During every interview I do for this column, my favorite question is always: “How did you get started?” Hamish Guinn of Finer Consigner in Middletown has probably the most rock-and-roll startup story of them all. As a native New Zealander, Hamish made his way to the States to visit before heading out to England. Thirty years later, a weekend in Newport turned into permanent residence in Little Rhody as he played music for local bars before the shop’s inception.
Hamish rekindled his love of antique bone china, encouraged by his grandmother in his youth, and turned it into a business of selling and purchasing old treasures. “What you can find in old houses can be so valuable,” he says. “I purchased these silk-lined jewelry boxes, for example. They were absolutely full of real jewelry and brooches.”
As a proud bibliophile myself, I was astounded at the sheer volume of books in the shop. But the most intriguing item I found was an old trunk filled with hangers, an ironing board and plenty of storage once beloved by a traveler of yesteryear – all in exquisite condition. Currently, Hamish’s favorite piece is a massive, solid walnut bookcase, dated “Newport, 1908.”
In the final days of summer, just before you hit Newport’s gorgeous Second Beach, take a trip to a simpler time, and do it in style, at Finer Consigner. Finer Consigner is also selling and consigning online as the Cyber Consigner.
Finer Consigner. 163 Aquidneck Avenue, Middletown. 401-849-9162