My sister-in-law, Susan Allport, is writing a book about Omega 3 fatty acids. They are much more interesting than most people know. From what she tells me, the world would be a healthier place if we ate foods with Omega 3’s or at least took the bona fide supplements thereof.
Which leads me to the point that I would like to make about trends in English antique furniture. In some ways, the world is getting more sophisticated. Buyers of antiques in the 1980’s and 90’s cruised shops and shows and bought what they thought were antiques. There were a lot of charlatans out there selling and not a great deal of knowledge buying. It was a happy market, ignorant in its self assuredness.
Today’s buyers know more. They are not a happy lot at all. Prices have gone up precisely because there are so many knowledgeable buyers out there. There are also fewer goods available. A dealer told me the other day, “The things that sold for ten thousand pounds ten years ago now sell for three and the things that sold for one hundred thousand now sell for at least two hundred thousand if not more.”
It’s worthy of a nose bleed. Take your Omega 3’s and be healthy.
A great client of mine who was called “Americaq’s greatest collector” by Thomas Hoving wrote several books on collecting. They were actually more like essays on what moved him to buy certain things. He certainly wasn’t collecting to make money. If that had been the case, he would have gone to the family investment firm.
I think of him in relation to trends because there are so many different reasons why people buy English furniture. As I mentioned yesterday, the 1980’s and 90’s were all about the investment value of English furniture and loads of people were convinced to buy and bought for that reason. Phooey!
I saw my client’s daughter as well as Martha Stewart in a consignment shop on Saturday. It says a lot about trends. Two people who can afford what they want looking for things in any place but an antique shop. I have to admit, consignment shops are hot, but not for antique furniture. Good antiques are also hot, but then you have to know one when you see one.
The antique dealer today buys the best that he can for his inventory. He will own six sets of chairs if that is all he can find on the market.
The only trend for dealers selling high quality 18th century English furniture is to buy the best they can that not only passes vetting at shows but which makes people respond positively. That is hard.
People who really care about great things do not follow trends. They also make room for great things. People who collect should not follow trends. Trends are for people who want to get published or known for their savoir faire but who have no other reason for buying something. Follow your heart.