Largest U.S. Antiques Store to Auction More than 2,000 Items

  • Rose Bloomfield

Since 1987, Architectural Artifacts, the largest antiques store in the United States, has served as a hub of lost treasures from around the globe. From May 2 through 4, Architectural Artifacts will hold the second annual auction at its 80,000-square-foot showroom in Chicago’s historic Ravenswood district. The building, which itself is historically significant, was constructed in the early 18th century and previously housed the Boye Needle Company—once the world’s largest manufacturer of knitting needles.

During the three-day auction, which will feature over 2,000 items selected by Architectural Artifacts’ founder, Stuart Grannen, buyers will have the chance to bid on offerings with presale estimates as high as $100,000. Standout items include leaded-glass windows by Frank Lloyd Wright and decorative ironwork and terra-cotta by Louis Sullivan. Other compelling articles in the store’s stock include original streetlights from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, fireplace mantels, gargoyles, American and European furniture, decorative tile, and antique saloon-style bars. Calling the auction will be two prominent names in the industry: Randy Donley of Donley Auction Services, with over 40 years of experience in appraising, collecting, and selling antiques; and Jonathan Kraft of Kraft Auction Services, a family-owned, full-service auction company that has been in business since 1976.

Guests at the auction may also visit the store’s atrium, which is available for private events, weddings, and fund-raisers, as well as its outdoor courtyard, filled with large-scale works of art. Architectural Artifacts will soon complete a 15,000-square-foot Museum of Historic Chicago Architecture at its showroom. (www.architecturalartifacts.com)

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