Every chandelier, sofa and doorknob inside Architectural Artifacts has a story–and Stuart Grannen, the owner of this antique wonderland, is happy to tell you what it is.
He scours the globe looking for these one-of-a-kind relics to bring back to his 80,000 square foot showroom in Ravenswood. Light fixtures from Argentina, fireplace mantels from England, decorative items from Japan and rugs from Morocco. Not to mention his stateside finds, including artifacts rescued from historic Chicago buildings.
See the goods and hear their stories this weekend, when Architectural Artifacts holds a three-day auction, now an annual event in its second year. The auction isn't just for seasoned collectors–price tags range from $5 to $100,000, making it accessible for the newbie home decorator, too.
Here's what Grannen has to say about it.
Why did you decide to do an auction?
Quite simply because it was so successful last year. We had many customers approach us and ask us if we would do it again.
Any surprisingly high bids last year?
A set of three 11-foot-tall Italian statues from a North Shore estate that went for six figures.
How about really low?
Many French chandeliers and light fixtures.
What's going to start a bidding war this year?
Everything we salvaged from a 1913 jewelry store in Nashville, Tennessee, is getting lots of attention. We also have a cast-iron emblem from the Cadillac Motor Company.
Any items for bidders on budgets?
Hundreds. You can buy many things for the same price or less than what I paid for them, such as fireplace mantels and interesting doors.
Find the event at Architectural Artifacts (4325 N. Ravenswood Ave., 773-348-0622) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 2–4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.