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Nantucket Shopping

Most of what you'll find for sale is as high in quality as it is in price -- everything from $6 boxes of chocolate-covered dried cranberries to $900 cashmere sweaters. Perhaps the most well known of the traditional crafts is the lightship basket. Listed below are local sources:

Bill & Judy Sayle Nantucket Lightship Baskets
112 Washington Street
Extension - PO Box 1233 - Nantucket , MA 02554 -

Four Winds Craft Guild ( 508-228-9623)
15 Main Street
- PO Box 1049 - Nantucket , MA 02554

The Golden Basket ( 508-228-4344 - 800-582-8205)
44 Main Street
- PO Box 397 - Nantucket , MA 02554

Michael Kane Lightship Baskets (508-228-1548)
18A Sparks Avenue - Nantucket , MA 02554

Nantucket Lightship Basket Frames ( 508-228-3930)
PO Box 1249
Nantucket , MA 02554

Nantucket Lite, Candle & Soap Co. ( 508-228-8494)
14 South Water Street
- PO Box 106 - Nantucket , MA 02554

For jewelry, visit The Golden Basket, 44 Main St. (800/582-8205 or 508/228-4344), where the widely copied, miniaturized jewelry versions of Nantucket's trademark lightship baskets were introduced.

The main street, cobblestoned and harborfront.
Most boaters aren't looking to return home with a new dining table aboard, but Lynda Willauer Antiques, at 2 India St. (508/228-3631), has such an exquisite selection of antique furniture that it's worth stopping by just to admire. An island fixture since 1971, Tonkin of Nantucket's (508/228-9697) giant showrooms at 33 Main St. feature silver, china, marine paintings, ship models, fireplace equipment, Quimper, and majolica, and will have you drooling and more than likely walking out with some treasure in hand. We did!

The Artists' Association of Nantucket has the widest selection of work by locals at their gallery at 19 Washington St. (508/228-0294). The sculptor David L. Hostetler exhibits his work in one of the little galleries along Old South Wharf (508/228-5152). Exquisite art glass pieces, as well as ceramics, jewelry, and basketry, can be found at Dane Gallery, 28 Centre St. (508/228-7779).

Sailor's Valentine in the Macy Warehouse on lower Main Street (508/228-2011) houses a collection of contemporary fine art, sculpture, folk art, and "outsider art." There are also new versions of the namesake craft which 19th-century sailors used to bring back from the Caribbean. The Toy Boat, Straight Wharf no. 41 (508/228-4552), stocks lots of locally crafted, hand-carved playthings, such as "rainbow fleet" sailboats, part of the Harbor Series that includes docks, lighthouses, boats, and stackable lighthouse puzzles.

Mitchell's Book Corner at 54 Main St. (508/228-1080) maintains a good sampling of general-interest books and an entire room dedicated to regional and maritime titles. Nantucket Bookworks, 25 Broad St. (508/228-4000), is a charming bookstore with a central location.

Preppy patterns and bright colors are back! You'll find Lilly Pulitzer's latest, including sensational minidresses, at 5 S. Water St. (508/228-0569). And don't miss the inimitable "Nantucket reds" - traditional cotton yachting attire that starts out tomato-red and washes out to salmon-pink. The fashion originated at Murray's Toggery Shop, 62 Main St. (800/368-2134 or 508/228-0437). Legend has it that the original line was colored with an inferior dye that washed out almost immediately. However, customers so liked the thick cottons and instant aged look that the proprietor was forced to search for more of the same fabric. Roland Hussey (R.H.) Macy, founder of Macy's, got his start here in the 1830s. There's a bargain outlet on New Street.

A casual counterpart to its Madison Avenue boutique, Erica Wilson Needle Works, 25-27 Main St. (508/228-9881), features the designs of its namesake, author of more than two dozen books on needlepoint. Nantucket Looms, 16 Main St. (508/228-1908), features beautifully textured woven items as well as fine furniture and gifts. Claire Murray, 11 S. Water St. (508/228-1913), is famous for its elaborate hand-hooked rugs. A New York transplant running a Nantucket B&B in the late 1970s, Murray took up the art of hooking rugs to see her through winters. She now runs a multi-million dollar retail company and has hundreds of "hookers" working for her around the world. Do-it-yourself kits are sold in the shop here for about two-thirds the price of the finished rugs ($100-$500) and come with free lessons.

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