History

Established in 1959 High Grade Finishing/Ainsworth Antiques is a third generation family owned and operated business located in Northern Connecticut.

Its idea was conceived in the loft of a small barn as a hobby for James Ainsworth and his wife Mary. James was fond of the work of Peter Hunt and would restore pieces at his leisure that mirrored Hunts work. Mary worked with him after, adding much of the hand painted floral designs to the pieces.

They had six children together and the youngest of them all was Edwin. Edwin worked with his father during the day farming and gradually began to spend time with him after hours learning the fine art of furniture restoration his father enjoyed so well. Eventually, Edwin moved out, married, worked different jobs, but he never forgot the time he spent with his father.

In 1959 influenced by his father's teachings and determined to utilize the skills he had been taught, Edwin along with his wife Joan, opened High Grade Finishing for business. Together they worked diligently, all the while building a solid customer base and a respectable reputation.

High Grade Finishing grew, and in 1969 an expansion was needed. The building was enlarged from 1800 square feet to 6000 square feet. With a larger facility, and more work, more help was needed. They hired employees. One in particular demonstrated real promise, their son Russell.
Russell admired his parents deeply and loved the work they did together. They worked as a family for years. During that time Russell gradually mastered his skills and developed an appreciation for the superior craftsmanship and quality of the older furniture. This admiration coupled with years of restoration experience motivated him to begin buying antique furniture to restore and sell. It was during this time that he met his soon to be wife and business partner Valarie. Working beside Russell, Valarie honed her skills and developed her own niche within the restoration process. As a team they focused on acquiring many fine pieces and had soon amassed an extensive inventory of 19th and 20th century furniture. By combining well made antique furniture with tasteful restorations, they were able to exhibit their expert talents to perspective customers as well as provide them with unique additions to their collections.

Their showroom grew into an integral part of their business and with a growing workforce of skilled artisans, their restoration business flourished. Motivated by this extraordinary response, Rus and Val decided to extend their services. They developed a website which encompassed their restoration business in addition to their antique sales. Now anyone with access to the internet can enjoy their services be it a restoration project or an antique purchase.

Russell and Valarie guarantee their work as well as everything they sell. Each piece receives their exclusive attention and is thoroughly examined before shipment. They are confident you will be completely satisfied with their services and will gladly assist you with any inquires you may have.