The Owners Of Obscura Antiques And Oddities On Attention To Detail

After selling oddities like animal skulls and medical prints for more than 20 years, the owners of Obscura Antiques and Oddities have learned that to be successful you have to get up early, look at things closely, and roll with the punches.

There are no shortcuts to finding an antique taxidermied two-headed calf.

Antique hunters need to be out early, stay late, and hope for a little bit of luck, too. These are lessons that Mike Zohn and Evan Michelson have learned in the decades that they have been running Obscura Antiques and Oddities in Manhattan's East Village. Between the two of them, they have 40 years experience of tracking down the best stuff at estate sales and flea markets all over the country. But even before going out on a what could easily be a 14-hour day of hunting, both Zohn and Michelson always do some research.

"We know people who have not done their homework,” Michelson said. "They have had treasures that have slipped through their fingers."

Evan Michelson and Mike Zohn

Their hard work got them their own reality show, Oddities, on Discovery Channel, which has made their once-misunderstood shop a destination for the show’s fans. But it didn’t make the work any easier.

"There are a whole lot of misses,” Michelson said. Still, the only way to find the treasures that make their store unique is persistence. "Look at everything at least three or four times from different directions."

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