Sharon Green has been collecting antiques for 24 years. She likes antique jewelry, dolls, furniture and glassware. Green likes mid-century modern collectible (1945-1975) the best.
Green was first attracted by a 1930s Art Deco dressing table with a small bench. From there she expanded her collection and began to collect 1920s vintage jewelry including celluloid jewelry and Bakelite. She likes the colors. They have a way of drawing your attention to them, she said. “I particularly like the orange.”
Green began to work at the Westminster Antique Mall eight years ago and then purchased the business in 2017. At that time, she knew about Bakelite, enamelware, depression glass, vintage jewelry and collectibles. “When I got really into it, I began to love everything. Some items are vintage and collectible. I often say, ‘Where did that come from?’” Green said.
There are 150 dealers at Westminster Antique Mall. There have been a lot of changes since Green purchased the business. There are new vendors with different items. Her motto is, if you can find something here you don’t need it. “There is something in here for everybody,” Green said.
For example, there is a wide variety of art for sale at the mall. A large image of “Daybreak” by Maxfield Parrish circa 1922, one of America’s most famous artists, is for sale in its original frame at only $350. Parrish is known for blue he used so often and one of the women in this image is his daughter.
Lisa Katz is an artist in her own right. She used to do oil painting and has started using acrylic. Lately, she has been moving into 3-D art. When pursuing her graduate degree at McDaniel College, she fell in love with jewelry making in Linda Van Hart’s class.
There is also a Maserati steering wheel for sale, vintage LP records and turntables and a vintage movie theater seat.
“What I like best about this job is meeting a wide variety of people and learning from their knowledge. You can’t be an expert at everything. Every day I always learn something new, sometimes it is the history,” Green explained.
Once a month they have a doll appraiser and restorer, chair caner, military expert and sports expert appraiser at the Mall.
There are many stories about unique finds at the mall. According to Green, a woman shopping at the Antique Mall saw a Winfield fire helmet, that she knew had been worn by a friend’s son when he was in the fire department. The woman’s friend came in the next day. Sure enough, it had been her son’s helmet because Big Bird was painted on the back. Although her son now lives in Florida, her grandson is now a Winfield Fire Department fireman. She was able to purchase the helmet so that her grandson could wear his father’s helmet.
Another favorite story, is that a lady all her life wanted a Chatty Cathy doll and her parents could not afford it. She found a mint condition one to purchase at the mall and sat with it in the car seat all the way home.
A woman had lost her diamond ring and was heartbroken. She looked in a case and started crying. There was a ring in the case that looked just like hers. Her husband had given it to her and he had passed away two years earlier.
“I love meeting new people and helping them. There are all kinds of people in this world I can fulfill the different tastes of a wide variety of people. I know their names when they come back. It is very personal.”
One of the most unusual items is medieval body armor. There is also a crossing guard sign advertising Coca-Cola.
She said there are at least a million items at the mall. The dealers are constantly adding new items and rearranging and changing.