J & R Ferris Antiques, of Boonville, NY, has been in business since the early 1970s. Janette (Jan) and Richard (Dick) set out as purveyors of 18th and 19th century militaria and Americana from a little shop in Madison. In 1984 Dick's son, Scott, became a full time member of the business. Following the passing of both Dick and Jan, Scott now wears all hats. He brings with him his knowledge of the fine arts: he is a specialist in the art of Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) (see also www.scottrferris.com).
Dick's interest in historic militaria may have been inspired by his gun wielding great uncle (Western film actor) Gabby Hayes. While Dick was stationed at F. E. Warren Air Force Base, in Cheyenne, Wyoming (during the early 1950s) he was asked to catalogue the gun collection at the State historical museum. By the early 1960s he served as consultant to Francis Lord on his book, Civil War Collector's Encyclopedia. And throughout the 1960s he and a cohort of artillery enthusiasts bought a 12-pound Howitzer and uniforms, and formed a cannon crew that demonstrated live firing at “shoots.”
Dick's early involvement with antiques also included writing articles for the trade magazine, Antique Talk. He opened a home-based antiques shop with his first wife, Faye, –Brass Drum Antiques– where Scott made his debut as a “dealer.” And he schlepped his children off to weekend flea markets and antiques shows such as Shupp's Grove, PA. With tongue in cheek, one could say that as Dick began raising a family, his ability to collect diminished, forcing him to become a dealer.
J & R Ferris Antiques is primarily a show-based business, displaying at antiques and Civil War shows from New England to Georgia to Colorado.
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