The Museum at Replacements, Ltd.

By Shelley Cole Citron
May 2003 - Issue #361

Replacements Ltd. We've all seen their ads in The Crystal Ball, Southern Living and other publications. They buy and sell Crystal, China and Silver. And they're very good at it. They carry over 16,000 Silver patterns, 19,000 Crystal patterns and 125,000 China patterns. That's 125 THOUSAND China patterns! BUT, they also have a wonderful museum of some very unusual pieces. That's the topic today.

Replacements, Ltd. is located in Greensboro, NC, about a 4 hour drive from where I live in Charlottesville, VA. My mom was visiting and had always wanted to take the backstage tour at Replacements so we made the trip. What a surprise when we walked into the showroom. Sure there were the expected cases of beautiful China and Crystal, breathtaking Silver Tea Services, Vases of every shape and size, but at the back of the showroom, in hand carved cases that once graced the walls of old fashioned jewelry shops is a gem of a museum. There are over 2,000 pieces of rare and unusual china, glassware, tableware and decorative arts. Bob Page, who founded the company in the 1970's has a good eye and has pulled special items out of inventory to join this private collection.

Specially featured in this museum collection are pieces from the glass industry of the Ohio River Valley at the beginning of the century. Tiffin, Heisey, Fostoria, Imperial and of course, Cambridge are well represented. One of Bob's favorite pieces in the collection is a Carmen Flying Lady Bowl which he picked up at a flea market years ago. (He's not telling how much he paid.) Other special Cambridge pieces include a Heatherbloom Apple Blossom Etched Nude Stem Table Goblet, a pair of Crystal Portia Etched Nude Stem Cupped Comports, an Imperial Amber Stemmed Nude Cocktail that has been frosted all over, a Crystal Swan Punch Bowl Set, a pair of Gold Encrusted Portia CT Covered Urns as well as a pair of the same with Rose Point. In a Crystal Covered Urn, we find one Gold Encrusted Valencia. There's a One-Bun Geisha figurine on a stand, a pair of Cherub Candle holders in Light Green and an Amber Buddha. The Pristine Punch Bowl Set etched Firenze is another beautiful piece in this beautiful collection.

Part of what made it so exciting for me, was the surprise of finding this collection here; I've ruined that aspect for you, but perhaps this will encourage you to take the time to stop in if you're in the vicinity.

In addition to the showroom and wonderful museum, Replacements offers free tours behind the scenes. Take a look at the 5,000 shelves rising 16 feet into the air containing the more than 7,000,000 pieces of crystal, china and decorative items. It's quite awesome.