Open for Business: Fine Antiques Reign at York

Economies come and go but family businesses come to stay.

antiques-opener
Published November 21, 2013 9:43 PM
2 min read

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antiques-openerEconomies come and go but family businesses come to stay.

By Robin Jovanovich

 

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Economies come and go but family businesses come to stay.

When Frank Rotondo learned that a retail space was available on Purchase Street, a few doors down from Angela’s, the eponymous women’s fashion store his sister opened two years ago, he moved on it quickly. Earlier this month, he opened York Antiques. It’s an offshoot of his shop of the same thing on the Boston Post Road in Mamaroneck.

Rotondo moves with the best of them. “My grandfather started out in the moving and storage business, which led to my father going into the used and estate furniture business and finally the antiques business.”  

Starting in high school Frank would go on calls for his father. After graduating from Iona Prep in 1981, he went to work for his father and “never looked back.”

Growing up near Westchester Country Club, Rotondo said he spent a great deal of time in downtown Rye — at The Smoke Shop, or one of the other family businesses that dotted downtown.
“I’ve always loved the town, the character, the people here, and I’d long thought about opening a small shop here,” he said. “And it’s nice to be close to one of my sisters.”

What he brings to the business, in addition to great taste, is knowledge about antiques and wholesale operations.

“There are very few new people learning about antiques,” he remarked. “Fine furniture is hard to find and only a very select group understands what’s worth buying and is savvy enough to make a dollar selling it.”

Rotondo buys what he likes — mostly Louis XV and XVI and beautiful English furniture — and has managed to run a thriving business mostly by word-of-mouth.

“Lawyers call me about estate sales. I’m a certified appraiser,” he noted. Well over half of his business comes from estates — good ones.

Every corner of York Antiques holds something beautiful and collectable, if not necessarily trendy. Rotondo does have one mid-century serving cart, but most of his items hail from earlier centuries.

His view is: “Everything runs in cycles. I buy what I like.”

And what the eye of the antique lover goes to is an Empire chandelier, a French commode, a pair of English corner cupboards, a rare English architect’s desk, a nine-piece set of German sterling silver musical band figures, and the pair of 19th century satinwood cane chairs.

To get a real education on antiques, stop by the shop at 12 Purchase Street and meet Frank Rotondo and his longtime assistant Zeljko Ljubibratich, who’s almost family. Call 481-5533 or email yorkantiquesny@gmail .com.

 

 

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