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Richard Mackinnon


I’ve had everything from autopsy tables to stainless steel correctional toilets. I do business with people in Toronto who do movie shoots. I had a coffee table in one of Vin Diesel’s movies, a stainless steel toilet in Jodie Foster’s “Panic Room”, and today I have a painting that was in Gene Hackman’s movie “The Fifth President”.

It started when I was a kid. I always collected pop bottles growing up here on the Island, going around in old abandoned barns, crawling under old houses, looking for bottles and tin cans and things like that. I had an uncle who had an antique shop, and you know, all my family had antiques. I guess I sort of just fell I love with it that way. About eighteen years ago when I moved to Toronto, I saw a market for it, and just picked up from where I left off as a young fella.

At first when I got in the business, I fell in love with everything. After three or four years of doing that, my money dwindled down and I had a lot of stuff. Now I’m more careful. The things that I buy, I try to have customers for already so the inventory doesn’t just sit around collecting dust. I never ever dreamed of owning a shop before. I just stumbled across the location, thought about jumping into a shop, and that was it.

My pieces come from all over. I was in the Rocky Mountains two years ago building some chalets. In my time off, I was able to travel around and do some picking. We had a couple guys on site that were First Nations, and I was able to get back to their reserve and purchase some stuff. Some of the other stuff, like the soapstone carvings and seal skin jackets were bought in antique shops along the way. The old shaving utensils, and stuff like that on top of the display case there, were just picked locally here in Prince Edward Island.

Once I waited six hours for two chairs to come up on the auction block, and purchased them for five dollars each. I sold them the next day for a thousand dollars each. Early nineteenth century, there was no maker’s name on them; they were way ahead of their time. Another time I paid something like five hundred dollars for an antique Persian carpet, a big carpet, with a large hole in it, and sold it for ten thousand dollars. With a hole in it, a huge massive hole. Probably would have cost six thousand dollars or more to repair the carpet, but the carpet’s a fifty thousand dollar carpet when it’s all said and done.

Getting back to finding it hard to get rid of things, I don’t fall in love with any of this stuff any more, it’s all material things. None of this stuff really means anything to me anymore.

Except my dog, that’s it. And love, well that’s not for sale.


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