This time there was an "open" sign hanging in the window. In better light the shop looked like a fortress. The heavy wooden door had metal bands across it for reinforcement. It looked like it could withstand a battering ram. He tested the latch and the door opened silently inward on well oiled hinges. A small bell rang as he entered.
The smell of burning incense and the glow of burning candles was completely unexpected. A dark shag carpet muffled his steps and he sneezed involuntarily as he stirred up some dust. "Antiquities and Curiousities" was not a normal shop in any sense of the term. He gazed around in awe. It was like being in a museum. The shop was large and divided into several sections, each section set up and displayed according to a historical time period.
He had been expecting to see odds and ends of junk that cluttered so many antique shops. Instead each section was divided not by year but by century. There were complete room like displays of furniture, clothing, weaponry, art, games, toys, reading materials and more. Entering into a section was like stepping into a different world.
He stepped into a display about prehistoric cavemen. There was a replica of a cave painting on a rock. The painting and rock looked like they had been hewn out of the back of a cave somewhere. There was a clay bowl and goblet, three flint knives looked sharp and fairly unused. A hand axe had been used to cut chips out of a log laying in the middle of the display. Admiring it, he picked the axe up, hefted it and gave a couple practice swings. There was a primitive energy and vitality about each item that made him instinctively want to pick it up and start using it. He just knew these items had been made to be used.
A female figure was dressed attractively in furs and armed with a bow and quiver of hand made arrows. There was a small pack on her back and a blanket robe of rabbit fur lying on the ground beside her. She had a necklace of brightly colored bird feathers around her neck and there were price tags on each item. His jaw dropped in disbelief as he looked at a few of the price tags. There was a small fortune in this one display alone.
He realized this shop must deal in specialty replicas. Perhaps theater props. Each item was extremely well made and looked real and functional. The clothing, furniture, weapons and even the leather shoes were all obviously hand crafted. Moving to other displays he could see each item of clothing was crudely woven in the old manner, hand stitched and buttons were hand made. He would have believed he was in some type of museum but no museum carried items in such a perfect state of repair and like new condition.
He wandered for an hour looking at various displays and getting an increasingly troubled feeling that something wasn't right. He could believe one or two displays of meticulous craftsmanship and diversity. There were re-constructionists that studied the old ways of ancient civilizations and tried duplicating them. But this was different.