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  • Writer's pictureGavin Hussey

Welcome!

Welcome to my website and to my first ever blog post. The intention of these posts is to give some insight into my work, antiques, and the antiques trade. I'm open to suggestions and guidance from any readers as to what future posts will be about so please do let me know any questions or suggestions.


For this first post I'll start with a summary of where I think the antiques trade is currently and my thoughts on what the future may hold .


We all know that the popularity of antique furniture has been in decline for a long time now. Many reasons have been given for this so let's explore some of them in a bit more detail.


Firstly, is that antiques don't fit into modern homes as well or suit the way we live our lives. The trend for larger, more communal rooms where families can congregate together, and cook and eat has meant the need for many types of antique furniture is redundant. We've moved out of formal dining rooms with grand tables and sideboards etc and into extended kitchen rooms where food is served straight to the table and the table has become almost part of the workspace so more rustic or damage resistant surfaces are required.


In the modern lounge the tvs have become the focal point, getting bigger and bigger. Sofas have expanded too leaving less and less room for many classic antique items. Bedrooms saw a boom in built in units to hide clothes away and give a real minamalist feel.


Another reason is the rise of modern furniture brands and flat pack furniture. Cheap, often badly made items became the easy choice and often solved furnishing dilemmas with very clever design ideas. Often people considered antique furniture to be too expensive and as such, not for them. It's easier to buy something cheap and if it breaks or no longer suits our needs. Throw it away and get something else. Furniture became disposable.


The next reason, and this is maybe slightly controversial, is the antiques trade itself. During the 70s and 80s it was boom time for antique furniture. Antiques were considered desirable and therefore a good investment. Unfortunately, with that came such a boom that it was easy for more unscrupulous people to take advantage and move into the antique trade. The result was the reputation of the antique trade suffered. It was too easy for items to be bodged together, badly restored or even faked. Antiques were being shipped worldwide in a marketplace that was in a frenzy for anything labeled old. Anyone with any knowledge of antiques will admit it's a very small percentage of the items you see in any fair, auction or antique shop that would be considered good or honest or worth owning. It's sad, but that's the truth and that's partly the reason for the inevitable decline in popularity. Obviously the higher end of the trade has maintained a much higher standard and most can be trusted, with the help of several trade bodies, to provide customers with fantastic, genuine items.


So that's a small summary of reasons for the decline. What about the current situation?


In my opinion, we are now in a time where antique furniture is at its most affordable for decades. Apart from the very top end of the trade which has always performed much better than the rest, it's now an amazing time to dip a toe into the antique market once again. With its great green credentials and its affordability I think the future is very bright.


In future posts I'll maybe expand on what I think are good items to buy and what to look for and what to avoid.


I'll also cover things like the care of your furniture, different styles, periods and makers.


Hopefully you made it to the end. Thank you if you did . Feedback welcome.


Gavin


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