A timely array of political buttons adorns one of the shelves at Silk Road Antiques. Image courtesy of the author.

Scouring an antique store is the modern-day version of a treasure hunt. Whether your dream find is nineteenth-century porcelain, an Eames side chair or a 1970s fringed jacket, there are plenty of places to hunt in Anne Arundel County. The area’s top dealers know their stuff, and each shop has its own specialty and vibe, whether you’re searching for that perfect piece or just looking for an excuse to browse. Here are some of my favorites.

Evergreen Antiques and True Vintage, Maryland Avenue

Evergreen Antiques and True Vintage is a beautifully curated shop, where elaborate ship models and an 18th-century grandfather clock mix with mid-century artwork. Image courtesy of the author.

The oldest shop of its kind on Maryland Avenue’s unofficial “antiques row,” Evergreen built a loyal following under previous owner Mary Jo Murray. When Joanna Young took over in 2016, she kept Murray’s whimsical mix of paintings, furniture, objects d’art and jewelry, and added her own passion for vintage clothing. The selection is amazing, with wearable dresses, jackets and ties dating from the 1920s through the 1970s. The result is a beautifully curated shop, where elaborate ship models and an 18th-century grandfather clock mix with mid-century artwork, 1930s Wedgewood USNA plates and sparkly cocktail rings.

Evergreen Antiques carries a great vintage clothing selection as well, a passion of owner Joanna Young. Image courtesy of the author.

After you browse, cross over to 62 Maryland Avenue and the newest kid on the block, object + entropy, where longstanding dealer Tom Levine showcases his love for modern and art deco design alongside painting and furniture by David Iatesta and whimsical, handmade crafts from folk artist Natalie Silitch.

Annapolis Maritime Antiques, Eastport

Find nautical-themed antiques and custom pieces at this historic wooden cottage located a block from Spa Creek. Image courtesy of the author.

There’s no better place to find nautical-themed antiques than at this historic wooden cottage located a block from Spa Creek. Their specialty is custom furniture, created by owner Tony Kime from marine salvage and reclaimed wood. Check out the kitchen island topped with an 80-year-old Liberty Ship hatch cover, or the yeoman’s desk made with reclaimed wood from the Domino Sugar Factory. In addition to custom pieces, the shop carries nautically themed finds from estate sales and collectors, including brass fixtures, nineteenth-century oil lamps, and historic photographs. Be sure to peruse their selection of modern-day gifts, including tote bags and coasters.

Annapolis Maritime Antiques. Image courtesy of the author.

Antiques at Annapolis, Annapolis

Antiques at Annapolis has one of the largest selections in the county with over 7,000 square feet of retail space. Image courtesy of Antiques at Annapolis.

Owner Todd Scheminant grew up in the business, and took over from his parents in 2011. The warehouse spans 7,000 square feet with some 38 vendors in a warren of rooms and stalls, making it the largest antiques store the county. Having that many vendors means you’ll never know what you find: a handblown Murano-glass chandelier, mid-century Pyrex bowls, a Victorian-era dining set, vintage toys, an 1880s signal cannon. Pricing ranges from a few bucks to thousands of dollars, with ever-changing inventory that keeps people coming back.

Antiques at Annapolis has a variety of vendors who rent stalls in this antique mall.  Image courtesy of the author.

Silk Road Antiques, Edgewater

Silk Road Antiques, Edgewater. Image courtesy of the author.

Reza Akbari only opened his shop two and half years ago but he’s been collecting antiques for decades. As he traveled the world with the US Air Force and beyond, he would seek out antiques dealers. “If I loved it, I purchased it,” he says. The name Silk Road refers to the historic trading route that connected East and West, and the shop reflects that. Hand-knotted Persian rugs, vintage alarm clocks, Victorian-era lamps and 1950s USA political buttons live in perfect harmony in the Edgewater shop. Today he supplants his collection with finds from auctions and estate sales, or brought in by pickers who know his eclectic taste.

Silk Road Antiques in Edgewater carries an eclectic mix of old and new. Image courtesy of the author.

Bon Vivant Antiques, West Annapolis

Bon Vivant is located in the West Annapolis Business District. Image courtesy of the author.

The shelves and display cases inside this 1920s bungalow are filled with delicate things. “I like things that are breakable,” says owner Carl Ilhi. His shop, which opened in 1999, is a treasure trove of glassware, china, vases and objects d’art, collected over decades or sold on consignment from collectors. He loves hand painted porcelain in particular, and points out one of his favorite pieces. It's a set of Caughley porcelain teacups from the late 1700s, delicate in design and rich in detail.  “The things that survive are the most interesting to me,” he says. I couldn’t agree more.

Porcelain, pottery and glassware of all kinds are a favorite of Bon Vivant's owner, Carl Ilhi. Image courtesy of the author.