Erie Basin is a small antique store in Red Hook, Brooklyn (with an online shop, too), and I recently emailed proprietor Russell Whitmore to see if he’d be game to answer a few questions over email AND send me his entire stock for free, which he did, and did not. Edith Zimmerman: I love Erie Basin! Not just the jewelry but also the way you use Tumblr and Instagram and the general tone you maintain throughout. Plus the store itself, which is so cool and welcoming. Just: GREAT! It’s so great.
Russell Whitmore: Thanks, that’s nice to hear. When I opened back in 2006, I wanted to make antiques more approachable, and also more relevant. I think lots of people, especially in my generation, didn’t realize how cool, and surprisingly modern, old stuff could be. Even though a lot of contemporary designers were borrowing from vintage designs, back in 2006 words like Victorian and Deco suggested stuffiness. And venues for antique jewelry in New York were mostly very high end, so I wanted to do something more accessible.
Do you have a favorite piece that’s for sale right now?
I really like this Russian aquamarine necklace. It’s a favorite period of design, around the turn of the century, when things looked both ancient and futuristic at once.