Stores in San Francisco
November 17, 2015 10:58 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to be in San Francisco for a week, and I'm looking for some stores that specialize in antique fine arts (prints, drawings, paintings, etc) and antique decorative arts (ceramics, jewelry, crystal, silver, etc.).

Specifically, I'd like to thread the needle and find some places that aren't too high end - think appointment only galleries, nor lower-end antique shops with piles of uncategorized ephemera. Can you think of any stores in the area that won't mind a couple of walk-ins who probably won't actually buy anything?
posted by Think_Long to Shopping (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: there's a lovely map store on Grant that welcomes people who are looking and are very helpful. I don't know if maps are your thing exactly, but these are pretty wonderful and are from all places and times.
posted by janey47 at 11:11 AM on November 17, 2015

Best answer: When will you be in town? The Alameda Point Antiques Faire is across the bay and HUGE. Unfortunately, there is a fair amount of uncategorized ephemera, so it doesn't meet all your criteria, but you should know about this as it represents a unique opportunity to find what you're looking for.

I believe it's still the first Sunday of each month. You will need a car to get there, as it's across the bay.
posted by phreckles at 11:32 AM on November 17, 2015

The run a little (or a lot) towards the obscure/creepy/weird but check out the website over at Paxton Gate on Valencia.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:39 AM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You might try the galleries and shops at 49 Geary. Possibly a little on the high end but they're not appointment-only—I showed up there once with my mom to check out an antiquarian bookstore (of which there are several: one and two, both with very nice proprietors/shop-persons when we were there) and then just wandered into some of the galleries. No one seemed to mind that we weren't purchasing anything!

More antiquarian paper around the corner.

Paxton Gate is more in the "natural curiosities" line than the antiques line.
posted by kenko at 1:16 PM on November 17, 2015

Best answer: Morgan Oakes in the Mission has some really nice stuff, and a quite miscellaneous mix of it, too. They had some wonderful Chinese ceramics when I was last there.
posted by kenko at 1:19 PM on November 17, 2015

Best answer: For antique jewelry, Lang Antiques is great. It's definitely expensive, but you can browse without pressure.
posted by three_red_balloons at 1:39 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Paxton Gate isn't selling antiques, even though they sell odd and interesting things that look old.

Morgan Oakes is a nice place to browse. I've been a few times, never bought anything and never felt pressured to be anything but a window shopper.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 1:52 PM on November 17, 2015

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