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Meet Your Neighbor: Linda Mason of Middleburg Antique Gallery

Meet Your Neighbor: Linda Mason of Middleburg Antique Gallery

Written by Kaitlin Hill | Photos by Gracie Savage

Middleburg Antique Gallery on West Washington Street is easy to get lost in. Not because it is disorganized or cluttered — it’s just the opposite — but because it is an antique enthusiast’s dream come to life in art, barware, furniture, fresh cut flowers, and treasures of all kinds. Walk the serpentine footpaths created by carefully curated displays and find something surprising around each corner, from black-and-white photos of a young Robert De Niro to a delicate china tea set with a fox motif. Though, more than the glass tumblers, oriental rugs, and walls of hunting scenes, what Middleburg Antique Gallery owner Linda Mason has cultivated most expertly is a sense of community and camaraderie in an industry that can oftentimes seem exclusive or unapproachable. 

Sitting on a stunning silver antique velvet couch with Khaleesi, the shop dog, nestled beside her, Mason shares, “My parents were always into antiques. That is how I started, going to auctions when I was little.” She adds, “It’s in my blood. 

“My mom started in a mall like this and we were all intrigued by auctions. My dad was hooked immediately. They had three little shops in Leesburg and then a huge shop in Leesburg, and I was one of their dealers.” Mason continues, “I would usually work for my rent, or I worked behind the counter in the summer. It was really fun to learn what everyone was doing.” 

From parents’ apprentice to proprietor, Mason opened her own antique shop in Leesburg. “I started my first shop when I was pregnant. That was 24 years ago.” Four Shabby Chicks, a collaboration of Mason and three other owners and a play on “shabby chic,” was “only open three days a month, which was fun,” Mason shares. “But my parents had this shop,” she says, glancing around the Middleburg storefront, “the whole time. So I was always here.” 

For years, Mason was “in and out” of Middleburg Antique Gallery, but she made the move to Middleburg full-time six years ago. She shares, “My dad lived in St. Simons, Georgia, and would go back and forth. That’s why I was here so much.” She continues, “Unfortunately, my dad passed away two years ago. When he passed, I took over. He’s the one who taught me how to do all of this.” 

Perhaps the most apparent lesson he taught Mason, at least for visitors of the shop, is curating impressive displays and hanging the gallery walls. Pointing at the almost floor-to-ceiling collection of paintings behind her, Mason says, “I do all this myself.” She adds with a laugh, “Yesterday I was literally standing on the couch with no shoes on hanging all this art.” 

And for the tasks she doesn’t do herself, she has a “whole little world of people” that contribute to the collection at Middleburg Antique Gallery. She says, “I get to help support so many businesses that are in the trade. I have a clock person; his name is Doug Whitsell and he did the White House clock. I have brass people that polish all my brass. I have a glass guy from Paeonian Springs who does all my glass cutting. I have woodworkers — two really good ones.” She concludes, “So many people come in all the time, selling their stuff or their services.” 

Even her inventory is a group project, so to speak. While she sources many of the items from local estate sales, or tracks down items she wants to sell from as far away as London, she also leases sections of her store to dealers. “This shop is a little different because mostly the first level is me, but I also have dealers here who rent out the cases.” Mason continues, “The downstairs is fully rented. I have a rug dealer down there… He’s been down there for 25, 26 years.”

She has a “the more the merrier” approach to other antique shops in the area, too. When it comes to a new antique shop opening nearby, she says, “I totally encourage it. Especially women; I really support women in business. I always like to help support other people.” With the help of other local dealers, she even created the Antique Trail, a visual guide to all the antique shops in the area.

She adds, “Everyone in town — Taylor Thistlethwaite, Lou Hastings, The PLAYroom across the street, Tara — all of them know each other. So, it’s a great place to have an antique shop because it’s such a sweet little community.” 

Mason’s investment in the community resulted in a second shop, Antiques on Washington, with Lisa Vella of Baileywyck Antiques in The Plains. Unfortunately, this February, there was a fire that forced the location to temporarily close. “There was an electrical fire in the kitchen. Apparently the fire was quite small, but the smoke was so bad, I had to get everything professionally cleaned. I didn’t lose a lot, though.” 

Looking ahead, Mason plans to reopen Antiques on Washington, potentially under another, more sentimental name. “It will be after someone who is very special to me,” she explains. There, she’ll look to showcase antiques but also host events and gatherings for locals and visitors alike. 

For now, you can find Mason in Middleburg Antique Gallery, still excited to bring people together. She says, “What has always made me love antiques is the customer. They want to come in and talk, and around 4 o’clock when it gets a little bit later we’ll open a bottle of prosecco and have a little happy hour.” She points to a massive palm in the center of her front room and explains, “The palm bush has all my Champagne. It’s our happy hour tree.” 

Come for the antiques, stay for the company, as Mason’s keen eye for décor is just as sharp as her skills as a hostess. As she says, “Our door is usually revolving. Come in, walk around the shop, and stay a little longer.” ML

From Aldie to Zulla Road: Nine Shops in 16 Minutes

In addition to the Middleburg Antique Gallery, Mason believes Middleburg is “a destination” for antique seekers. With nine shops just between Aldie and Middleburg, the Route 50 corridor is definitely a must-visit when on the hunt for antique treasures. See below for the shops you can explore within a 16-minute drive and check out for even more local dealers. 


Village Antiques & Vintage LLC
23183 Cobb House Rd.
Middleburg, VA 20117

Mercer Tavern Antiques
39359 Little River Tpke.
Aldie, VA 20105


The Shaggy Ram

3 E. Washington St.
Middleburg, VA 20117

Middleburg Antique Gallery
107 W. Washington St.
Middleburg, VA 20117

The Accidental Peacock
18 S. Madison St.
Middleburg, VA 20117

Another Blue Moon
7 W. Washington St.
Middleburg, VA 20117

Hastening Antiques and Design
103 W. Federal St., Suite D
Middleburg, VA 20117

Thistlethwaite Americana
116 W. Washington St.
Middleburg, VA 20117

The Paradise Antiques
1769 Zulla Rd.
Middleburg, VA 20117 

Published in the June 2024 issue of Middleburg Life.

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