As a twelve year old, I used to go to the bank and buy rolls of pennies, nickels and dimes and then proceed to go through each coin to see whether I could fill out my coin collection series. Inevitably, there were always gaps. (I did love those Roosevelt dimes, however.) Furthermore, I was ignorant of condition and cared more for filling out the series than anything else. I was a one dimensional collector.
A week and a half ago, I had the privilege of seeing one of the finest collections of English furniture in America. The collection was multi-dimensional with all of the bases covered from provenance, color, condition, craftsmanship and timber as well as being suitable and functional to the house. It was a sublime experience, one that I could repeat as many times as possible.
Interestingly, when I go over the booths of dealers I have seen in antique shows, I remember very little. However, when I see great furniture in situ as I did this last week, I remember it as well as I remember my own inventory. I think it has as much to do with seeing it being used as anything else. It is the way I envision all the furniture I sell–as useful and beautiful. That is what it is all about.