The Block Island Times

Ticking away the afternoon at Eylandt Antiques

By Judy Tierney | Jun 18, 2012
Photo by: Judy Tierney The Japanese bowl I fell in love with.

Judy's Picky Picks —  

Sunday afternoon I stopped in at Rick Foreman’s Eylandt Antiques to see what Rick has collected over the winter. While I’m browsing there, I seem to always think about the Island Exchange, the shop that used to supply all of us with everything from antiques to used glassware way back when. Like the Exchange’s owner, Dodie, Rick knows quality and the value of the special treasures he sells, and though his shop is smaller and there are fewer of the ordinary items, there are more of the unusual ones.

Eyelandt Antiques is but a tiny corner of Payne’s Harbor View Inn, but once I walk in, I’m there for a long spell. Time passes as I turn over each porcelain bowl and examine the contents of each case. There are dolls eyes with the mechanism that opens and closes them, a French lamp with a lighthouse base, an Uruguayan painting of sunbathers on a beach that looks as though it was set right here. There is even a "nest" filled with ostrich eggs.

This year, Rick has a collection of old clocks. They are all set to different times, perhaps to give Rick an excuse to be late for dinner, or perhaps to give browsers like me the feeling that I have all the time in the world to stay there.

The largest of the clock collection is a round, 30” diameter  school clock, the kind with Roman numerals and a wooden frame. It is the largest I have ever seen up close and not only is it 30” in diameter, it runs for 30 days before it needs to be wound. Another of his clocks is set into the top of a wooden airplane propeller. There are three more timepieces, but I like the 30” diameter school clock the best. No need for reading glasses to see that one.

Rick is always ready for a nice chat and sometimes, if Carol is working just outside the shop in her cubby of an office, she joins in on the conversation. While I examined an ivory walrus, I told Rick about the Greenland souvenir shop I’d visited in Copenhagen, run by native Greenlanders. Among their crafts are bears carved from walrus tusks. Carol heard us talking about Greenland, and came over then to tell us about her birthday trip to Iceland this winter with her daughter. She mentioned that Iceland is green and Greenland is ice, and yes, I recalled hearing that elsewhere, too.  She had a wonderful time on the trip, even had a hot spa from one of those geisers we read about there.

After an enjoyable afternoon with Rick and Carol, I left without bringing home a treasure. It was one of those days when I had to sift through what I saw before I could choose. I did fall in love with a Japanese bowl shaped like a white flower in bloom with a black netting pattern and two orange lines like lilies inside, most likely, the ends of the net. I thought it was a candy bowl, but Rick brought out two others with plain shapes and a similar netting pattern inside that he said were soup bowls. I thought it might be hard to eat soup from it, but I did think it was beautiful.

Beautiful as it was, as I write I keep seeing that little walrus, and I think he’d like a home in my pottery cabinet.

By the way, Rick wants people to know he still has a selection of furniture in his barn.  Call him if you need a table, a sofa, a bed….

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