2020 Commercial 084


Former Phyllis Handwrought Jewelry.

The plaque on No. 84 states that it was built in 1797, a date accepted by the Provincetown Historic Survey with the considerable caveat that the building was heavily altered over time, gaining a full-length shed dormer and losing its porch. For more than three decades in the first half of the 20th century, Emma Agnes (Prada) Cudios — whose parents had come from São Miguel in the Azores — operated a millinery shop here, until her death in 1947. This was the Wiletta House, a guest house operated by Vera Webber (Gallagher), from the late 1940s through the mid-1960s. In 1966, Phyllis (Gold) Sklar (1923-2010) and her husband, Israel Louis “Izzi” Sklar (1923-2012), opened Phyllis Handwrought Jewelry at this location. Phyllis Gold had been a jeweler in Greenwich Village, where she met Sklar, an artist and musician. At their wedding in 1960, the jazz clarinetist Pee Wee Russell was the best man.

2020 Commercial 084 Gallery DiptychThe Sklars’ calling cards, in the author’s collection.

They opened their first Provincetown shop at 407 Commercial Street in 1961. Business at No. 84 slowly seemed to peter out over the years, though Izzi — pictured in the thumbnail above — welcomed visitors and enjoyed showing off his collection of vintage cameras. Four years after Phyllis died, one of her brooches was accepted into the collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, a gift of Stephen Borkowski. Laurie M. Delmolino and her spouse, Susan L. Troyan, bought the house from the Sklar estate in 2013 for $1.029 million, or $999,500 more than Izzi paid for it in 1965.

¶ Last updated on 22 July 2018.

Berta Walker wrote on 4 March 2014: Phyllis was an amazing folk artist (I’ve given her two shows), and they are both famous for designing the “AA” (Alcoholics Anonymous) jewelry so many still wear today. As a kid — way back when — I remember seeing these famous triangles on display at the Flagship Restaurant, probably observed because I was “chief saleslady” for Ed Wiener’s contemporary jewelry in the late ’50s.

Stephen Borkowski wrote on 12 January 2015: I always said she was good as — or better than — the guys!

Walter Arsenault wrote on 13 March 2018: My boyfriend and I lived in one of the upstairs apartments and in the back cottage of this house in the ’70s. I believe that the original sign for the store is considered an iconic symbol of a minor art movement of the ’60s. I remember these two self-described ‘beatniks,’ their sofa — which was a seat from a Volkswagen bus — and their dog Barnaby very well. I used to eat mushrooms and sit on the roof of the house. One night while crawling around in the attic where I found a framing model (Izzi once studied architecture), I fell through the ceiling of the neighboring apartment.

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