Monday, August 23, 2010

Antique Furniture: Does It Have A Future?


Here's an important question for the antique community..."Is there a future for antique furniture?"
When I ask this question, I'm referring to the furniture from the early 1900s and back. The pie safes, primitives, step-back cupboards, and ladder-back chairs we all used to sell.
The reason the question is relevant, to me, is because I don't see too many 25-44 year olds buying this era of furniture much anymore. And, that's my target demographic: 25-44 year olds...and, that's why I am almost exclusively selling Mid-Century and Danish Modern furniture today.
About three (3) years ago, I detected a decline in sales of early antiques circa 1850-1940. The more I analyzed it, the more troublesome it appeared. My sales of antiques from that era where to people 60 years old or older. These are people who are now downsizing, not collecting anymore, or selling off their antique collections. That's when I started to pay attention to what my kids & and their friends were collecting and decorating with...Mid-Century and Danish Modern.
I immediately changed the focus of Roadhouse Antiques & Vintage and my clientele instantly became 25-44 year olds. I'm glad I did and, I haven't looked back since.
So again, the question is..."What's the future of antique furniture, if the young folks aren't buying it?" Who will buy it and for how long? What's going to happen with all of the great Victorian era furniture?
Now, don't think I've lost my antique marbles because I do realize this is somewhat of a regional phenomenom. Old Victorian homes of the south demand furniture from that era, old farmstead homes need primitives, early homes of the eastern seaboard will always demand like furnishings...but, there aren't many young collectors out there with those styles in the forefront.
Young dealers and collectors at the shows I frequent are into "Pop Culture." Most of their parents were/are dealers and collectors, so they grew up in the business. But, they deal in what they like, what turns 'em on, what they enjoy, just as we did and still do.
I'd sure like to see some feedback on the question and hope some of you reading this will give me your opinion of where antiques are headed...mostly furniture. The young crowd still loves all my advertising, coin-op, arcade, native-american collection, and other things, but not the old furniture we sold so well for so many years.
Back years ago, young people started with the "Golden Oak" age, progressed to Victorian era as they became more sophisticated buyers/collectors, and then ventured to primitives, or Gothic style...now about as far back as they seem to go is Art Deco.
It's a question I ponder and frequently ruminate on...
I hope to hear from you on this because I don't have a ready answer...Hasta luego.

1 comment:

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