Eighty years ago or so, in the early 1930s, this was where Peter Hunt hung his shingle, before he became nationally renowned for his Peasant Village artisans’ complex on Kiley Court, beginning at 432 Commercial. Among the “recently acquired antiques” Hunt advertised in July 1932 were a small ship’s figurehead for $125, a Nailsea glass flask for $35, and a pink lustre teapot for $20.
Irving Sametz and his wife, Rachel Ashley Sametz, of Westport, Conn., ran the place in the 1950s as the Ashley Shop, selling art, crafts, toys and gifts, as well as Peter Hunt Christmas cards.
It is now the Kiley Court Gallery, which was founded in 1991 and is run by Barbara Tucker Cardinal. Her maternal grandfather was Benjamin Sonnenberg, who is often credited (if that’s the right word) with being the father of public relations. Sonnenberg kept a fabled townhouse on Gramercy Park in Manhattan and didn’t too badly for himself here in town, either, at 566 Commercial Street. Cardinal’s husband, Robert Cardinal, is a painter with a studio in North Truro. He, too, shows at Kiley Court. The gallery briefly had a West End annex, in the old First National Savings Bank building at 170 Commercial.