MILTON, Ga. – Walk into Larry Davenport’s shop any day around noon and you’ll quickly figure out his business. Grandfather clocks boom, wall clocks chime and others ring in the hour for a good minute or two. Davenport doesn’t seem to hear a thing, accustomed to the midday melody after more than 35 years in the clock business.
Besides the dozens of clocks, Davenport’s Roswell Clock and Antique Co. is packed with antiques. His massive shop – a two-story pole barn – is a maze of furniture and silver, primitive tools and cabinets filled with paperweights and shaving brushes. And despite its name, the store is not in Roswell at all; it’s in Crabapple, on the property where Davenport lived decades ago.
That will make it awfully convenient for this year’s Crossroads at Crabapple Antique and Art Festival. More than 50 antique dealers from six states along with 50 local juried artists will line the streets of the Milton community Oct. 6 for the all-day, rain-or-shine event. And Davenport’s front lawn will be in the heart of it all – home to a pumpkin patch and children’s events.
“Crabapple has such a strong antiques history, and people love the festival – especially if the weather is great,” he said.
Davenport relocated his business to Crabapple last fall, realizing the Roswell people who dropped in to his former store on Canton Street were much more about eating than antiques.
“In Crabapple, the clients here are serious,” he said. “They’re not just killing time while they’re waiting for their table at a restaurant.”
Davenport fell into the clock business after taking a clock repair class on a whim in his 20s. He opened a clock repair shop in 1976 in downtown Roswell – in a former record store where the restaurant Cevice now sits. The business gradually grew to incorporate antiques when his father retired and got involved. The two traveled to England each year to shop. As Davenport grew more established and clients came to him, he began to buy more things locally.
But he admits his passion is still clocks.
“The old ones are particularly nice and fun because many of them haven’t run in maybe decades,” he said. “We get a kick out of seeing something filthy, dirty and quiet and all of a sudden it has life again.”
Davenport may put a few clocks on display at the festival, but probably not the 7-foot-3-inch grandfather clock with imposing brass pendulum near his front door. He’ll look for items that might catch the eye of browsing shoppers – like small pieces of furniture or more unusual items.
Davenport knows his antiques. When no one locally was interested in a circa-1810 musical grandfather clock, he drove it to Sotheby’s in New York and sold it for three times his asking price. But he tells people ready to shop at the Crabapple festival that buying isn’t always about making money.
“It should be about what you like,” he said. “If it is something old and a good investment – great. But you should be able to look at it and feel good about it.”
The Crossroads at Crabapple Art and Antique Festival is Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information, call Amanda Quintana at 770-241-1125 or online at www.crabapplefestival.com.