Article About D.C. Riggott, Inc. from the Antique Week - March 17, 2008
By Belladora Maria Ahumada
AFTON, MINN - Don Riggott didn’t originally plan to become an expert in American architecture and church antiques. In the 1970’s his occupation was a commercial photographer. That job took him around the world touring with the internationally recognized American musician, singer, songwriter and producer Larry Norman. Norman is often described as the father of Christian rock music.
But Riggott soon developed a fascination with antiques. Wanting to remain closer to home and family, he became a picker for other antique dealers. But, this new avocation, progressed further, taking his destiny deep into the heart of the church.
From the onset, Riggott soon developed a passion for salvaging and restoring the original artifacts from churches which had fallen into despair. These artifacts would once again became treasures for other sanctuaries in need. This led to the opening of D.C. Riggott Inc. which would become one of the first Architectural Antique shops in the USA.
“Back then we had very little competition. We were the company that usually got the call when a building was going to be demolished,” Riggott said. “We have had 30 years of experience in the business and are dedicated to dealing with authentic items. There are many treasures in our inventory that are nearly impossible to find anywhere else.”
D.C. Riggott Inc. is unique from other antique companies because they specialize in architectural antiques as well as ecclesiastical artifacts such as stained glass windows, altars, statues, candle stands, sanctuary lights, and votive stands. The shop is located in Afton, Minn on an old German farmstead only 30 minutes from St. Paul, Minn.
“We carry specialty liturgical items available exclusively to the clergy and churches, such as chalices, ciboria, monstrances, and tabernacles.” Riggott said.
Riggott is passionate about treasure hunting and truly enjoys bringing finds to his customers. He takes pleasure in providing customers with that long lost treasure that they have been searching for. “The fact is, many of these pre-used items are of far greater craftsmanship and aesthetic quality than most of the new stuff you'll find, and at a price that is often less than buying new,” Riggott said.
The trend of these beautiful antiques has now crossed over into the construction of home based chapels. “We sell many of our church related furnishings to people who are building these chapels, and often individuals will convert a room in there home into a chapel complete with altar, stained glass windows, church pews, church light fixtures and candlesticks,” Riggott said.
Stained glass windows are among Riggott’s favorites. He has sold thousands of them over the past 30 years. “I have sold Tiffany windows, Frank Lloyd Wright as well as Louis Sullivan,” said Riggott. With eight buildings on his farm there is plenty of room for his discoveries to be stored. He also ships worldwide.
From the common home to the office of the arch-bishops Riggott’s love of architecture, has pulled history from the wreckage of progress and placed it once again to capture a part of the future.