An attention to detail, courtesy of ''Boardwalk Empire'''s production designer Bill Groom and set decorator Carol Silverman, brings 1920s Atlantic City to life

By Sara Vilkomerson
October 19, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Get Your Gun

Wielded by Al Capone (Stephen Graham) in the Boardwalk pilot, this Remington cutoff shotgun will reappear in the season 3 finale on Dec. 2, having found its way into the hands of another character.

Sonny’s Plaything

For Sonny Capone’s beloved stuffed animal, ”we looked at teddy bears in the Sears catalogs of the early 1920s,” says Silverman. ”This is a vintage mohair articulated bear found in a local antique shop.”

Beverages of Choice

”Prohibition is a fascinating period in American history,” Silverman says. ”We are always learning more about it.” Over three seasons, 2,500 reproduction liquor crates have been custom-made. And while the Canadian Club and Canadian Rye bottles are real, the Monogram label belongs to Chalky White (Michael Kenneth Williams).

Out of Pocket

What’s Nucky (Steve Buscemi) hiding in his pockets? An authentic whiskey flask and ink pens, replica 1920s currency and Life Savers candy, and a handful of bullets. ”We went from sharing a 15,000-foot warehouse to having a 55,000-foot warehouse [of our own],” says Groom of the Brooklyn storage unit that houses Boardwalk props and set pieces. ”We couldn’t do the show without this stock.”

Nucky’s Cup of Tea

Nucky sips from this teacup when he’s in his office at the Ritz-Carlton. ”They were purchased as part of a box lot at an auction,” says Silverman. ”The interesting thing about them is how perfect they turned out to be in that role — they have a more masculine yet elegant look than most teacups.”

Sought and Found

”There are things you see over and over again in antique stores, so when there’s something you’ve never seen before, it jumps out as being special,” says Groom of this showgirl accessory, spotted in the theater where Billie Kent (Meg Steedle) performed.

Personal Effects

A delicately beaded vintage purse holds Margaret’s (Kelly Macdonald) essentials, including a miniature clock and the U.S.-immigration-department health-inspection card — a replica created by Boardwalk‘s in-house graphic designer — she would have carried on the steamship journey from Ireland to America.

Collectible Candy

”This is genuine Fralinger’s taffy from the Atlantic City boardwalk — it’s been available there since the late 19th century and is still sold today,” says Silverman of this famed confection. The company’s own reproduction tins are used on the set.

Episode Recaps

Steve Buscemi stars in HBO’s sprawling Prohibition drama set in Atlantic City.
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