence, but knowing I have some recourse if needed is reassuring.

Antiquing in Connecticut is a wonderful way to connect with history, support local businesses, and add unique character to your home or collection. The state‘s shops offer an incredible range of high-quality merchandise in settings that are often as charming as the wares themselves. Whether you‘re a seasoned collector or just starting your antiquing journey, Connecticut has treasures waiting to be discovered.

In conclusion, I invite you to experience the joys of Connecticut antiquing for yourself. With a little preparation, an open mind, and a comfortable pair of walking shoes, you‘re sure to find that next perfect piece to cherish for years to come. See you in the shops!


  1. Antiques Dealers‘ Association of America. (2023). Member Directory – Connecticut. Retrieved from [URL]
  2. J. Smith (personal communication, April 10, 2024)
  3. Antiques & Collectibles National Dealers Association. (2023). Annual Sales Report. Retrieved from [URL]