Critique and Appreciation

The path to connoisseurship is not straightforward. There are stages of development and recognition that require appreciation and critique. The world of 18th century English furniture is rife with furniture that is quite spectacular and there are also pieces that are, for want of a better word, lacking. That lack can be proportion, condition, timber quality, or color, but they all matter tremendously.

Most of the criteria for assessing how good a piece of furniture is are determinate. Timber quality is straightforward as is condition, but color assessment requires more savvy. Proportion alone remains an individual preference which can be argued, but never actually agreed upon. There is a majority view, but the majority doesn’t make one assessment better than another.

This is, of course, what makes a horse race. Disagreement is, in fact, quite fun when determining greatness simply because it requires exacting critique and appreciation. Some people will never see proportional oddity because it actually pleases their eye instead of detracting from it. You cannot argue that they are wrong, just that you disagree.

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