On County Road 39 just as you come into Southampton a mile or so east of the where the traffic slows down stands an array of 15-foot-high statues.
Who hasn’t stared at the huge T-Rex as those eyes and an opened mouth of teeth catch your attention while you drive by? Also there are horses, cows, rhinos, horse and riders, along with some other larger than life statues.
On stopping into at 1547 County Road, I found a whole new world of collectables, antiques and one-of-kind type objects that are gathered under one roof in an almost attic-museum array.
Owner Larry Schaeffer was kind enough to share the story of how an artist who was trying to sell his paintings at Galerie Hamptons in Westhampton evolved to owning an acre and a half including a 10,000-square-foot building with everything from old 1800s police caps, to life size statues of Marilyn Monroe.
Larry said, “I get paid to go out and buy items from unusual to sublime.”
With six websites marketing his items Larry has gone from a roadside store to an international shipper of his unusual products. He has for sale at only $50,000 a 50-foot-high dinosaur, which will be delivered and erected to the buyers address. One was sold to a park in Florida.
In fact Larry filled some huge shipments to the Disney Corporation, for a Noah’s Ark theme at a Florida Disney Parks.
Larry started explaining the Disney sales were quite a change from, “waiting for someone to walk and buy something in the off season.” Then a sales person came in to inform him of a potential huge sale of horse statues.
Right there the day of my interview with Larry, a sale of well over $20,000 was consummated. Some may have noticed that the large 15-foot T-Rex was no longer in front. It seems a nice woman in East Hampton purchased it and had it mounted on her garden in front of her driveway to provide some “energy.”
In fact Dolly Parton had a $20,000 horse shipped out to “Dolly World,” for its 20th Anniversary a few years back. Among the items sold at Yesterday’s Treasure are life-size fiberglass cows. An elderly couple who purchased an old dairy farm in upstate New York bought a whole trailer load of the cows, around 20, to put in their big empty dairy barn, to make it seem more life like. In fact Larry said they installed sound effects also. Another large buyer of statues was Donald Trump’s partner Mike Dezer.
It seems that Yesterday’s Treasures has established the reputation for having these items available, affordable and ready to be quickly shipped. They have a long record of experience of being able to deliver these huge bronze items that are mostly made overseas to any location in the world. In fact Larry even delivered six of the fiberglass cows to Cyprus, Greece. The price range of items goes from $29 to as high as $50,000 but the people at Yesterday’s Treasure will negotiate on most items.
Inside for sale are fine antique pieces of furniture with quite a collection of old paintings in those wonderful old frames. In big glass cases are wooden replicas of old tall ships like The Bounty, the British warship Liberty, and even a model of the Titanic. The model ships, most with an amazing amount of detail sell in the range of $3,000 to $6,000.
There are slot machines and other gambling paraphernalia along with old uniforms and an amazing collection of work caps, like railroad and police attire, from all different era’s. Then there are old Tiffany like glass windows lamps and lighting fixtures. Of course there are regular large bronze yard statues of children at play and the usual Greek gods. There is even a few “David’s” waiting to be placed in someone’s garden. Larry in my interview with him credited his wife Elizabeth for his ability to enjoy what he is doing. He says that he is enjoying what he is doing now more than ever. Internet success has taken the pressure of overhead and salaries away. From 1992 as an artist unable to sell his paintings to his present situation as a broker and dealer in large bronze statues Larry has watch his business change.
“I love to buy things in order to make money. I enjoy seeing other people enjoy items some people thought I took a chance on buying. I sell my favorite things to others so that they too will feel that sense of enjoyment I felt. After all I am an artist still.”
One really should make an effort to stop one day and go for a tour of Yesterday’s Treasures it is quite a different type of Hamptons experience.
www.LifeSizeStatue.com 631-283-5591, opened seven days a week from 10 am to 5 pm.