Chestnut Hill man's passion for collecting led to nearly 40-year-old antique business

CHESTNUT HILL (WPVI) -- Gerald Schultz has a passion for collecting, which led to him opening The Antique Gallery in Chestnut Hill in 1982 to showcase his eclectic pieces. He carries everything from cameo glass to English and French copper.

"My store is extremely fascinating. I have a little variety of everything," said Schultz. "We carry contemporary, mid-century and vintage."

He has vases from Belgium, called Boch, as well as collections of teapots and inkwells. He also has a variety of match safes.

"You would take hard matches and put them in," he explained. "Every one has a striker."

Schultz made his career in the steel industry, but after retirement he decided to study antiques.

"I fell in love," said Schultz. "Loving antiques is all about knowledge."

Some of the oldest antiques in Schultz's store include a pair of matched plates, exported from China, that date to the 18th century.

"You don't buy in my store because of the color. You buy because of what it is," he said.

And Schultz says he will gladly share what he knows, especially about the rare items.

He has a collection of pot lids that went on top of fish paste jars. He says the pot lids date to around 1860 and poor people in England would frame them to hang on their walls as art.

Schultz says it's important to understand the history behind each piece.

"Most people don't know the real ones from the fakes, but I do because I studied it," he said. "What I know I'll tell you, what I don't know, I'll tell you that too. I like to be honest with people about my knowledge."

He has pottery, ceramics and jewelry from all over the world, which includes some unique items.

"I collected something called puzzle jugs," said Schultz.

Liquid can be put inside the jug, but the holes make it a challenge that needs to be figured out in order to drink from it. Schultz can help with that too.

"You put your finger over the hole and you suck it out," he explained. Adding, "You never know what you're going to see and that to me is so exciting."

Schultz says you shouldn't buy an item as an investment, because you'll lose the beauty of the piece.

"Don't buy for anybody but yourself," he says. "I love everything in this store."

Schultz says he has appreciated the people he's met through his business and having great pieces over the years. "It's been a wonderful road for me to travel," he says.

For more information, visit The Antique Gallery on Facebook.
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