Authentic eighteenth and early nineteenth century formal and country American furniture, fireplace equipment, and accessories. In selecting our inventory, we place an emphasis on fine proportion and condition, including examples of furniture with old and refinished surfaces plus original paint.
Janice F. Strauss, LLC has been a professional dealership since 1977. We have provided a written guarantee with every piece sold since our first day in business. We began exhibiting in major antiques shows in 1982, and built a gallery in South Salem, New York, in 1987. We work with both advanced and beginning collectors plus museums.
We have advertised in The Magazine Antiques, Maine Antique Digest, Antiques & The Arts Weekly, The Antique Review, and numerous other publications. We were also featured in an article in Architectural Digest, and on the PBS program, Treasures in Your Attic.
Beauty has always been a motivating factor for me. Surrounding myself with objects that are pleasing to my eye whether they have a function, or simply exist as artwork, has given me much happiness. It has also been extraordinarily gratifying to work with my clients who are similarly driven to collect pieces that provide such pleasure.
Dealing in antique American furniture and decorative arts is a strange and wonderful world that combines the aesthetic and the technical. Not many disciplines are like that. That is why I believe that being a good dealer is a challenging and difficult job. My scope of responsibilities includes understanding and sharing with you, my clients, both technical information such as wood analysis and construction features, plus design elements. I can't just stand back and exclaim "Isn't it beautiful!" It may be beautiful, but if several of its components have been damaged or replaced, it may not be worth your attention as a collector. Similarly, if it is completely original, but not an object of beauty, what's the point?
Given my philosophy, it should not surprise you that I have an unusual background that combines highly technical plus aesthetic business experience.
As a native of Ohio and a graduate of Purdue University in Food Science and Nutrition, I began my professional career as a Food Scientist designing and researching new food products for General Foods Corporation, which brought me to New York. My work involved understanding consumers' reactions to the products I developed and communicating product benefits to them in an interesting and artistic way. Before long I was hooked on the marketing and marketing research aspects of new product development as well as the technical side! Thus, I advanced into Product Management where I became responsible for the creative advertising and communication of the products as well as bottom line profit responsibility. I marketed such familiar products for General Foods as Good Seasons Salad Dressing and Shake 'n Bake. Another corporate experience with Richardson-Merrell gave me the experience of marketing new products for the Oil of Olay business.
I loved running a business. Now I wanted my own. I created New Product Blueprints, Ltd., a marketing and marketing research practice to help corporations develop and test their new products and services. I worked with my corporate clients to develop advertising, packaging, and every other element of the new market entry.
I could have done that forever. However, in 1976, the most wonderful house came into our lives. My husband, Ted, and I bought an early 18th century textbook example of a Connecticut saltbox which stands today in New York State due to a border shift. We began its long and arduous restoration, most of which we accomplished by ourselves. In 2004, it became listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Modern furniture and certainly reproductions would not do! I began buying and selling antiques immediately. I continued to earn money through my marketing practice to support building my new business: Janice F. Strauss, LLC. By 1982, I began exhibiting at antiques shows. In 1987, I built the gallery.
The quest to find objects of beauty with their structural integrity from centuries past continues.
When I'm not spending time with the business, you're likely to catch me working on some project for our home or tending one of our gardens. On a lovely summer day, Ted and I may be taking advantage of a 12-knot southwesterly breeze aboard our sloop, Eagle's Wing. I have been an avid sailor since 1972, passionately racing and cruising the waters from New York to Maine.