This is my second and final blog for this month of December. I haven’t been short on inspiration. I have had ideas concerning lots of things from accountability to being in the moment to why Chippendale chose to publish his groundbreaking “Director” to the contrary nature of human beings. Religion and politics are always subjects I can write about, but I think they are covered. I could bloviate about the NY Times, but that is also senseless. Thank God for Will Shortz and Gail Collins who provide leisure and levity.

Of course, I could blame my inertia on the lunar eclipse. I woke up at 2:30 on the morning of the eclipse and did not remember it was on. Was it my reason for waking up? I wasn’t particularly excited by it, not because it isn’t beautiful and dramatic, but more because I see such natural phenomena as inevitable, a little bit like birthdays. Terribly blase on my part, and if I were an astronomer reading this, I might just think, this guy is jaded. But I am an antiques dealer and millions of people aren’t in the least interested in what I do. To each his own.

It was an interesting year for me. I met some great new clients and one old client has been, as usual, fantastic. All the people that have aided and abetted me in my passion over the years are remembered by me. I embrace them all and thank them for their support. This is an extraordinary business with great people, clients, restorers, movers, show promoters and much more. And then I get to handle some of the most beautiful objects on earth. Believe me, there is no business I would rather be in.


The pleasure in reading fiction is to find new things whether it is looking at something we think we know or something altogether alien to us. Perhaps this is because we crave understanding, if not in our own lives, at least in the confines of a book. This must have been one of the reasons for the Bible or virtually any other religious text. Unfortunately, I think most people have come to believe that religious writings offer some sense of control to our lives.

I have often written that English furniture from the 18th century has its rules, but that those rules are inevitably excepted, again and again. The moment you look for an absolute and feel that you have found one, you will soon find an exception. The people I admire most in my field are the ones who understand this and who take the time to add up the possibilities before any declamation.

Invariably, it is our conviction in our rightness which undoes us. This is a common lesson in literature. It is equally true that we need to be convinced that we are right in what we do. That is confidence and it is a lesson of literature as well. This conundrum is, in short, to make both variables happy within us without overdoing one or the other.

The last two books I have read mentioned Heidigger in both, one book on gardening and the other a novel. The reference was to living in the moment. I get that feeling of living in the moment when I spot a great piece of English furniture, particularly when no one else has seen it. I sense that conundrums of existence notwithstanding, this is a universal truth–to live in the moment. Or perhaps it is just a sucker punch.