Garden of good, not evil, in Savannah

Lafayette Square (courtesy Savannah CVB)

One of the pleasures of travel is stumbling upon a special delight in a city: a restaurant, a park, a shop, a hotel or an especially nice zimmer frei or pensione.

In Savannah, Georgia I found V & J Duncan.

This packed shop (next to Monterey Square, one of the historic district’s beautiful green “pocket parks”) is absolutely stuffed with antique maps, old prints and books.  It was mentioned in John Berendt’s classic book about Savannah, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. 

Listen to the charming owners on this video.

Some of the collection is for sale online, including many of the prints, but it’s much more fun to turn the print pages in person and make discoveries in etchings, fashion prints, prints from each US state, landscapes, legal and medical prints, botanicals, sports….what a pleasurable way to spend a sultry afternoon.

Samuel Lewis drawing of Georgia, 1804 (courtesy V & J Duncan)

I bought two prints by Harrison Fisher from a series called “American Girls Abroad,” with Gibson Girl-esqe women adventuring through Italy and the Netherlands in the early 1900s.

We had a lot in common, since I’ve been an American girl abroad in those countries, although certainly not as elegantly dressed.

I also found a magazine page from a 1931 Saturday Evening Post that is actually an ad for the Electric Refrigeration Bureau, with a dreamy-looking woman explaining, “Why I’ll never give up my electric refrigerator.”

We’re in solidarity on that one, ’cause neither will I.

You have to hunt for the shop’s little sign on the gracious yellow building on East Taylor Street, then rummage through the items to find just what you’re looking for, but what a lovely way to enjoy part of this gracious, welcoming Southern coastal city.

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