Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

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Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by 22 Crawford St. on December 22nd 2015, 2:37 am

Telegraph Article on

Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Antique prices tumble as young people turn to mid to late 20th century furniture, preferring ‘Mad Men’ modernism to the country house style of British costume drama.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/interiors/antiques/12059714/Price-of-antiques-falls-as-buyers-turn-their-backs-on-the-past.html


Not sure I agree with everything he's saying but you can't deny that brown furniture is being given away whilst Ikea is still shifting crap by the lorry load. Seems to be a complete rejection of Victorian and Edwardian stuff by those below middle age. No one wants what granny wanted.

Under the hammer: how the price of antiques has tumbled.
Set of six Regency dining room chairs
Price 5 to 10 years ago: £3,000
Price now: £600 to £1,000
19th century 3’6” mahogany chest of drawers
Price 5 to 10 years ago: £1,000 plus
Price now: £100 to £200
Late 18th century D-end dining table seating 12
Price 5 to 10 years ago: £6,000

Price now: £2,000
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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by Mordeep on December 22nd 2015, 8:00 am

Newspapers roll out this type of story on a regular basis to explain the changes in the antique market. Sorry to disagree with you kind sir but it is not a rejection of what grannie wanted at all. The market in antiques since the 1980's, a time most would agree was the high point for brown furniture prices has changed for two simple reasons.

The internet and housing.

The internet has made what was in some cases difficult to find easy and shown the true availability of furniture. The truth is we have many more tables, chairs, sideboards and dust collectors available to buy than we ever had customers. That has killed the low end, poorly made and ugly item prices.

The biggest impact on furniture though is housing. Most of the older furniture was made for an age when people had bigger homes, bigger families and no television. In 1930 every home had a dining room with a table and a minimum of four chairs. New homes don't have these unless your talking about the top end of the market and even those are likely to have a breakfast bar over a dedicated dining room. In an age when you can convert a single room into a studio flat and get £250'000 for it why would you stick a 12 seating table in that space to use once a year? Ikea sells because it understands to work in the modern world you need to be able to be carried up four flights of stairs and into what was an attic before getting used. Walk past any home remodel these days and you will see destroyed furniture in a skip outside. Not because it was worn out but because the only way to remove it from the house was in bits. That's why mid century modern furniture is in demand. It's smaller and often dismantles easily. It's the age we live in.
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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by 22 Crawford St. on December 22nd 2015, 11:34 am

Yes I agree that much of what you say seems correct but I the younger generations rejection goes deeper. Even though prices have fallen to a tenth of what they were in real terms they still don't want that old chest of drawers no matter what size. It's simply not cool for them - they would not be seen dead with it!

I think it has something to do with as someone said to me 'I don't want to put my clothes where other people have been' - they intrinsically want NEW things (no one darns socks any more - I doubt anyone under thirty knows what 'darn' means - unless it's a cuss) added with the chuck away culture. They don't want things to last for 20 or thirty years let alone a lifetime. 3 years is fine. When they move then yes it can get binned and they cycle starts over again. They seem happy with this.
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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by hercules brabazon on December 22nd 2015, 12:42 pm

Maybe  its not just old things that are going out of fashion, maybe its the idea of of having lots of things in general.   I would have thought there was still  a fair "retro" market, but perhaps  that's more about having a few items as a style statement than accumulating large collections.

Though, obviously, people will always need a certain amount of furniture. Perhaps its just easier to go to IKEA.


Last edited by hercules brabazon on December 22nd 2015, 12:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by dantheman on December 22nd 2015, 12:44 pm

odd that the second hand clothes market is stronger than ever

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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by Mordeep on December 22nd 2015, 1:43 pm

hercules brabazon wrote:Maybe  its not just old things that are going out of fashion, maybe its the idea of of having lots of things in general.   I would have thought there was still  a fair "retro" market, but perhaps  that's more about having a few items as a style statement than accumulating large collections.

Though, obviously, people will always need a certain amount of furniture. Perhaps its just easier to go to IKEA.

It all comes back to space and move ability. There is of course a retro market but very few people who are renting in the open market have much of anything. If you can't fit everything you own in one van when you change landlords then it starts to get expensive. Clothes are different as they don't take up much space.

I will tell you something I heard earlier this year at a car boot that puts it all in perspective for me. Back in the 1980's when I was a teenager everyone talked about getting there own flat or house. It was the dream to be able to get away from home and have your freedom and independence. Anyway I was doing this car boot with my father in a field out in the wilds of Berkshire and the car next to us had a young couple early 20's clearing unwanted household items. I got talking to them and the we got round to the reason for the sell off. The proudly explained that they had just moved into a new room together for the first time and didn't need two of everything. That was when it struck me. When I was there age the dream was to have your own flat with everything that was needed to fill it, young couples these days the dream is one room together. You don't need much to fill that,be it old, new, ikea or Georgian. Made me think anyway.
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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by dantheman on December 22nd 2015, 2:43 pm

perhaps it depends on geography but I have 3 nephews and 4 nieces,all bought houses at twenty something

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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by Potty on December 22nd 2015, 3:29 pm

I don't see why the focus in this thread is on "young people", I don't know many 40-60's who want to buy antique over something new from the likes of Ikea.

"Brown furniture" is out of fashion for the masses, regardless of age.

Can't say I mind one bit, means I have more opportunity to buy nice, well made furniture for the sort of prices new flat-pack items cost.

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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by denbydump on December 22nd 2015, 3:32 pm

dantheman wrote:perhaps it depends on geography but I have 3 nephews and 4 nieces,all  bought houses at twenty something

A cardboard box in't middle of't motorway!
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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by dantheman on December 22nd 2015, 3:55 pm

Nay lad !
Nice houses spread from Cambridge to Lincolnshire and Up North as far as Darlington.
All bought with hard earned brass and little to no help from parents (zilch from the state) so in my limited experience we have 7 out of 7 with enough room and income to buy quality furniture, although 2 of my nieces prefer Ikea Embarrassed

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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by 22 Crawford St. on December 22nd 2015, 5:06 pm

It is true, down here in the south no one buys a house until they are 30, you simply don't earn enough. If you like in a shared house or flat then you are not going to want a lot of furniture.

Gone are the days in the 70s when you could buy a flat (house?) + support a family on a normal 25 years old job - teacher - postie etc. Can't be done now on just one wage, not down south anyways.
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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by dantheman on December 22nd 2015, 7:29 pm

so this whole theory about housing being the reason for a slump in the antiques market is based on the situation which currently effects Southern England?

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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by Mordeep on December 22nd 2015, 8:18 pm

dantheman wrote:so this whole theory about housing being the reason for a slump in the antiques market is based on the situation which currently effects Southern England?

Yes


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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by denbydump on December 22nd 2015, 8:23 pm

dantheman wrote:Nay lad !
Nice houses spread from Cambridge to Lincolnshire and Up North as far as Darlington.
All bought with hard earned brass and little to no help from parents (zilch from the state) so in my limited experience we have 7 out of 7 with enough room and income to buy quality  furniture, although 2 of my nieces prefer Ikea Embarrassed

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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by dantheman on December 22nd 2015, 8:25 pm

maybe just move all the antiques up North where we have room for it

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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by denbydump on December 22nd 2015, 8:35 pm

But remember, we don't pay anything for them!
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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by denbydump on December 22nd 2015, 8:43 pm

If you lost the plot

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1a1wHxTyo
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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by dantheman on December 22nd 2015, 8:46 pm

but don't worry about market values as it will cost you top dollar to buy it back

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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by denbydump on December 22nd 2015, 8:56 pm

I've said it before, simple supply and demand. In years gone by, the clearance people
would have chucked all this stuff in the bonfire, now it may have "some value", the
auctions are full of the stuff! The shabby chic market is over supplied, and the
retro shops are starting to close down, round here anyway.
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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by studio-pots on December 22nd 2015, 9:03 pm

You're right DD...........

When I started out in the business people made big money sending container loads of brown furniture to North America and it didn't really matter what it was.................... but no more.

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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by denbydump on December 22nd 2015, 9:56 pm

The synchronous wailing of dealers across the land "we don't know what they want
anymore!" well get out there, good furniture is cheap, get the toolbox and the
sander out, and you can get a gem for nothing, in real terms.

Only a few weeks ago, the next stall on the Newark "Runway" was sellng van loads of those not so old repro pine kitchen
dining chairs, cleaned out!
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Re: Price of antiques falls as buyers turn their backs on the past

Post by philpot on December 23rd 2015, 4:18 pm

This self same article seem to be doing the rounds. There was a similar one in the Times recently,and there is one in the current Xmas issue of the Economist. Seems its the time of year when pages need to be filled,and most journalists are on holiday.
Antiques of course, are items more than 100 years old. To be honest, how many people would really want old,dark Victorian or Edwardian furniture in their house? Any more than they would Aspidistras?
Okay there is a more than a grain of truth in the story. Smaller houses, Generation Rent, lifestyles, blah blah. Call it life,call it fashion. Things change ,that is the nature of them. But in reality,the majority of 'Brown furniture' was mostly cheaply made rubbish that was the Ikea of its day.
The quality end of the antique furniture market has always been quite a small field anyway.
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