For more than 30 years, Metropolitan Artifacts has offered an exceptional mix of European and American architectural antiques. We are direct importers and unlike other dealers who have staff buyers, our owners hand select each item in our inventory.
We have many items to choose from in each architectural category. If we do not have a specific item you are looking for, we will be happy to locate it for you. Since many architectural antiques require minor modification in order to work in their new application, we offer custom fabrication service to suit your specific design needs.
Get in touch with us for any specific questions you may have about custom pieces.
Bruce and Emke Cusmano
Told through the voice of their children:
In 1980, our parents, Bruce and Emke Cusmano made the bold move to leave the security of corporate America to become antique dealers. Our Dad was lured by the benefits of entrepreneurship, learning quickly the compromises he and our Mom would have to make every day, and together they took the leap to go into business doing something they loved.
Many years before they took the plunge, our Dad collected antique clocks. Clocks were his side hustle. He learned how to clean and repair them so he could sell them and became a clock expert, Clock Finders was the name of his first business. Always carving his initials inside the ones he bought and sold. We all remember the smell of ammonia, which he used to clean their mechanisms in our garage. Little did he know, that hobby would lead him out of the garage in the small town of Cary, North Carolina to a 35,000 square foot showroom in the bustling city of Atlanta.
He started buying more than antique clocks and began looking for antique furniture and unique objects, aptly calling the business Antique Finders. He worked the flea markets and went door to door to dealers. This was hard work and was paying the bills. He was a Picker, the name for dealers who travel to buy. By filling one truckload at a time and calling on antique dealers with storefronts to sell out of the truck. After each load he could easily distinguish the winners from the duds. The process became refined enough to give him the confidence to open a small warehouse which they quickly outgrew. He was a picker no more. And so the story goes. Eventually, he discovered the category of architectural antiques, which ultimately became their specialty.
While our Dad had been the hunter, our Mom was the gatherer of information while she was at the store. She was born in Holland and has deep European roots. She devours books on history and spends her free time with friends and family in France and Holland immersed in the culture, art and history. Her role as “historian” for the business has been invaluable to their success together.
When our parents were ready to start importing from France in the late 80’s, our Mom ran the showroom while our Dad traveled and after we finished high school they were able to enjoy traveling together to Paris quarterly on buying trips. Every morning before the sun came up they would head to the Marche Aux Puces, (French flea market) and rush from stall to stall to scan the day’s offerings. The buying pace was fast in the competitive market with buyers from all over the world. You couldn’t think about a piece and come back later because it would get snapped up by someone else. Negotiating in another language at 5am with jetlag is also a challenge. Our parents speak the language, our Mom more eloquently than our Dad, but his smile goes a long way and they were treated better than some other American buyers who didn’t speak the language. Items would be gathered, packed and crated and loaded onto a container ship, the whole process taking months.
Despite the growth and progress, we kept it in the family and over the years a few special people came on board who became like family. I joined the business for ten years and eventually became a decorator. My brother Phil was always available to help with containers and special projects. He stays busy with his motorcycle salvage and custom chopper business. Utilizing the principles he learned from the family business and mentors others in his field. His travels have taken him all over the U.S., Asia and Europe. Like father like son.
The film and television industry has been an important supporter of our family business since we opened our Peachtree location in 1986. They rent props by the week or longer for film and television shoots here in Y’allywood and beyond. Clients go ga-ga for pieces that were used as props in long running television series. From “In the Heat of the Night” to “The Walking Dead” and movies from “Driving Miss Daisy”, “Fried Green Tomatoes” to “The Changeup” and “The Hunger Games”. Film and Television will always need what we have for historical and current day storytelling.
Set Decorator Buyers have become great friends with our parents. Bruce and Emke made their lives a little easier back before Google and even today. Most of these types of pieces aren’t able to be located online with the push of a button on a laptop. We know that “so and so” in the country has that item in a pile in his barn and we pride ourselves for the sources from which we can draw to fill an order. Antique dealers are old school, so Metropolitan Artifacts has been the key to finding the vintage needles in the haystack that the set dressers demand. Set dressers’ visions and tight deadlines are our adrenaline and keep us excited to open our doors every day.
Great place to see architectural salvage of high quality from U.S., France, Europe, etc. Statuary, railings, pediments, huge ornate doors, fountains, fence gates, mantels, columns, banisters, wrought iron, many types of lighting, fixtures, doorknobs and other hardware. Very cool place to stroll around and see fine craftsmanship from the past. Designers love this place for its vintage antique charm.
Walking through Metropolitan Artifacts was like drifting through a dream. Hard to describe, but well worth the time. Huge variety of things you probably have not seen before.
Stunning collection of items. Like walking through a museum.