If you’re in the hunt for a timeworn treasure you simply must go antique shopping in the Berkshires. Antique lovers and collectors flock to the rolling hills of western Massachusetts, home to some of the country’s finest antique dealers. And, lucky for guests of the Staveleigh House Bed and Breakfast, Sheffield is located in the heart of the Berkshires antique mecca.
Designated as the “Antique Capital of the Commonwealth” in 2011, Berkshire County antique dealers are committed to maintaining a high standard of integrity and expertise in every discipline of antiquities. To that end, members of the Berkshire Antiques, Arts & Design Association (BAADA), originally established in 1973, continue to uphold a tradition of quality, craftsmanship, and reliability.
Mainly scattered around Route 7 in western Massachusetts, the proliferation of antique shops in the area can be easily traced back to the abundance of lavish estates that once dominated the landscape. Wealthy landowners filled their homes with priceless antiques and opulent furnishings. So, when the estates closed, those furnishings were often auctioned off and dealers scooped them up and opened shops. Local records indicate that Sheffield was rife with antique dealers in the early 20th century.
So, if you’re in the market for fine English library furniture, country furnishings, antique wicker, or tin lanterns and brass candlesticks, you’ll likely find it in the Berkshires. In the mood for a crystal chandelier, Delft, or architectural salvage? You’ll find that, too.
There are literally dozens of antique shops to explore, but a few close to us, stand out.
- Painted Porch Antiques, 102 South Main Street, Sheffield Specializing in fine country antiques and accessories, browsing the goods at the Painted Porch is a sublime experience. Showcased in an 1815 colonial building, items are arranged artfully so you can easily picture them in your own home. Or wander out back to the barn for that one-of-a-kind piece you’ve been searching for.
- Great Barrington Antiques Center, 964 South Main Street, Great Barrington
Imagine 5000 square feet of antique furniture, works of art, and collectibles grouped by dealer in this multi-stall venue. You never know what you’ll find here as the inventory changes frequently. Tucked in among the larger pieces you may find a pair of 19th century wagon wheels or a funky piece of contemporary art.
- Cupboards and Roses Swedish Antiques, 46 Castle Street, Great Barrington
Located in an historic train station, the extensive collection of Swedish and European antiques is extraordinary. Hand-selected by owner Edith Gibson, each item is chosen for its unique color and character. Her vast collection of painted furniture may seem more suited for a country setting, but her eye for detail attracts buyers from all over.
- Berkshire Great Finds, 1840 North Main Street, Sheffield Clearly a shop advertising “cool, old stuff” has an eye for the unusual. Some might call it kitschy, others eclectic. But a prowl through the 7000 square feet of showroom space is sure to turn up something you just cannot live without.
These are but a few of the amazing antique shops in the Berkshires. Start your expedition in Sheffield and stay with us at the Staveleigh House Bed and Breakfast. There’s nothing like waking up to the delicious aroma fresh-brewed coffee to start your day before heading out to find a treasure or two to take home.