Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The Bird in the Bush Flies High With Rare Items

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Owner and founder Rodney Clements displays rare stacking box.

If you want to enjoy a rare visit through antiques from around the world, look for a painted European “goat wagon” that marks the almost unseen entrance to The Bird In The Bush in Oxford.
Tucked between the Army recruiting station and Alice and Company on East University Avenue in Oxford The Bird in the Bush is a treasure trove of antiques and collectables. The unique shop opened 44 years ago under the leadership of experienced collector and entrepreneur Rodney Clements.
The small, unassuming entrance belies the wealth of merchandise that spans 2,100-square-feet of floor space containing collectables from Mississippi, the South and from around the world. Visitors who step inside The Bird in the Bush are surprised to see a massive amount of items ranging from antiques, porcelain, rugs, birdhouses, man-cave accessories, kitchen items, and much, much more.
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Asian art is among the distinctive items at the Bird in the Bush.

The Bird In The Bush is a brand recognized by long-time Oxford residents, but Clements’ customers are mostly out of town. “Locals have not discovered us in our current location, I guess,” Clements said. “We first opened in 1970 in a house on College Hill Road. When that location burned, we moved to University Avenue. The owner explained The Bird In The Bush has moved four times before he temporarily retired seven years ago.
“I didn’t enjoy retirement, so I went back into business,” he said.
The Bird In The Bush’s high-profile location at 1727 University Avenue is just east of its former location.
 
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The store’s floor is full of interesting items.

Clements travels to auctions and regional markets acquiring merchandise. A shrewd collector, Clements is always on the lookout to enrich his inventory. Recently, he traveled to Florida for a funeral and picked up two unique pieces of furniture: an oriental chest and a unique stacking chest that has a hidden drawer. Unstack the top pieces and the hidden drawer is revealed.
“I travel in a van and I’m always looking for merchandise. You never know what you will find. I look for items that I like and that I can sell at a fair price,” Clements said.
The Bird in the Bush offers unique items, perfect for gift-giving, and affordable. Prices range from as little as a dollar to a $6,500 handmade pieces of porcelain from China.
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The Bird in the Bush features the kind of items you won’t find anywhere else in the area.

“I purchased this (porcelain item) from a Chinese man who visits the mainland several times a year and who brings to his warehouse beautiful items,” Clements said.
Clements can usually be found seated in a comfortable chair in the front of his store. His knack for easy-going Southern hospitality is routinely exhibited as he greets visitors who often come in and say they’re just looking around. “They always seem surprised when I offer them a cold drink, which we keep in our refrigerator in our kitchen area,” he added.
A visit with Clements and a tour of The Bird In The Bush is a worthy afternoon trip. If you have difficulty finding the shop, look for an antique European goat wagon (Price $700) with two painted birdhouses the wagon’s bed. “You know, I have not figured out how they hooked up a goat to that wagon, but it is authentic.” Clements said.
Here are some more images from the Bird in the Bush:
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Rodney Clements is a shrewd collector.

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Birdhouses are always popular.

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Beautiful furniture is in abundance.

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The friendly owner is always ready with a smile and a coke.

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Beautiful pieces like this are on display.

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Rare novelty items related to hunting are available.

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