Five years in the auction industry has given Oswald an insight into most of the issues that come up in running an auction house. Oswald is probably the person you are most likely to talk to if you call the office.
Fed up with putting your furniture together with a screwdriver and allen key or finding a widget missing at a crucial stage in the process?
Well now’s the time to ditch the tool kit.
The word is, that more people are trying antiques as an alternative. Tired of having their minimalist living spaces looking exactly like the house next door, they are looking at antiques just to give their homes a bit of comfort and unique character. As a bonus, it also means they are choosing the sustainable option; antique and vintage furniture is built to last and has a low carbon footprint due to years of use going back through a number of generations.
However, this does not mean they are converting their homes to the grandeur that once appealed to Queen Victoria. Instead, they mix a bit of the old and new to come up with an eclectic mix of furniture and accessories.
The practicality of a solid mahogany chest on chest (after all you can’t have an uncluttered look if you have nowhere to put the clutter) or a set of 19th century dining chairs cannot be overestimated and cannot be compared to goods from many modern retailers.
Young people appear to be under the misapprehension that antiques are very expensive, the truth is that antiques now offer great value and are a good investment. It’s a buyer’s market, so buy the best you can afford and you won’t regret it. It’s just like buying on the stock exchange and now’s the time to buy.
Choose selectively so that you don’t cramp your style and end up with a cluttered home that looks like your grandmother’s cottage. One loved piece of antique furniture or a good ornamental item can transform a modern interior.
People are also becoming aware that value and sustainable living is as important as style. There are 28 million search results on Google for “upcycled furniture” and no end of Instagram Stories and TikTok videos of furniture being revamped that most people would normally overlook. This revolution whether you agree with painting and stripping furniture or not, gives old furniture a new lease of live and stops it going to landfill.
You’ll be astonished at the bargains to be had, there’s something for every budget and taste and very often you’ll get a better deal than what you’ll get in a modern furniture shop. What’s more you’re more likely to get you money back or even make money if you want to sell it on in a few years time. That doesn’t happen with flat pack furniture!
My advice to people who want to start collecting or just searching for that unique piece is to attend your local saleroom or antiques fair. These are the best places to become familiar with buying antiques and collectables.