Photo by Ash Daniel
If there was a Hoarding: Buried Alive antiques segment on TLC, Lyn Chapman would be the star of the show. Chapman, born and raised in Lexington, was collecting antiques from her travels around the world and storing them in a giant barn on her property in Albemarle County. After her barn was full of 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century pieces, she built another structure on the property to house even more antiques she couldn't bear to part with. "It got silly," she says with a laugh. It occurred to her that she might as well open an antiques shop and share her collection with others.
Her shop, Lyn Chapman's Antiques & Fine Furnishings, opened in late March on North 20th Street, behind the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Shockoe Bottom.
The shop carries antiques ranging from $25 to almost $13,000. Chapman believes people of all economic backgrounds enjoy being surrounded by fine objects. "A house should exude someone's personality," she says. "There is no reason why anyone's home can't be beautiful."
After living in London, New York, Palm Beach, Fla., and Virginia, and traveling the world, Chapman developed an appreciation for culture and places, and refined her discerning eye. She loves English and French antiques and buys her American antiques everywhere from New York to the Berkshires. She has Windsor chairs from Connecticut, and a red flame cherry secretary she is selling for $12,950 came from lower Delaware Valley.
Other notable pieces in her shop include a giant stuffed elephant from a palace in India that greets you as you walk in the front door; a couture bolero from the 1970s; a muumuu piped in 18-carat gold for $2,950 (other muumuus are priced at $50); and a 38-inch-tall Steiff Teddy Roosevelt on a horse to commemorate the U.S. President's 100th birthday for $9,250.
Also, blending with her décor, you'll see Chapman's 210-pound English Mastiff Gus lounging on the sofa in the back. For accessories, she carries china, silver, tablecloths, sterling salt and pepper dishes, wooden tea caddies, oil paintings and gold-painted horseshoes. "We are losing a sense of civility and lifestyle," she says, emphasizing the need to still use silver, china and linen napkins.
"I also like for people to buy investment pieces," she says, referring to heirloom pieces to pass down from generation to generation that may increase in value over time.
The shop is located at 20 N. 20th St. in Shockoe Bottom. For more info, call 625-1402.