New England Antiques At The Peacham Carriage Company

Selling Antiques In The Northeast Kingdom

September 10, 2021

It helps to own an 1830 house when you’re selecting antiques for a Vermont shop. When John Engle of Peacham Carriage Company examines a new item for his stock, he begins with whether it would look good over his own mantelpiece. That test can’t apply to larger items, like the elegant carriage in the front of the shop, one of two that may have carried President Lincoln in Boston, but for hand-stitched samplers, “primitive” paintings, butter molds, even railroad items and cast-iron banks, the sense of “fitting in” for his period home often guides this owner.
The shop features more than 3,000 items. Re-opening after pandemic closures coupled with an accelerated housing boom in Vermont meant that in a single recent month, Engle and his nephew, Peter Anthony, manager, assisted buyers and collectors in taking home more duck decoys, bird carvings, kerosene lanterns, marbles, hat pins, buttons, clocks, signs, and, of course, cat and dog images than in an entire year pre-pandemic. Lamps also change hands often, especially in Tiffany and other Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. About 20 percent of shoppers seek a specific size of mirror or furnishing, but Engle also sees many who “don’t quite know what they’re looking for but realize they like it when they see it.”
Engle’s own increasing fascination with samplers focuses on what the stitcher, usually a girl age 8 to 15 years, was “trying to say.” He deciphers reversed letters and unusual spellings while admiring color and form and contemplating life in early New England. “Everybody’s got to have a passion,” he admits.
For more information on the South Peacham shop in Barnet, Vt., visit


More Articles