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New shop sells vintage goods

LAKEVILLE — David Lanthier’s small antiques shop — Nu -2-U, at 340 Main St. — might not have registered with area shoppers as they drive past. There’s a hedge in the way, and the crosswalk leading to the post office can be a distraction.And he’s usually open just on weekends.But last Thursday he happened to be there, taking an antique rug beater to a throw rug with Disney’s Pinocchio on it.“I was going to sell it,” he said, referring to the rug beater. He gave the rug a couple of whacks, producing a satisfying cloud of 40-year-old dust.“But it really works well. I think I’m going to keep it.”Lanthier’s an electrical contractor in real life, but he’s always been interested in antiques and collectibles.His father ran an antiques shop in Terryville. A sign rests atop a cabinet in the shop: “Donald Lanthier, Auctioneer.”The younger Lanthier was part of an antiques co-op in Litchfield for several years, and just recently decided to go out on his own.One specialty is carnival glass. Lanthier explained that when glass factories went out of business in the late 1920s, carnivals bought up the remaining inventory and gave pieces away as prizes.Some of the pieces are quite valuable. Lanthier got a gleam in his eye as he recounted his acquisition of a small glass vase valued at $600. He got it in a box of otherwise unremarkable items at an auction.Nobody else spotted it, and the auctioneer kept dropping the opening bid in an effort to attract something.Lanthier scooped the lot up for $20 — the vase and the junk.It’s not always like that, he said. Increased interest in and knowledge of antiques has led to a lot of people asking retail prices, rather than wholesale.Lanthier opened in August, and he is there on weekends primarily, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. He accepts items for consignment and is willing to take a look at a piece, although he cautions that he is not a certified appraiser. His phone number is 860-307-7807.

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