Did you know Baron's in Stone Mountain Village has restored antiques for celebrities such as Ted Turner and Jimmy Carter?
Baron's has gained its credibility and a name in restoring glass, porcelain and artwork pieces since it first started in Atlanta in 1947 by Paul Baron. Baron passed away in 1963, and siblings Peter Chambers, Ed Chambers and Christy Robertson (in addition to her husband, Ken) now own the business. Baron's eventually moved to the Village in 1981, and the family has expanded its services by selling jewelry and collectibles for Disney and Lladro.
This week, Patch sits down with Peter Chambers to talk about how his family got into the business and how Baron's has progressed over the years.
Patch: How did your family first get involved with Baron's?
Peter Chambers: My brother, Ed, went to work with Paul when he was 14 because he was good at making models. He kind of had a talent, a gift, for restorations. Paul died in 1963, and Sally (Baron, Paul's wife) moved to Chicago where her daughter lived, so she sold the business to my mom. Ed was probably around 19 or 20 at the time, and he still does the restorations and repairs and things.
Patch: Baron's first started out as just a restoration company, but you guys have expanded over the years.
Chambers: It's kind of like two different stores in here. My mom did art restoration and antiques, like Old Paris and Fostoria. My sister and brother own the antique and restoration part of the store now, and I own the jewelry part and the Disney and the Lladro. I do new things, and they do old things.
Patch: What are some of the most notable restorations Baron's has done?
Chambers: We've done work for Ted Turner, Jimmy Carter and Elton John. We've done things for the museum, for the post office, the murual. Gosh, we've done from $10 jobs to thousands-of-dollars jobs.
Patch: What kind of restorations?
Chambers: We've done several different things for Elton John. We've done plates, some kind of a glass trophy-thing that was hanging on the wall.
Patch: And you also sell collectibles?
Chambers: Yes. For the Walt Disney Art Classics, I was actually the biggest Disney dealer back in the 90s. I was also the biggest Lladro dealer in the state, too, with about 400 pieces. They're porcelain and handmade in Spain, and they've been in business since 1950. They range from $75 to $150,000, but the biggest piece I've ever sold was $10,000. I would loved to have sold a $150,000 Lladro.
Patch: How many pieces do you have in your personal collection?
Chambers: Unfortunately, I have a lot. I have probably over 100 Lladros and 100 Disney pieces. And some of the Disney pieces that were kind of inexpensive are now worth a lot more money because there would be limited editions or retired. They only make about 1,200 Lladros a year and retire about 100 different pieces.