Perched firmly in the middle of his antique shop, arms cutting into the air for emphasis, voice booming across the finely curated selection of furniture, Scott Landon appears as if he is giving a motivational speech. “I look at everything differently,” he says passionately, emphatically, of being an antique dealer. “I look at art differently. I look at buildings differently. I look at tons of things differently. Because I see things in them.”
With over two decades of experience, Landon has become something of a household name within the North American high-end antique market. He frequently scours the continent for the best of the old, bringing back and often restoring timeless pieces and selling them out of his beautiful South Granville store. “I love it when somebody walks in with a photo of something amazing that they got in some magazine and they go, ‘Look at this room,’” he says. “Well, I know how to do that room.” As is required when working with antiques, Landon has an eye that allows him to source incredible pieces of quality and history. On this day, he highlights a huge 1860s gilded mirror from New York City, and a 50-year-old map of Vancouver that was found behind some plywood in a house being torn down. This is where Landon thrives: beneath bricks and under floorboards, uncovering something forgotten but amazingly unique. Something he can shine up and prove worthy of display. “It’s a true object,” he says of the map, laid out on a table awaiting his careful hand. “We don’t need to cut another tree down to make some more paper to print this off. Boom, with all its faults and all its beauty: one piece. This survived behind a wall, 50 years later it’s in my hands to be passed on again. It’s small and insignificant, but it’s part of the whole idea behind vintage and reclaimed and antiques.” He doesn’t talk in flowing sentences, but rather in fast chunks, as if there’s no time for unnecessary words. And indeed, he has been busy.
The former RCMP officer began by dealing 19th-century Canadian country pieces from Quebec and the Maritimes and now covers a wider span of classic, tasteful pieces that emphasize craftsmanship and detail. He often works with businesses and homeowners to outfit entire spaces (where he says the real fun begins); he has sold items to Michael Bublé and Channing Tatum, supplied others to films and television shows, even starred in a CBC program about antique dealers.
Now, he’s getting ready to open a 10,000-square-foot warehouse in South Surrey that will offer an expanded version of what his Vancouver location does so well. Landon wants to “give people an option, when they get there, to see how a space can develop from nothing,” he explains. “That’s the idea: to make it a really great resource for other people to get into.” It will allow him to truly drive the message home, bring the crowd to its feet: reuse what we already have. Focus on an item’s history and provenance—its story. That’s what gives it value and meaning. Landon motions to a piece ahead of him. “That coat rack in the front is from the Drake Hotel in Chicago in the 1930s,” he says, amazed. “I mean, Al Capone could have put his jacket on there and we not even know.”
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