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Home | Articles | Dealer Profile: Gerard Graci and Richard LeBlanc

Gerard Graci (left) and Richard LeBlanc (right) of Black Pearl Antiques.
Twenty years ago, Richard LeBlanc began traveling the world, becoming increasingly intoxicated by Renaissance art and Asian antiquities. What started as an aesthete's hobby gradually evolved into a business, and in the early 1990s he joined forces with Gerard Graci to form Black Pearl Antiques.

Though Graci and LeBlanc have disparate backgrounds, it is perhaps their varied experiences that make their business partnership work so smoothly. Graci is a trained engineer with a talent for unearthing facts. An eye for detail and a love of precision complements the pride he takes in his work, which, among other things, involves researching the objects they represent. LeBlanc, a former guru of the fashion, fragrance, and cosmetics industries, has a natural flair for all things artistic. He still directs fashion advertisements for long-standing clients and offers interior decorating services to Black Pearl customers. LeBlanc is also a member of The Appraisers Guild of America.

LeBlanc and Graci recently moved their shop from Glastonbury, Connecticut. Black Pearl Antiques now operates from an historic circa-1900 blacksmith shop in Woodbury, Connecticut, with eighteenth-century paneling, high ceilings, and two fireplaces. One recent visitor there was heard to exclaim, "It's like a museum in here!", struck by the sight of a nineteenth-century life-sized marble statue of a kneeling boy--a young King David in prayer and the handsome Louis XV chest looking regal beneath a quattro centro Venetian painting. Maybe it is just the sheer, impressive immensity of it all that stops people, time and time again, to marvel at Graci and LeBlanc’s cultivation.

Black Pearl Antiques, 161 Main St., Woodbury, Conn. Tel. 203.266.0299. Hours: Wed.–Sat., 11 to 5; Sunday, noon to 5.

Lara Gavigan

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