Published: September 25, 2006
Dee Spratta, a well-known and respected antiques dealer, died peacefully Sunday, September 17, with her family by her side. Dee and her husband Tony opened their first shop in 1960 on Hanover Street in Meriden. In 1965 they moved permanently to an old Victorian on West Main Street. Their son Tom joined the business in 1971 and Dee’s Antiques became a family tradition.
Dee was truly ahead of her time. There were few women in the business back then, fewer with her knowledge and fewer still moving high-end Victorian furniture down several flights of stairs. Dee became an expert on many of the early Meriden manufacturers, including Bradley and Hubbard, Meriden Britannia, Hall Bros, Charles Parker, Miller, Handel, Walter Wilson, Matzow and C.F. Monroe. Most of Dee’s purchases were from direct descendents of company founders, giving her and Tony the opportunity to acquire the rarest and best that Meriden’s historic past had to offer.
Several outstanding pieces of her collection of Wavecrest were photographed for Wilfred Cohens’ book The Glass of C.F. Monroe.
They sold at one of Connecticut’s first and best shows, The West Hartford Armory, followed by Brimfield and later the Farmington Show. If there were quality antiques to be had, Dee was there. Each month haulers from California to Tennessee would make stops at Dee’s for that great piece of “Vic” that the family just purchased out of the attics of those old Meriden homes.
She was a woman with a heart of gold, a warm smile and a funny story to tell her customers who entered that old-fashioned shop she loved so much. Tom and his father Tony (the Chief) will continue to run Dee’s Antiques and the legacy that Dee and the family started 47 years ago. In addition to her husband Tony and son Tom, Dee also left behind her loving daughter Holly, her husband John and their two beautiful children Jacqueline and John.
Goodbye for now, Dee. May you rest in peace.ഀ
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