On a not-so-quiet street in a peaceful town, there’s a row of shops facing the imposing stone structure of the county courthouse and the green expanse of the courthouse square. Nestled in amongst these shops, situated between a florist and a lawyer’s office (or a realtor’s office, or both – there are signs for both, anyway) is this charming shop called The Court Jester Antiques and Stuff.
Owned by Judy Bruce, The Court Jester’s name says it all. The antiques that Judy sells are eclectic, nice pieces that strike a happy medium between old, rusted out junk (not gonna find anything like that here!) and Louis XIV end tables (won’t find anything like that, either). Not being an antique fanatic, it’s hard for me to describe them, but I can say that, scattered around and in front of her shop, the antiques she carries lend a cohesion and charm to her displays.
Then there’s the “& Stuff” part of her shop. Again, the selection is eclectic and well chosen with an emphasis on crafts. Many of the crafts are by local artisans, including yours truly. There is hand-crafted glass bead jewelry in bold, vibrant colors and designs; a plethora of nose-tantalizing candles; glass works and; of course, the finest soaps with which you could ever want to bathe. Sometimes, Judy’s sharp eyes and appreciation for quality may snag on incredible yard sale finds. Back in July, she had two charming, handmade four-poster doll beds that she’d found at a yard sale and that, of course, my older daughter just HAD to have. Unfortunately, they both got sold before we had a chance to purchase them; one was going to be a treat for her that weekend. This is just a taste of what you can find at The Court Jester.
As you enter the shop, your first impression might be, “Wow, this is small!” Yes, the front room is small, but that’s just the beginning. The front room is like the antechamber to an amazing cavern of treasures waiting to be discovered. The shop is deep, with goody-filled halls leading from room to room, each one highlighting particular wares. My first experience of the shop was delight as Judy led my older daughter and me throughout each room. And while some products are constant – soaps, candles, jewelry and books, to name a few – I’d guess at least half of the inventory rotates, with new wares coming in as Judy finds them at estate sales and auctions.
The Court Jester is one of the many charming shops that visitors will find in Burgaw’s Historic District. Burgaw is a small town in Pender County, North Carolina, just off of I-40 at exit 398, just half an hour from Wilmington. The Court Jester is located at 115 South Wright Street and is open Monday-Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 11:00 to 4:00. Like most of Burgaw, the shop’s closed on Sundays. So, swing by, check it out, and tell Judy you saw it here. 🙂