It’s the end of an era as, after 18 years, the shop on the corner of the Rancho Santa Fe village is no longer The McNally Company Antiques.
But they haven’t gone far — The McNally Company Antiques has simply consolidated into the smaller space next door, continuing the shop’s 23-year history in Rancho Santa Fe.
“I kept it as long as I could,” owner Connie McNally said, adding that the decision to downsize was the result of rising rents.
Connie and Bill McNally started The McNally Company Antiques 23 years ago in a different village storefront before taking over the corner spot from Maggie’s Dress Shop in 1996. Their current and previous spaces were once joined by a passage that has now been walled off, allowing for a cozier configuration for The McNally Company Antiques. The smaller space features a variety of beautiful displays in the shop front and a silver gallery toward the back.
Besides its new home, The McNally Company Antiques has also countered a slowed economy by opening a new facet of the business, McNally’s RSF Estate Auctions.
“We had to reinvent ourselves,” Connie said. “The auctions are very exciting for us. It can be very dull in here some days, so we need the excitement.”
The first auction was held in June and their second is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 16, at the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club. There will be two sessions, beginning at 11 a.m. A preview will be held from 3-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, and Saturday, Nov. 15.
The auction will feature ornate mirrors, fine art and furnishings, and several very rare items such as a Tiffany turtleback lamp with a bird skeleton base and a striking red Claude Jitrois Nile Crocodile sofa.
Among other treasures up for bid is a handwritten letter from astronaut Neil Armstrong that he wrote in 1969 while in a quarantine facility after walking on the moon.
All auction catalogue proceeds will benefit The Country Friends, an organization Connie has volunteered with since 1984.
McNally’s RSF Estate Auctions is planning about three auctions a year, she said.
The McNallys have filled their new smaller space with interesting antiques from all over the world.
“I’m known for my silver, which has kept us going,” said Connie, who was editor and publisher of Silver Magazine for 10 years. Her fascination with silver began as a child when she was given the task of polishing her family’s pieces.
“We have one of the most unusual and one-of-a-kind silver collections ever seen,” Connie said of a 47-piece, intricately detailed collection that she calls the Silver Shells Collection. The sea-themed group comes from Italy and was completed in 1945, taking nine years to finish because of the shortage of silver in World War II.
Connie’s face lights up when she glances at her favorites: the “most magnificent” 17th- century tortoise and ebony wood cabinet with each drawer specially lined, a sparkling fleur de-lis chandelier rumored to have come from a member of the Rothschild family’s apartments in Paris, and a 19th-century Baccarat crystal tantalus — a see-through cabinet with a pull-out tray holding four decanters and 16 matching glasses.
She treats all of her shop’s rare finds with great care. “We love these pieces, so we want them to go to good homes,” Connie said.
The new address for The McNally Company Antiques is 6033-L Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe. Visit mcnallycompanyantiques.com; call 858-756-1922.
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