On a quiet stretch of Christopher Street, in New York City's picturesque West Village, Dorian Ward Trading Company isn't your grandmother's antiques shop. Your first clue as you pass through the discrete black storefront: George, a life-size taxidermy giraffe that has become a mascot of sorts for the store. "I wanted it to feel like a neighborhood shop," says owner Vanessa Brennan, who designed the boutique around George (he's not for sale) back in 2014. "I wanted to create a jewel box–type space where people can go through and find treasures they wouldn't find anywhere else."
Indeed, a walk through the petite store feels like a trip back in time, to an age when men accessorized with silver flasks and women carried leather cigarette cases. Against a dark-hued backdrop that Brennan classifies as "a little bit masculine from a feminine point of view," Dorian Ward Trading Company specializes in the one-of-a-kind pieces that she has found at flea markets and antiques shops throughout her travels, from cut-crystal decanters with matching barware from the late 1890s to perfectly worn canvas trunks with brass detailing that date to the 1920s.
Also among the inventory: hand-embroidered linen cocktail napkins, solid-wood cutting boards, appealingly threadbare antique rugs, and tableware to satisfy every aesthetic—all at prices that range from $75 to $3,500. "These are all collector's items, throwbacks to a time when people weren't consumers," says Brennan. They're well-made and will likely outlive you." We dare you to visit and leave the store empty handed.