Antiques On Cordova

When I worked at the Marine Building, one of my favourite lunch walks was down through the edge of Gastown to those two blocks of Cordova that house quirky, interesting, local stores.

First stop was always the highlight: Salmagundi Antiques. Merriam Webster defines salmagundi as ‘a heterogeneous mixture’ or ‘a salad plate of chopped meats, anchovies, eggs, and vegetables arranged in rows for contrast and dressed with a salad dressing.’ This is a store that lives up to its mixed salad billing.

Outside and in the windows, Salmagundi boasts arresting displays, many of which involve skulls, bones, doleful mannequins, vintage sunglasses and hanging skeletons. Inside, you’ll find two floors of curiosities and ancient treasures.

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Upstairs, the goods are arranged in eccentric vignettes: one-eyed dolls playing mini-pianos, phrenology heads looking down on beaded strands and vintage medical scissors. Downstairs, you will find a salmagundi of crafting materials, party treasures, magic tricks and gilded stationary tucked away in little drawers.

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If you manage to extricate yourself in time, Uniques Collectibles with Imagination is next door. After too many looky-loos, a store sign cautions: ‘This is not a museum. This junk is for sale.’  Here, you’ll see antique postcards, dolls, silver tea services, antique rings, mirrors and more.


In both stores, you can find inspiration and ingredients for new creative displays and designs.

Writing & Photos by Elizabeth Newton

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Elizabeth Newton

Elizabeth Newton