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    Find an amazing variety of antiques and collectibles
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Showcase Antiques Gallery

Gallery

We are pleased to welcome you to Showcase Antiques Gallery!

We are a multi-dealer shop dealing in antiques and collectibles, located in Wiscasset, known as "The Prettiest Village in Maine". It is a village of beautiful old sea captains' homes, restaurants and eateries (Red's Eats is world famous!), and great shops, with a strong emphasis on antiques.

The Gallery consists of seventy-five showcases of quality antiques and select collectibles representing active dealers from many states. It is in an ideal location, right on Route One, in the heart of the mid-coast antiques route, midway between Portland and Camden. Come in and check out the variety and quality of merchandise offered for sale, from fine period antiques to reminders of childhood.

Open from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm every day, between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Then open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. Closed on Tuesdays in January, February, and March.

Now featuring over 50 dealers with china, glass, silver, toys, jewelry, folk art, primitives, miniatures and much, much more.

 

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Wiscasset is hopping now!! The sun is shining, the air is fresh and clean, the temperature is perfect. The shops are open, the restaurants are humming. What more do you need to justify a visit? Of all the towns in Mid-Coast Maine, Wiscasset is perhaps the very best. And, now we have a historical walking tour provided by the Museum in the Streets. Very interesting. Today as I was about town I saw many, many people taking advantage of it – reading the information on the signs and checking out all of the historic sites. Beautiful houses! All within easy walking distance. Last Thursday evening was the first of the monthly Art Walks for which we, along with most shops and galleries in town, stayed open until 8:00 pm for your viewing pleasure. Come again on the last Thursday of each month through September. You really don’t want to miss this town with all it has to offer.

And now for the Showcase for this month:

 

Showcase on Militaria

Our discussion for this month is on the subject of militaria. That is a complex subject including various facets of the collection of artifacts of military life. Among the fields involved, of course, are firearms of all types. Among those displayed for sale in our shop are these:

 

Additionally the field includes knives, swords, daggers, or shields, and theoretically  it can go back to the beginning of warfare. Primarily these days the collectors are interested in items from the Civil War or from World War II, but World War I, the Revolutionary War, the Spanish-American War, and any others are also of significant interest.

It goes without saying that flags of all eras and all types are collectible. In addition to flags and weaponry, uniforms are sought after – not only the uniform itself but also helmets and other headgear, boots, gloves, flight jackets, and belts. Military decorations of all types are on the list of items people seek – medals, badges, jewelry, patches, buttons, etc. Sweetheart items for those left behind constitute yet another facet of the broader category of militaria. Letters from home (or to home), decorative pillows, sweetheart jewelry, and such all fit this category. One set of items that is not generally considered but has recently become highly collectible is language books with short phrases in various languages, maps of countries in which soldiers may find themselves, and currency used in those lands. During World War II it was not uncommon for soldiers to have some spendable cash, a phrase book or dictionary, and a map of the areas in which they may find themselves. Another part of the standard gear could be a watch, compass, stop watch. Occasionally, a compass from a ship may be available, as is the spectacular one pictured below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Various types of communication aids were also used, for instance a special mirror for flashing coded signals back and forth, or two-way radios, or combat telephones.  Warplanes and ships had identification charts for figuring out which of the enemies is attacking or are flying overhead. Of course there are also mess kits with all types of food gear and supplies, medical kits of many types, emergency supplies like canvas water buckets, life jackets, strap-on belts to secure your signaling waterproof flashlight to your leg while marching or swimming. Below is a photo of a French dagger, two powder horns, a Revolutionary War fork, a World War I kitchen set, a late 1800s toothbrush and a pair of Civil War era sharpshooters glasses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course the Civil War presented its own particular list of collectibles.  Determining the exact manufacturer of items, such as swords or guns,  can be very challenging but is crucial to seeing which side it was used by – the Union or the Confederacy. For at least the beginning of that war the same suppliers provided weaponry for both sides. If you are a dedicated Union collector you would not want a Confederate rifle in your arsenal.

Among the supplies needed in the Civil War one must include currency. We are all familiar with some type of Confederate currency, but there were many different types for the Confederacy as a whole and for separate states.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another thing not often thought of is stamps. The Confederacy did produce some stamps as well and they are very collectible, albeit hard to find.

During all wars there is always some down time in the trenches and thus springs forth trench art, where a soldier will whittle something from a spare piece of wood, for instance. Small pieces of furniture, like a little cabinet or chest of drawers, or a letter box, or a carved toy for a child left behind. Many of these treasured items are around  and highly sought after. Here is a photo of some trench art found in our shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are only the tip of the huge field of militaria. We must not forget the incidental pieces like photographs, ephemera, magazines, newspapers, posters, movies, recordings, and sheet music of the period. Toy soldiers and model ships and planes are also part of the broad field of militaria. Young collectors are fascinated by these toy soldiers and such. Not only do the toys capture their imagination, but recently we had a ten year old (!) collector whose knowledge and collection of real swords was most impressive.

 

 

 

 

All of the items photographed are available in Showcase Antiques Gallery and await your inspection. Stop by during our extended Summer hours of 9:30 to 5:30, seven days a week. Bring the young collectors as well as the more seasoned. We’ll look forward to your visit.