Las Vegas is known more for casinos, stage performers and mobsters than for antiques and second-hand treasures. But as older hotels have been renovated or replaced with new ones, and as aging performers and retirees pass on, a rich and diverse assortment of cast-offs is to be found.
The inventory is unique to Sin City, sometimes called the Entertainment Capital of the World: High-end gambling paraphernalia, exotic costumes and jewelry, fine furniture and art, glassware, barware, candelabrum, light fixtures and photographs. Many pieces are inscribed with the names of hotels or casinos and shows, which appeals to collectors hoping to recapture memories of a bygone era. You won’t find these anywhere else.
Sherrie Brown of Sugarplums Etc. Antiques carries mostly glass and crystal in her cozy shop on East Charleston Boulevard. She’s big on vintage perfume bottles, too. A licensed appraiser, she is frequently called to celebrities’ homes to value their goods and bring them to her store on consignment.
She says the History channel’s popular reality TV series “Pawn Stars” draws huge crowds each week to the family-run store, Gold & Silver Pawn Shop.
“Then they wonder what else Las Vegas has to offer in the way of antique stores and resale shops, and they start looking around,” she adds.
Sign up for an organized tour of Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, or get there on your own. The store is open 24 hours a day. (PAM’S TIP: I’ve been on many Viator tours, and all have been exceptional. But they aren’t the only ones offering Pawn Stars tours.)
Another proprietor you should know is 70-ish Osvaldo Zunino of Nicolas & Osvaldo Antique Square, next door to Sugarplums. Zunino AKA Peter Oswald is a former ballet dancer and opera singer who appeared at venues worldwide, including Lou Walter’s Latin Quarter nightclub in New York, Folies Bergere in Paris and La Scala in Milan.
In 1967 he moved to Las Vegas to be a featured performer at the Sahara. Eventually the jobs dried up, in part to a growing ethos of discrimination against gays. Zunino and his late partner in 1997 opened the antique store, which four times has been honored with “Best of Las Vegas” awards.
“It’s another artistic outlet,” Zunino says of his store, which specializes in European and American furniture and décor. “This is my contribution to the culture of Las Vegas.”
Sugarplums Etc. Antiques, 2022 E. Charleston Blvd.
Nicolas & Oswaldo Antique Square, 2020 E. Charleston Blvd.
Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, 713 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Here’s a link to more antique stores in Las Vegas:
And for more info on Las Vegas: www.lasvegas.com