Jay began collecting Civil War bullets as a boy. While raking his grandmother’s backyard, he looked down and discovered his first “piece of lead,” a .58 caliber minie ball that was dropped by a Civil War soldier over one hundred years before. That, as they say, was the beginning. Relic hunting or “digging” became a lifelong passion, culminating in the opening of his first Civil War relic shop in 1994. His interest eventually grew to include weapons from the Mexican War through the Indian War era.
Melanie’s fascination with Victorian antiques began after reading Gone With the Wind as a teenager. Collecting items from the Civil War era expanded to include vintage women’s accessories, such as antique fans, Victorian shawls, gloves, hats and handkerchiefs. She’s also knowledgeable about antique silver, old blown glassware, blue and white, and porcelain from the Victorian era.
But her favorite items are the antique jewelry pieces. No two are exactly alike, making each item a one of a kind. New inventory arrives daily, ranging in age from the Georgian era (1790s) through the Art Deco era, and everything in between. Because Gettysburg draws so many Victorian living historians, a lot of the jewelry inventory is circa 1840 – 1890. And with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic looming, Melanie has been accumulating a nice assortment of Edwardian jewelry and Edwardian accessories to commemorate this event.
Traveling to over 20 Civil War and Antique shows each year, Jay and Melanie search for unique, one of a kind collectibles for their store. Known for choosing only pristine, investment quality pieces, all antiques are guaranteed to be authentic, and museum quality.
Arsenal of the Alleghenys clients benefit from Jay and Melanie’s extensive traveling, because wherever they go, their clients’ “wish lists” go with them. They diligently search for those special pieces to complete their clients’ collections. Plus, there’s the added bonus that they have cultivated relationships with antique dealers around the globe, enabling them to find those extra rare and special items.