The New & Exciting World of Collecting Antiques & Art in the 21st Century
I am definitely an artifact of another time left to make my own way in this twenty-first Millennium.
I have learned much and been surprised less.
Something unexpected has occurred as of late though and something I didn’t anticipate. It’s quite exciting.
There is a rapidly growing, knowledgeable, and, focused group of young collectors out there.
I saw these young buyers first in the contemporary art market where serious acquisitions were made with highly knowledgeable independent specialists. The specialists were there to protect them from the usual pitfalls of copies, and, improved, and altered originals.
In this current market good original artwork has been a great choice.
Mostly it has gone up in value and you get to enjoy it for a lifetime.
These several months of working from home have given me a chance to think about what this group of collectors is looking for and how they choose to live.
I suspect the age of the mail order/online catalog filled with mediocre furniture has its own shelf life, and it’s now expired.
This more young and knowledgeable group is not looking for furniture that has to be replaced in a couple of years. They are interested in vintage and earlier pieces made with quality that was used to be common but now is the exception in newer pieces/stores.
I notice young collectors interested in acquiring artifacts, antiquities, and, interesting & beautiful art & furniture, both antique and vintage, also collectible books.
The monochromatic grey interior seems to be receding.
What is a wonderful surprise is this group loves old and ancient surfaces.
Many moons ago when I started working in this field the fashion was decidedly French & formal. These pieces were made to look as new as possible. Often now I am told not to polish an old surface.
This particular practice finds its roots in American collecting traditions and some English preferences for less formal pieces. Wonderful old patinas tell stories and I believe add texture and richness.
The most important lesson for me is that these collectors are pleasing themselves. It is worth noting that they often know exactly what they want and have managed to educate themselves fairly well.
Happy hunting and here is to the road less traveled and pleasant surprises.