Antique Tony – Buying South West Florida’s Treasures

When you gather with family for the holidays and talk about old times, you might also discuss grandma’s antiques, wondering what kind of value they hold besides sentimental.

That’s where Tony Costantino comes in, a well-respected antique collector/dealer in Southwest Florida. His antique career began in Vermont. In 1971 he and wife Bonnie moved there to start a ski business, however, it didn’t snow that year.

Forced to sell almost everything they owned, they put an ad in the paper for two wood stoves in the ski lodge. The oil embargo had kicked in and people were looking for cheap heating alternatives. Costantino says, “We sold over 3000 antique wood stoves.”

That began their foray into the antiques business. While they live part time in Naples, their expansive store is in the quaint town of Clarendon Springs, Vermont, in a former hotel that dates back to the 1830’s.

While in Southwest Florida, they buy things residents are ready to part with. Others call on the Costantino’s when they want to get a second opinion on a price already quoted to them. He says, “Everyone likes to get top dollar.”

However, today’s top dollar is significantly different than when he first got in the business. The reason, he says, “Older people had fun collecting things but younger people don’t seem to have the same interest.”

Items that are still holding their value, according to Costantino, include Civil War items, jewelry, paintings, and oriental rugs.

If you are looking for something in particular, the couple may be able to help you find it, however, Costantino advises, “You gotta buy today because you really love it, not for an investment.”

The Antiques business may not be as lucrative as it was when Costantino began, but he says he still likes hearing people’s stories and, “when I see someone get excited. I know they really love this thing and it makes me happy. I’ve meet so many people who are really a pleasure to do business with, especially in Naples.”

Are you moving, downsizing and feel like you may have a few gems including American, French & modern furniture, objects of art, or even an entire estate?

Contact Tony at 239-325-8980 or toll-free at (800) 290-5894.