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Meet Andrew Spindler of Andrew Spindler Antiques and Design in Essex

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrew Spindler.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Two things I always wanted in my professional life were independence and creativity, both of which I have found as an antiques dealer. After earning my Master’s degree in Spanish Literature at Yale, I decided I wanted to dwell more in the realm of art and objects rather than theory. I was fortunate to be accepted into a yearlong program at Sotheby’s in London, where I immersed myself in the study and connoisseurship of all the things one doesn’t learn in an art history course–furniture, porcelain, silver, tapestry, etc.–the decorative arts. I was a sponge and just reveled in all of the opportunities to look and learn while I was in England. Upon my return, I got a job with Devenish and Company, a very high end dealer in 18th century English furniture and decorations. This was my “Devils Wear Prada” phase, where I learned a ton; was surrounded by the best of the best in terms of quality, but was also abused by my very successful, but somewhat sadistic boss. After a few years in New York, I returned home to the Boston area and opened my shop in 1998 in Essex, a magnet town of sorts for antiques, a short drive from Boston on the scenic North Shore. Happily, it was a success from the time I opened and, despite the ups and downs of the market, I am still ticking and love what I do as much as ever.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s actually has been a fairly smooth road. Like every business, it has had its ups and downs. We’ve had winters which have crippled us for months and, more broadly, we have contended with changes in taste, the market and the rise of online shopping. While I am a Luddite, I have taken pains to adapt and move with the technological changes. Without a doubt, we wouldn’t be in business without our online marketplace–our own website and several other online platforms for better quality antiques and 20th century design–which has allowed us to reach people far and wide. In my business, there is always a certain risk factor. I buy and sell unique objects and there is no guarantee that people will want them as much or more than I do. Fortunately, I have developed a following and have made so many great friends along the way. If I were starting out today, I think having great mentors, as I was fortunate to have, make a huge difference.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
For the past 20 years, I have been a dealer in antiques and 20th century design. I have always believed that beauty comes in many forms. As a result, my shop is highly personal and eclectic; so, you will see English ceramics from the 18th century through the 1930s, Jacobean and Louis XVI furniture with Mid-Century Modern, interesting country and folk pieces mixed with Art Deco and Arts and Crafts period pieces. Despite the disparate periods and countries of origin, I have a particular eye for things that share certain affinities–whether it’s in their line, surface, material or form. I take pride in researching everything and have high standards. I am grateful and proud that people have come to embrace this approach which is so personal. I think it is the unique point of view of the shop, described above, that sets it apart.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I think Boston is a city brimming with creativity and open minded people who take pride in their homes and are interested in history, architecture and, yes, style! Happily, they take road trips! I am located on the North Shore, which is an ecosystem of its own. It’s a great destination for a day trip, offering great food, beautiful scenery, and a strong sense of place, without an endless drive.

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