When the producers of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Spy Kids” and “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” needed some nautical props, they knew where to turn.
The phones started ringing at Galveston’s Nautical Antiques & Decor at 2202 Mechanic, which holds one of the largest collections of nautical items and memorabilia in the United States.
“We sell to everyone from someone decorating their own home, to restaurants and to the movie industry,” said co-owner Michael Culpepper, who opened the business with his wife, Andrienne, in 2000. “A lot of people know about us, but we still have a lot of people who walk through the door and ask, ‘When did you open?’ “
Nautical Antiques & Decor is the premiere supplier of Nautical Antiques on Galveston Island. They are wholesalers and retailers of most everything that is nautical salvage. They carry a mind-boggling selection of items including: compasses, sextants, code and courtesy flags, old glass net floats, ships wheels; brass, copper, galvanized navigation lights, life rings, oars, binnacles, engine order telegraphs, rope, buoys, and much more.
The couple buys and sells worldwide, so they a spend a month of every year abroad searching the shipyards and chandleries of the world, as well as the large wrecking yards and breakers of Asia and the Near East.
Some of the most popular items include brass lighting fixtures, which hold up well in Galveston’s salty environment, Culpepper said.
“We also sell a lot of glass floats from Japan and China that were used to hold up fishing nets,” he said. “They were used before molded plastic floats, and most are used for decorative purposes now. You can pile them together in the garden, and they catch light in a sunny window.”
Customers also ask about instruments such as telegraphs used to signal down to a ship’s engine room, as well as steering stations of vessels, he said.
You are welcome to visit the warehouse, but be sure to call ahead of time at 409-539-5469 due to their busy travel schedule. The Culpeppers sell worldwide, and spend a month of every year abroad searching ship yards and chandleries, as well as the large wrecking yards and breakers of Asia and the Near East.
For more information, visit http://www.piecesofship.com/.