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new rider of the purple sage

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

McNally Company

I talked to Connie McNally last week. I was sad to hear that they have recently closed the shop in Rancho Santa Fe. I hear the landlord was getting usurious, and not just with her, don't blame her a bit for closing. She is going to continue to work but no longer have a retail shop.

McNally was, and I say this with total respect, the Grand Dame of local area antique dealers. The quality of her material and her dedication to quality made her shop by far the best in San Diego and probably Los Angeles too for that matter. She and husband Bill were legendary for great material, both European and domestic. I learned a lot from her and their establishment and offerings were always stunningly beautiful, a visual feast for the eyes.

They were dedicated to fine silver, long being the publishers of Silver Magazine. In fact they were kind enough to hire me to write for them on several occasions. I appreciate that very much, the articles helped me both expand my academic knowledge and meet important people in the world of silver, people like the late Allan Adler.

People in the field of decorative arts tend to follow one of two paths, they can offer the purely visceral and decorative or they can emphasize an object or painting's historical place or pedigree. I think that it is fair to say that both Connie and I took the latter path, although her merchandise was still gorgeous.  And our choice is becoming less and less effective in a world where people are more historically ignorant and culturally illiterate than ever. But I don't need to start that shpiel again.

I will say that it is sad that such a wonderful shop has closed and wish them both well in the future.

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