Q&A with Andre Burgos

From Annex Market's Vendor Spotlight, September 2014


Q: What types of items do you sell?

A: I sell primarily wine- and liquor-related antiques: unique corkscrews, knives, cocktail tools, culinary and tabletop items. All items are authentic, from the period, and in good to excellent condition. I also sell small decorative accessories and desktop items from time to time, when I come across something that appeals to me. The main focus is on quality antiques from around the world, with an emphasis on items made in France.

Q: How long have you been selling antiques?

A: I’ve been in New York for 37 years and I’ve been selling antiques for 30 years. Originally, I had a store at the Chelsea Antique Building selling vintage watches. I started my e-commerce business in 1997, and I now have three online venues: My primary store, andreburgos.com is where I showcase my best stuff. I stock more affordably-priced items on my Etsy shop, Andre's Tavern. My online business is really taking off. I used to sell at the old Chelsea Antiques Garage on 25th Street, setting up shop on weekends. I was there for 14 years. It was an amazing place -- crowded and grimey -- a meat-locker in the winter -- but I loved every minute of it.  After the Antiques Garage closed, I moved to the Chelsea Antiques Market until it closed in December 2019. I have been setting up at the Grand Bazaar NYC (Columbus Ave. & 77th St.) every Sunday since January 2020. The market has closed temporarily due to the Coronavirus outbreak.


Q: What do you love about the items that you sell?

A: I buy items that I like for their visual and craftsmanship qualities. I do have a love for food and wine that comes to me naturally, being from France, so anything related is interesting to me. I also like researching makers, history and manufacturing techniques, which helps me when curating my offerings.

Q: What inspired you to get into the business of selling antiques?

A: Growing up in Brittany, my family always collected antiques and made things with their hands. I was surrounded by beautiful things as a child, which probably led to my choosing to study industrial design and interior design in Paris. At age 28 I became head of Andree Putman's [legendary French interior designer] office in NYC, working on projects like Morgan's hotel, Palladium night club, and Barney's department store. I supervised the creation of custom-designed and hand-crafted fixtures and furniture for high-end clients with huge budgets -- That was back in the 80's; that kind of spending rarely happens these days! For a few years I owned an interior design firm on Fifth Avenue, doing residential projects for select clients ... but I started to loose interest in the business. Budgets were dropping ... my clients were very demanding ... and I found myself doing less of the design work I loved. 

I had always had a fascination in functional and aesthetically pleasing items, and I had collected old watches. I eventually taught myself to repair them; and that eventually led to my leaving the design business and opening a Manhattan storefront, dedicated to restoring and selling fine antique watches. I traveled quite a bit back to France, and one time I found a trove of antique corkscrews at a Paris street market that interested me. When I brought them back to my store in New York, they sold really fast. So, I joined a collector's club and started attending fine auctions, doing research, and becomming an expert. As my knowledge base expanded, I purchased more wine related objects, culinary and table items, antique knives and small collection items ... which I now curate and sell online, and at the market.


Q: What new items can shoppers expect to find? 

A: I am always on the lookout. I bring in new things to the market each week, in addition to the basic items I bring every week. I do the same for my website. I update it each week and send an e-blast to my customers from the markets to give them a preview of the new items. Getting on my email list is the best way of getting the first chance to see and buy my newest finds before they go to the market.


Q: What do you want people to know about your business?

A: I work everyday to discover merchandise and rare finds. I have pride in my merchandise and have a deep knowledge of my inventory, including manufacturing process, makers, patents, usage, etc... I have a buyer in France that supplies me with antiques, but I also buy locally too. That allows me to present a wide selection of hand-picked items from America and Europe. I take great care of the items I sell and in my business -- it gives my customers the feeling that I will take care of them well, too. I have many repeat customers, and some clients that keep coming back for over 20 years!


Q: How can people keep in touch?

A: For people that want to keep informed of new acquisitions and my presence at the market please email me directly at andre@andreburgos.com with any item requests and to be added to my weekly email blast. Also, visit my website at www.andreburgos.com