Located in a Front Street mall in the DUMBO neighborhood is Antique Boutique on Front, a small shop visibly brimming with history. The place is packed from top to bottom with intricate antiques and rich furniture, from detailed Baroque chairs to turn-of-the-century lamps dangling from the ceiling like detailed jewels.
Owner Daga Kanclerz has worked with and been surrounded by antiques her entire life. From a young age, she inherited beautiful silverware, precious furniture, and their corresponding stories, passed down by many generations past as per family tradition. Mrs. Kanclerz’ deep love of history coupled with a background in art has led to the shop’s beautiful, eclectic collection: Victorian paintings and prints; vintage Hermes and Louis Vuitton handbags from the 1940s. The majority of pieces hail from Europe, and are finely-made. However, while Antique Boutique on Front predominantly carries Baroque furniture, a great number of pieces are culled from estate sales, private auctions, and antique dealers in Europe.
The shop caters to everyone: to the young, who want to add a little kick to their decorating scheme with eclectic, focal pieces; and to the older and wealthy, who usually have certain period pieces in mind. If a customer can’t find the piece s/he’s looking for, Mrs. Kanclerz will use her extensive network to acquire said piece at a price that undercuts even the price of tax in the average Manhattan antique shop.
As for customers seeking custom-made furniture or modifications for existing pieces, Antique Boutique on Front caters to them too. That’s where Mrs. Kanclerz’ husband, Miro Kanclerz, comes in. This master craftsman, who arrived many years ago with his wife from Poland in order to pursue their passion for antiques, works hard to manifest their customers’ visions. He often works with homeowners to design custom cabinets and furniture pieces that effectively complement the interior of their houses. Typically, Mrs. Kanclerz provides her husband with antique furniture that are then either modified or placed alongside custom-made pieces in the client’s house.
In a testament to his skill, Mr. Kanclerz’ work has been showcased in the Hamptons Sample House, a house that yearly features and puts up a collection of designers’ unique furniture for sale.
For the couple, the craftsmanship and intricate detail of antiques and furniture signify history encased, narration suspended in time. By doing what they do, they continue a respected and loving tradition — according to the Kanclerz family, a customer who purchases a piece also, inevitably, inherits its story.