January 6, 2004 > A Moment in Time
A Moment in Time
A Moment in Time
The small entrance on Niles Boulevard is deceptive. A Moment in Time customers know, however, that the shop is much larger than it appears and a treasure trove of high end antiques lie within. One year ago, Arlyne Meyer and daughter, Michelle Cardwell brought A Moment in Time to Niles and transformed the space into a veritable storehouse of quality items. Both collectors and dealers were quick to recognize the outstanding values of the merchandise. They have discovered that A Moment in Time allows them to take advantage of the unique buying acumen of this duo.
Arlyne says working with antiques is in their blood. "I have a natural background in antiques. My father was an antique dealer in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and my mother taught me a lot as well." Whenever Arlyne's mother came to visit, she would always bring a few family heirloom antiques with her. Arlyne also loved buying and selling antiques and collectibles, constantly looked for unappreciated treasures at garage sales. She tried to interest her daughter in her passion without much success. "When my daughter was a teenager, I would beg her to go to garage sales with me and she had no interest." However, buying and selling antiques must be in the genes since now, years later, Michelle is an active and enthusiastic full partner of A Moment in Time with a special interest in Nippon porcelain (1891 - 1921). Along with Nippon, Arlyne says A Moment in Time also specializes in RS Prussia, Limoges and all "upper end" porcelain.
"Everything in our store is guaranteed to be 100% authentic," says Arlyne. "If something is new, it is marked accordingly. We have been told by many collectors and dealers that our prices are extremely competitive for the quality received." Within their first year of business, Arlyne and Michelle have established a broad customer base of people who know and appreciate the value of astute buyers who can supply quality items at low prices. Browsing at A Moment in Time can uncover a wide variety of antiques, even dolls. Arlyne says that much of what they have is in porcelain, vanity items and "vintage lady head vases." A Moment in Time is one of the largest vintage lady head vase collection dealers in the Bay Area. Two Jackie Kennedy head vases were sold recently at the store. Kathleen Cole, the author of several definitive books on identifying and valuing lady head vases, has purchased two unique head vases from Arlyne.
Astute art collectors will recognize art work on the walls of A Moment in Time. Prints from the works of Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966) and Atkinson Fox (1860-1935), famous American painters and illustrators are featured here as well as French ArtDeco Master Painter, Louis Icart (1888-1950). All works are beautifully framed and include certificates of authenticity. Arlyne says often the frames alone are worth the asking price of the artwork.
A Moment in Time can be a different store each time a customer visits. Arlyne cautions that many items move very quickly due to the unique items and pricing. "Our store changes weekly since we are always buying estates and selling to our customers. We carry a large inventory, but much of it sells very quickly." Although the eclectic nature of the store precludes tight classification of an inventory of over 1,000 antiques, collectibles and accessories such as table and wall plate holders for sale at A Moment in Time, Arlyne says, "We have a lot of Victorian, Art Deco and Art Nouveau - things from the Turn of the Century and the 30's and 40's."
Another specialty of A Moment in Time is jewelry. Estate sales and buying trips have brought a large selection of quality costume jewelry including Weiss signed pieces and others such as, Kenneth Lane, Trifari and Sara Coventry. "We look for unique items that in many cases cannot be found in another store in the area." Arlyne looks at a display case and points out a large jewelry case, called a "casket." She compares it with another, smaller case that is the typical size. "This casket is probably the largest anyone has seen. It is very unusual."
Asked about furniture, Arlyne smiles and says that although the entrance to A Moment in Time looks small, she often has large pieces of furniture including bedroom sets in the shop. "You might be shocked by the large pieces of furniture that we often have in here." A Louis XV cabinet near her desk gives credence to her statement. A look around the store reveals Duncan Phyfe end tables and art deco furniture as well.
Most visitors to antique shops assume proprietors have priced items to make as much profit as possible which means that a buyer is paying top dollar. Arlyne laughs and sets the record straight, at least for A Moment in Time. She points to a signed Limoges vase by Jean Pouyat and says that the value shown in a printed reference is $3,000 to $5,000. The price at A Moment in Time is $750. When asked about this discrepancy, she is philosophical; "I bought it at a very good price and I would rather not hold on to it until someone comes in willing to pay full price. I got a good deal and so will the person that buys it from me."
Arlyne and Michelle have extended an invitation to everyone to come by and see them at their 1st Anniversary Celebration Sale that will be held on Saturday and Sunday, January 24-25 from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Come by and see for yourself what makes A Moment in Time special. Drawings for gift certificates will be held throughout the celebration and light refreshments will be served. Of course, you don't have to wait for the celebration. A Moment in Time is open Wednesday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Call for store hours on Monday and Tuesday.
A Moment in Time
37396 Niles Blvd., Fremont