One swelteringly hot afternoon, a man came by hoping to sell Philip Dubey a knife. It was a cake knife, the kind you’d have at a wedding, Dubey said, examining it.
In his shop, Antique Row Stalls, visitors can find more than 10,000 square feet of antiques ranging from 18th century punch bowls made in China to colonial-era maps of the Chesapeake Bay.
Dubey passed on the knife; he likes to know where items come from. “We had a pair of plates that belonged to Dolly Madison,” he said. “So we ate ham sandwiches on them. You have to take this with a grain of salt.”
The area’s popularity as a hub for secondhand goods dates back to the mid-19th century, when Baltimore craftsmen and furniture makers made their trade there, Dubey said. They soon started buying used furniture, to refurbish and sell to new customers. By the 20th century, Antique Row, the 800 block of N. Howard Street, had become a major shopping destination for collectors and everyday enthusiasts.