Antiquing in Arizona

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IMG_0559Just to clear any confusion up front, my use of the term “Antiquing” is not meant to insinuate throwing flour onto a person’s face while they innocently sleep to make them appear dusty and old as seen on such programs like Jackass.

The term is also not used in this context to describe a woodworking and very interesting art form that crops up in usually the most remote areas of the country where you least expect it, or your average flea market.

No, today’s terminology is referring to the art of shopping for and searching out those golden nuggets of yesteryear, whether it is an 80 year-old baby carriage you seek, music, art, artifacts, signage, tools, patrons of Antique shops in NY and even here in Arizona seem to be very passionate and persevering in their search for the perfect hand-me-down.

Well take notes people, because I have discovered bar-none, the largest and coolest antique shop in America, which sits about 80 miles north of Phoenix in the town of Cottonwood, Arizona, called Larry’s Antiques & Things.

Now if you read reviews online, you will see the usual grumblings about how over-priced the place is and I do concur, prepare to dig deep as you make your way through the maze-like labyrinth of very very and I mean very interesting “junk”.

Here are just a few items I saw but really, if you are ever in the area, I highly recommend!

First off, the place really is a maze, winding inside and out with just an almost inconceivable array of treasures so if you do visit, plan at least an hour, yes, you will need a solid 60 minutes to really explore the place, both outside and in.


Really cool signage can be found floating around the entire property and while I get the point of this message…I don’t think this Ad would fly in 2013.  I guess perhaps we have regressed in the sense and sensibility category in America.


What’s this for?  Some ancient device? Did the Egyptians or Greeks use this?


I’m not sure why this counts as an “antique” since right now you can still head down to your nearest golden arches and clog up your already clogged arteries but nonetheless, the hamburglar is kind of a thing of the past, kids these days don’t care if a masked man who obviously just escaped from some minimum security prison wants their cheeseburger.


Ahhh…the Mother Road!  When you live in Arizona like I do, you immediately become more connected with Route 66, which is certainly an antique considering some parts of the road don’t even exist anymore.


Now in NYC, there is always some little old lady who doesn’t have heat in the winter time, foolishly turning on the gas oven and filling up the house with toxic gas in the process, all in the name of warmth…perhaps this would be a nice Christmas gift for her…


These pants were at least 8 feet tall, despite being suspended on the wall.  Obviously Andre the Giant worked here at some point.


Ok so some of the Antiques were creepy, like this old V.F.W. Wheelchair, dating back probably to the grim veterans of WWI.  Who knows how many wounded veterans of war used this thing?


McDonald’s makes another appearance, this time as a headboard.  I like this one though because pretty much all of the evil minions ever created by the evil empire are depicted here.


I don’t know about you but the old-baby carriages were the creepiest thing I stumbled upon, in an attic-like space of the shop no less!  I mean I just feel that a carriage or “stroller” as the contemporaries call it is such a personal thing, someone’s bundle of joy was in this thing…maybe as long as a century ago!


Nothing beats an old-school beer sign/clock.


Here’s another for you Coors fans.


Here’s a bird’s-eye view from that attic-like area I was describing earlier.  The place is an endless sea of treasures.


This guy definitely takes the cake for being the most unusual and weird collection in the shop.  Perhaps a country western motif?


For all of you glass bottle lovers, yes, Larry’s has you covered!


God only knows what little corner of the country this guy came from.


Need a door?


An old card catalogue that has been converted to a storage type piece of furniture.  This is one of the nicer ones I have seen and it’s amazing that each drawer has it’s own key hole.


Umm….yea, not sure to be honest what this instrumentation is.  Perhaps a Cold-War device for spying on dirty Commies? Or an extraterrestrial communication device?


More dark corners of the Antique Shop.


Nothing like a rusted out gas can to add to the decor of a room.


Apparently when Macy’s get’s rid of their trash cans, they end up here…


Wow!  Anyone have a guess as to have far back this guy goes?  I mean this looks like it could have been early 1900’s even.


Wait, you mean to tell me you never immortalized your children in clay?


Filler’ up!  I love that the gas prices are still set on the pumps, 38 cents per gallon, I’ll take it.


Larry’s definitely has a lifetime and then some of goodies and whether it is here in Cottonwood or in your neck of the woods, I always love visiting Antique shops.  Well I should clarify, I don’t seek them out per say, but the occasional heavy dose of nostalgia is always good for the soul.




2 thoughts on “Antiquing in Arizona

  1. Your “card catalog” with locks on the doors is actually a panel of post office boxes. Before they started home delivery (about 35 years ago), every small town post office had hundreds of these boxes lining the walls. Many places still use them, although they’ve updated the boxes – hence the old ones in the antique store. The one you showed used keys, but when I was growing up we had a combination lock on ours. I can even still remember the combination for P.O. Box 418 all those years ago.

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