Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Antique Dealers Are Breaking Up Their Brown Furniture To Keep Warm.

Up and down the country, they are burning their stock to keep warm.
Faced with one of the worst winters on record they have no option.
With gas prices at an all time high and electricity now a luxury, they have to make ends meet.
In an age when most Victorian tables are now cheaper to burn than buying coal and with massive warehouses to heat. 
There is only one option reduce storage costs by burning wardrobes. 
They are only worth a tenner at auction anyhow.

What the bloody 'ell has happened to Mahogany, Rosewood and Walnut this is ridiculous.
Antique furniture is now that cheap that you cant fuel your fire for less.
Can you believe it, the furniture retail index has dropped again for the umpteenth year on the run. Its crazy. One dealer I know had his pension tied up in quality stuff and he told me its worth a fifth of what it was.
It cant get any cheaper And Joe Public educated by Bargain Hunt are more interested in cheap and cheerful than quality.
Where is all the money going to? 
 MDF and chipboard rubbish? 
What is wrong with the public? What is wrong with the public's sense of reality when they would rather add to Sweden's balance of trade, while antique dealers are smashing up their chest of drawers, just to stay warm through this storm spread winter.
What’s more the same people complain that the high street is dying on its feet.

Cant you give them a break, they are hard working people who deserve to have food and clothes for their families. Some of them are second and third generation antique dealers, some even more. There may not be a fourth. What’s more the same people complain that the high street is dying on its feet.

And the great British public wont even give them a meagre crust.
Buy antiques now before they are all burnt.....or painted with Farrow and Ball.

Its all the same shops these days, they say. They love it when they go to France and find all those Brocante shops full of things that the French wont buy.
They bring pieces home, and tell everyone as if its a trophy, “Its French”. Then they go and add to China's economy and accessories it in John Lewis with stuff made by people paid two pound a month. While the local antique shops are disappearing and will soon become as rear as a glass cased Dodo.
Antique dealers are green they stop things being destroyed, they recycle.
Nowadays if you recycle a bit of wet cardboard or a squashed milk carton there is definitely someone who will give out a grant for it.
If the person running the recycling firm is a black, one legged lesbian well there are hundreds of thousands available. So where is the help for antique recyclers?
Where is the aid to stop them going to the wall, going out of business and allowing their shops to be taken over by charity shops, that get tax relief.
The same charity shops are generally full of the lower middle class trying to get the stuff before the antique dealers get it. 
There was recently one tweed suited  twerp on the Antique Road show, proud as punch that he had bought a vase worth two grand in a charity shop for £37.50. Grinning like a Cheshire Cat. “No £36.50” he corrected the valuer.
He should have been made to pay the charity that he robbed, back, or the staff in the shop who valued it, without getting a second opinion, should be made to pay.
Whatever the case, the charity was done out of a couple of grand while Billy Brewster wallowed in glory as if he was clever.
If it had of been forty five quid he wouldn’t have chanced it.
Just think how much Oxfam lose a year by not getting the prices right.

So mahogany and walnut is out of style and decades of furniture dealing experience does not count for a jot these days.
Most warehouse-men have burnt their Millers Guide years ago, to keep warm, because they are not worth the paper they are written on any more. They are so out of date, that it is hilarious, especially when someone comes into the shop trying to sell something quoting their prices.
Though its no joke when a member of the public comes in the shop taking about the table they bought 15 years ago for three hundred quid and says “There’s one in the Millers Guide for £550” and you have to tell them its worth a hundred if they are lucky.
So does anyone care if your heritage is broken up and burnt because its cheaper being used for cooking on a barbecue than charcoal.

The exception of course has been Art Deco furniture. 
This is strange as most of it that was made in England is, lets say, not the best quality.
Yes there are Epstein and Hille, but most of the stuff that passes for Art Deco may in fact be post war.
The look is there though. The blonde veneers seem to brighten up a room where mahogany will dull it.
But I still love a good grain, and I hope an appreciation for quality timber will be revived and it will come back.
But for now, Art Deco furniture and post war design is where the money has gone. It looks so modern in an apartment.
And when all the brown furniture has been burnt so dealers can stay warm,some bright spark will realise that a good patina is back in style, and everyone will run around buying Georgian again and it will all start all start to go up in price....only this time there may be less of it around.
Who will be the brave one who will hold their nerve and stack a warehouse high with good stock, the stuff they used to want years ago? Will they be the clever ones?
Because the stuff is for nothing it cant go any cheaper, though someone did said to me last year......and it has.   

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