STORY AND PHOTOS BY ALLAN GOLDSTEIN
A passion for timeless antiques and a love of history are what led Jon Felz to establish RZM Fine Arts & Antiques, one of Rockland’s go-to antique dealerships and appraisers.
The Pearl River shop buys fine art and antiques outright in addition to providing auction and estate sales services. Felz’s shop also performs museum restoration services, restoring items back to their original condition using the original means by which they were made.
As a child, Felz learned the fine points of antiques from his mother who was a dealer at Tice’s Farm in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, for four decades. While helping with the family business, Felz was fascinated by the back-stories surrounding the various artifacts and he continues to share those stories with customers to this day.
“At RZM, we are here to educate people and inform them as to the true value of family heirlooms and antiques,” Felz said.
In the 1990s Felz’s career took a somewhat unorthodox turn from law enforcement to antique dealing. After graduating from Pascack Hills High School in 1976 and then receiving a degree from Bergen Community College, he joined the New York City Police Department in 1982 where he served until his retirement in 2000.
Felz actually started his antique business on a part-time basis while still a police officer. He began working with his mother and incorporated RZM in 1995. He also notes that for many years he work as an NYPD detective and was assigned for a period of time to the Antique Art Fraud Squad.
Felz says the tastes of the market have changed with a new generation of young people. ”They want mid-century modern, Danish modern furniture and abstract art mostly from the years 1950-1965. These are the hot things going,” said Felz.
However Felz laments the state of the market for American antiques. The rising wealth of nations like China has enabled foreign collectors to come in and pay high prices for what he sees as precious American antiques.
“American youth have no interest in these great antiques that are leaving the country and going overseas. Younger people don’t really care about history,” he said.
Felz theorizes that American schooling has dulled youths’ minds to appreciation of history, but he has long held a fascination with knowledge of our past. One of Felz’s favorite topics is military history.
“I always liked military history from the time of Napoleon to Vietnam. The thing that I noticed when Napoleon was defeated was that at the Conference of Vienna the victors were benevolent. They treated people with dignity and that ensured peace in Europe for a long period of time.”
And it is with great dignity Felz promises to treat the fine antique pieces you bring to or purchase from him.
In addition to the main Pearl River location at 132 Dexter Avenue, RZM Fine Arts & Antiques has New Jersey branch offices in Spring Lake, Closter, and Cliffside Park. Felz is a certified appraiser in the New England Appraisers Association, bonded, licensed and insured. His company holds an A+ rating in the Better Business Bureau. For additional information go to www.RZMAntiques.com or call 845-735-1313.