Out with the Old, In with the New: Antique Prices Plummet

28Jul08

A French porcelain-mounted gilt-brass striking eight day mantel clock to be offered in Christie's Interiors sale on August 12th in London, South Kensington

Today is your lucky day if you consider yourself part of that rarified and dying breed: the antiques aficionado.  The Wall Street Journal published an article about the recent dramatic downshift in 18th and 19th century antiques prices.  In our uber-sanitized, clean-lined, contemporary culture, antiques are no longer in vogue (they actually haven’t been in a while, just flip through Dwell or Domino magazine).  Prices for antiques are  25-30% less than last year, particularly at the mid-range level.  

American taste has shifted over the years and collectors are much more likely to favor an eclectic look, mixing antiques with more modern pieces.  According to the article, recent activity on eBay supports the trend: “from April through June, 2,376 mid-century modern items and 2,132 Eames-inspired items sold on the auction site, compared with 141 Queen Anne pieces, 71 Federal pieces and 1,782 Victorian items.”  

You can now buy a pair of authentic 19th century Louis XVI style fauteuils for the same price (or less) than a set of contemporary chairs from Restoration Hardware.  While a brand-new, unworn piece of furniture definitely has it’s appeal, the charm and fine lines of a rare antique can never be reproduced, and will always have it’s place in refined interiors.

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15 Responses to “Out with the Old, In with the New: Antique Prices Plummet”

  1. 1 Willamina Moorcroft

    What an interesting article!! Thanks for giving this market perspective. I’ve certainly seen this shift in tastes while visiting the homes of many friends here in Greenwich, CT.

  2. I am glad that you posted on this article.
    Mixing the old and the new are where I will be. Perhaps now is time to collect some of the old. Everything comes back full circle in design. I love collecting Antiques and Modern pieces constructed of good materials.

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