The historic Tharp-Jewell house on the corner of NW Front Street and Church Street in downtown Milford has new commercial residents as Gary Manlove and John Murray have opened two complimentary businesses, Manlove’s Choice Antiques and It’s About Time. Gary, collector of antiques by master craftsmen, and John, specializing in clock repair and restoration are open Fridays through Sundays at 131 NW Front Street.
The Manlove family itself has been an active part of Delaware history as Gary’s great-great-great-grandfather, George Manlove, was one of the original Kent County delegates to ratify the Federal Constitution for Delaware on December 7, 1787, also making Delaware the first state. Gary, who worked for Bell Atlantic Corporation, for over thirty years, always remembers spending time with his father in his antique business, which he held for over fifty years. As a child, young Gary began tinkering with antiques as his father taught his son how to restore period furniture.
“Buying and selling antiques is all about the chase,” commented Gary. “You’re looking for things really different, in good condition and that you can make some money on.”
One of his best finds during his lifelong obsession with antiques is currently sitting in the new shop on NW Front Street. The George III Spice Chest, made of english oak and mahogany banding, was purchased by Manlove a year ago in Maryland at one of twelve antique shows Gary still participates in each year.
“The George III Spice Box, which is dated between 1780 and 1790, would have been used by a doctor to store medicine or an affluent individual to lock up spices, which were valuable at the time.”
When looking for antiques, Gary states that there is a style in every period and that he looks at the workmanship and whether or not it needs to be restored. With any restoration he tries to structurally put the piece back the way it was when the piece was first built, while making sure it has a pleasant look to it.
John Murray, retired Air Force officer, began his love of clocks while stationed in England from 1998 to 2001. He began to take apart and repair his own clocks overseas and upon his return to the United States became an apprentice for a clock maker in Tampa, Florida.
“I am fascinated by clocks and love to get things working, sometimes after they have not worked for generations,” stated Murray. “We offer a one stop clock repair and restoration business”
Both businesses, Manlove’s Choice Antiques and It’s About Time, are located at 131 NW Front Street in downtown Milford. Manlove’s Choice Antiques offers a myriad of period furniture,clocks and firearms. It’s About Time services all types of clocks including cuckoo, grandfather, mantle and wall clocks while specializing in antique and vintage clocks and pocket watches. They are open for business Fridays 4 to 8pm, Saturdays 10 to 6pm and Sundays 11 to 5pm. Manlove’s Choice Antiques is also open by appointment by calling 302-270-0902 and It’s About Time takes house calls by calling 302-222-1007.