New York author seeks Bermuda homes and antiques for new book

An American antiques expert is looking for beautiful Bermuda homes and antiques to feature in a new book.

Michael Connors, of New York City, is the author of several books focused on furniture, decorative arts and architecture of the West Indies including 'Caribbean Houses: History, Style, and Architecture' (2009) and 'Caribbean Elegance' (2002).

Bermuda will be the subject of his seventh book, but he said it book will be slightly different from the others.

  • <B>Looking for homes and antiques</B>: Michael Connors and Karolina Stefanski are working on a new book about Bermuda houses and antiques.

    Looking for homes and antiques: Michael Connors and Karolina Stefanski are working on a new book about Bermuda houses and antiques.

  • Verdmont Museum will be one of the houses included in antiques expert Michael Connors new book about Bermuda.

    Verdmont Museum will be one of the houses included in antiques expert Michael Connors new book about Bermuda.

  • <B>Interior photography: </B>The work of local photographers will be featured in the book. Photographer Ian-MacDonald Smith is shown here shooting at Verdmont Museum.

    Interior photography: The work of local photographers will be featured in the book. Photographer Ian-MacDonald Smith is shown here shooting at Verdmont Museum.


An American antiques expert is looking for beautiful Bermuda homes and antiques to feature in a new book.

Michael Connors, of New York City, is the author of several books focused on furniture, decorative arts and architecture of the West Indies including 'Caribbean Houses: History, Style, and Architecture' (2009) and 'Caribbean Elegance' (2002).

Bermuda will be the subject of his seventh book, but he said it book will be slightly different from the others.

"My previous books only dealt with the colonial era," said Dr. Connors. "But this one will have a more contemporary feel.

"We will be looking at Bermudian vernacular architecture. We might feature some of Bermudian architect Will Onions work, and then find antiques to go with it.

"We might feature an antique piece of furniture in a contemporary house, but everything must bespeak Bermuda."

Dr. Connors has a doctorate degree in Decorative Arts from New York University where he taught for 15 years. He also had an antiques gallery in Soho, New York City, for 30 years, but sold it in 2007.

"I am now spending most of my time doing the books and researching them," he said. "I am no longer a dealer, but I sometimes work as a consultant for museums and collectors.

"People will sometimes come to me and ask me to find something. I can do that, but I don't keep an inventory."

Dr. Connors was on the Island after Christmas to oversee a photoshoot of several historic Bermuda houses.

The Royal Gazette caught up with him on a blustery, cold day at Verdmont Museum, in Smith's parish.

"The weather always does present us with a challenge, but we are used to working in the Caribbean," said Dr. Connors. "It is not a challenge we cannot conquer. This morning it was a beautiful morning so we got some exterior shots of the front."

Dr. Connors hoped to work with a range of Bermudian photographers. On the day he spoke to The Royal Gazette, he was working with Bermudian photographer Ian MacDonald-Smith.

"I am not bringing any photographers from England or the United States," said Dr. Connors.

In addition to working with private homeowners, he is also liaising with a number of historical organisations including the Bermuda National Trust and the Bermuda Maritime Museum.

"We are trying to touch all historical basis here," said Dr. Connors. "Although we haven't had a chance to get to them all yet."

Dr. Connors has visited Bermuda several times. He was last here in October, sailing in from Boston on a 137ft schooner.

"I sailed into St. George harbour and decided this Bermuda book was going to start there with my sailing into the harbour just as people would have done 400 years ago," he said. "So it has really put me in the mood to get on with the Bermuda book."

He said Bermudians had shown him "unbelievable" hospitality and generosity.

"I don't think I have felt as welcome on any other island in the Caribbean as I do in Bermuda."

Comparing Bermudian architecture to architecture he had seen in the Caribbean, he said the Island was probably most closely aligned with the Turks and Caicos.

"Historically, some Bermudians settled in the Turks and Caicos," he said. "They came down as salt purveyors. There is one house on Salt Cay called The White House.

"It could be mistaken for a Bermudian house. They say the stone was in fact imported from Bermuda. And the family who built it was Bermudian."

The book will include a chapter on Bermuda silver written by Karolina Stefanski, who is currently studying for a masters degree in art history from the Sorbonne, in Paris, France.

She has assisted with the styling and coordinating of Dr. Connors' previous books. And before he started to write, she worked with him at his antiques gallery in Soho. She also has a small jewellery making business.

"Metals are my passion," she said. "I am looking forward to doing some research on Bermuda silver. So far, I have seen a few important pieces from the Bermuda National Trust and also the Bermuda National Gallery.

"In the past, there was a lot of silversmithing going on here in Bermuda. One of the earliest silversmiths was John Knapton, whom Knapton Hill is named after. He would have been born in the 1600s. Richard Norwood's 1663 Survey listed him as owning about 49 acres."

He asked anyone interested in being featured in the book to contact him.

"Some people have asked us not to use their names in the book, and we respect that," he said.

For more information about Dr. Connors see his webpage at http://www.michaelconnorsantiques.com or email him at dr.mconnorsyahoo.com .

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