My husband and I like to visit antique stores a lot. We are slowly collecting some pieces, like vintage canary yellow chairs, a painting of a scene from Don Quixote, and a hand-painted Japanese paper trunk. I have no idea if any of these will appreciate in value, and I don’t really care–I just like them.
Aside from potentially increasing in value, there are a couple of other advantages of buying antiques:
1. Antiques have a story. They have been used before, they come from another era, their lives are longer than most of ours–and that is pretty cool.
2. They are reasonably priced. An oil painting in an antique store might be around $400–the same thing from an art gallery would be around $1,500.
3. They are higher quality. In the past, goods were not supposed to be disposable, so more workmanship and care were put into making them. For example, there was no such thing as furniture made from particle board in the past. Everything was hardwood.
4. They are unique. When it starts to seem like every furniture store has the same plush chairs and coffee tables, it’s refreshing to find truly one-of-a-kind pieces that no one else has.
Anyway, the NYTimes has a slideshow of other people who are decorating with antiques. (The NYTimes is on a roll lately. First salads, now this.)
My favorites were Hollister and Porter Hovey, sisters age 30 and 26, whose house has a cool combination of “W. Somerset Maugham’s last days of colonialism, Victorian memento mori and the Edwardian men’s club. There are also apothecary cabinets, fencing masks and pith helmets, stacks of antique luggage and a taxidermy collection that would make Teddy Roosevelt proud.”
antiques savvyhousekeeping
savvyhousekeeping antiques
I also liked Ryan Matthew, 29, who “collects Victorian oddities like domestic taxidermy (dogs and cats) and osteological antiques (related to the scientific study of bones).”
savvyhousekeeping antiques
Obviously taxidermy isn’t for everyone, but I understand why people would be interested in the weird things Victorians did with biology. That’s the thing about antiques–you can find yourself drawn to odder and odder things. Lately I have been fascinated with old doll parts and I don’t know why. What am I going to do with a porcelain doll head?
Also I had to talk myself out of buying a Victorian dress form last weekend. It was in great shape and seemed reasonably priced. But really, no one needs a Victorian dress form. Right?

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