Yesterday, John Rosselli stated that he was closing his beloved brick-and-mortar store in New York. “I want to announce we will be transitioning our business model by introducing an e-commerce website for John Rosselli Antiques and closing the antique shop in Manhattan’s Interior Arts Building on Friday, October 30, 2020,” Rosselli wrote in an Instagram post.
Rosselli, who recently received a lifetime achievement award at the virtual Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club President’s Dinner, has long maintained a physical storefront that’s revered as a place of magic and wonder for those in the know. “Many of us, when we were really, really junior—that’s where we learned about antiques,” AD100 designer Alexa Hampton comments to AD PRO. “He’s so important to all of us.”
Additional fans in the industry expressed similar sentiments. “John Rosselli has long been the place were one could go and find just about anything for any job,” AD100 designer Markham Roberts reflects to AD PRO of the famed store. “It was a decorator’s and collector’s paradise—fantastic mirrors and furniture, accessories, and upholstered pieces of charm and character, and the odd treasures that give any space more depth.”
Striking a related note, designer Mark D. Sikes adds, “I’m sad to hear my favorite antique store in America will be closing. John is not only a brilliant dealer and curator but also a dear friend, and it’s because of him that I have fallen so in love with blue-and-white.” Contacting AD PRO later on, designer Young Huh reflected of the store, “Buying something from Rosselli was a stamp of good taste. It is truly the end of an era.”
From October 5 through 23, John Rosselli Antiques will host a heritage sale at the Interior Arts Building on East 61st Street, where pieces will be available half off the list price. Later this season, the new e-commerce platform will launch, with an emphasis on members of the trade. His East Harlem workshop will continue to make pieces for his own collection, and he will expand his atelier offerings. Notably, his showroom presence is set to continue.
All this information was announced by Rosselli himself on social media. It was also the place where he chose to share one additional and poignant thought: “At 88, I still wake up every day excited by the promise of what lies ahead. For now, we are closing a chapter, but the book is still being written. And I am honored to be on this continuous journey with you.”
The feeling is clearly mutual. “Wherever he goes, I will follow,” Hampton says. “Instead of taking this as a blow, I’m taking this as an encouraging sign.” She added that Rosselli’s consistent sense of business savvy was very heartening within the context of this decision. It was another point shared by others. “John made it so easy for us to do our jobs in sourcing interesting and beautiful things for clients,” Roberts says. “On top of his trusted taste, he has always had perfect business acumen, and this decision to close the physical shop and move to an online platform is probably just the best course to adapt to what COVID-19 has pushed us farther toward. I will miss getting to visit the shop in person, but I will continue to take advantage of all that John Rosselli offers—just in a different way.”