Antiques Becoming Cheaper

Discussion in 'Mainstream News Stories' started by uair01, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. uair01

    uair01 Justified & Ancient

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    http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2018/03/antiques-now-cheap.html

    Compared with the heyday of antiques collecting, prices for average pieces are now “80 percent off,” said Colin Stair, the owner of Stair Galleries auction house in Hudson, N.Y. “Your typical Georgian 18th century furniture, chests of drawers, tripod tables, Pembroke tables,” he noted, can all be had for a fraction of what they cost 15 to 20 years ago.

    There are some hypotheses.
    The comments are interesting too.
     
  2. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    Interesting. I'm guessing that people are just losing interest in antiques.
    How depressing.
     
  3. Xanatic*

    Xanatic* Justified & Ancient

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    I say we blame the millenials. If they spent more money on antiques and less on rent, this wouldn't happen.
     
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  4. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    Indeed! They should get their priorities right. :D

    Joking aside, some day I might inherit a house full of antiques. I hope they'll still have value then.
    I'm already disappointed that my stamp collection isn't worth so much these days, because a lot of the collectors have died.
     
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  5. CarlosTheDJ

    CarlosTheDJ Justified & Ancient

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    The amount of antiques programmes on UK telly have removed some of the mystery I guess - everyone's an expert now!
     
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  6. Yithian

    Yithian Intergalactic Space Crusader Staff Member

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    Haven't read the original article. My instinct is that the situation is like the landslide in values for Elvis collectibles. Those whose desire to own gave them value are simply dying off.
     
  7. Spudrick68

    Spudrick68 Justified & Ancient

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    And a population aged 45+ are starting to get some disposable income (some anyway) and I imagine some culturally specific from the late 1960's early 1970's to start to appreciate in value.
     
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  8. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

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    Outstandingly-so.

    Seriously...
     
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  9. jimv1

    jimv1 Analogue Boy

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    I suppose people want a more minimal room style and simple functional furniture. Ikea have boomed because of this. Old furniture is too big and darkly ugly in my opinion.
     
  10. Vardoger

    Vardoger Bring the Beat Back!!

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    What was antique and interesting for our parents and grand parents are not as interesting for "our" generation, 55y and younger. We are more interested in things we grow up with in the 60s and 70s. Stuff from the 60s and 70s are increasing in prices here in Norway and are becoming collectibles.
     
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  11. Xanatic*

    Xanatic* Justified & Ancient

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    Yes, toy collecting. So adult.
     
  12. Vardoger

    Vardoger Bring the Beat Back!!

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    Not so much toy collecting. Kitchenware and furniture (especially Danish and Norwegian design) are increasing in popularity here.
     
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  13. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    There is a qualitative difference between antiques and not-so-old items. Antiques are almost all really well built and craftsman-made. That is why they are worth something.
     
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  14. RaM

    RaM Justified & Ancient

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    Good I will look into buying some,
    at least the drawer bottoms wont fall out
    in my life time.

    :btime:
     
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  15. AlienView

    AlienView "Stargate Explorer"

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    Ever evolving and changing market.

    Find an old {by modern standards} computer - Say an original Apple
    - Last I heard it is worth a small fortune.

    But I do think in the digital age - Collecting itself may not be as popular as it once was.

    - And then again original first issue comic books keep going up.

    So if old style antiques continue to decline - Knew collectibles continue to rise.
     
  16. Yithian

    Yithian Intergalactic Space Crusader Staff Member

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    To step sideways for a second, I have been hearing about how books and 'collectible books' are going to become a thing of the past for the whole of my adult lifetime. I was doubtful when I first heard it and completely unbelieving now.

    Every year one or two of those first editions or antique sculptures are lost to the market place, which pushes up the value of remaining examples; this process more or less offsets any drop in demand owing to the decline in the customer base. Such a process can continue for a surprisingly long period provided the collectible in question is not replacable by another of similar type. For instance, while Elvis memorabilia may well be losing its value, the market in musical memorabilia is buoyant--those deceased Elvis fans have been replaced with fans of more recent artists whose merchandise is rising in value.

    That said, it must also be recalled that the U.S. and the U.K. are in long-term relative decline. After the blip that was the 80s (too much to explain the reasons behind here), both countries have begun experience a drop in the purchasing power of their currencies (an epic one in the UK), mid-level long term inflation and wage stagnation as capital moves elsewhere on the globe. The effect is compounded as the money that does remain becomes concentrated in fewer hands and disposable incomes among the middle and upper-middle (collecting) classes dwindle. All this will no doubt have had an effect on the market for antiques, but it remains to be seen how significant--it'll take a few decades more of mortality to see. With no centrally-monitored public index of supply and demand to regulate prices, price changes take place far more slowly and abberations (mis-evaluations in effect) are frequent until a consensus picture of worth coalesces.

    Middle-class millennials may well be rubbish in certain respects, but if it's a decision between rent or an art-deco lamp who can say that they're making a bad decision!
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  17. Kingsize Wombat

    Kingsize Wombat Abominable Snowman

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    Where's the down vote button? Toy collecting is great fun - and some of that stuff does keep its value!

    (Not that I care, I'm keeping my stuff)
     
  18. Yithian

    Yithian Intergalactic Space Crusader Staff Member

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    I'm torn.

    A few years ago I would just have said that it was another symptom of the infantalisation of society and the expansion of childish pursuits into adulthood, but I've begun to think that in and of itself that needn't be a bad thing. Modern western societies have sequestered too many valuable practices within childhood and those societies are the poorer for it. Storytelling, roleplaying and make believe are the underlying skills that success in society relies upon and access points to a wider mode of thought.

    The issue is when toy-collecting adults can't also deal with normal adult life. 40-year-old virgins who live with their parents and immerse themselves in make-believe as a substitute for a role in society that they cannot perform: that is a problem--and one more prevalent than in the past.
     
  19. escargot

    escargot Beloved of Ra

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    Really? How do you know that's the case, and how is it a problem?
     
  20. Yithian

    Yithian Intergalactic Space Crusader Staff Member

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    I'm not a psychologist, I'm only relating what I've read.

    It's not a problem for me personally, but it is a problem a) for society--non-productive youth are not a helpful demographic to encourage, and b) for themselves--anecdotally such people are generally unhappy and seem to be more likely to commit suicide or be on anti-depressants than the population at large. The number of such people in Japan and South Korea has grown generation on generation in response to the demands of modern life.

    To be clear, collecting toys is no problem at all--as I said it can be a good thing--but coupled with other traits it can be a symptom of something more troubling.

    Edit: this kind of business:

    The dominant nexus of hikikomori centres on the transformation from youth to the responsibilities and expectations of adult life. Indications are that advanced industrialized societies such as modern Japan fail to provide sufficient meaningful transformation rituals for promoting certain susceptible types of youth into mature roles. As do many societies, Japan exerts a great deal of pressure on adolescents to be successful and perpetuate the existing social status quo. A traditionally strong emphasis on complex social conduct, rigid hierarchies and the resulting, potentially intimidating multitude of social expectations, responsibilities and duties in Japanese society contribute to this pressure on young adults.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hikikomori
    This is the extreme end of the spectrum. Along with (actual, serious) video game addiction, over-immersion in fictional worlds seems to be a common feature of these cases--but as I say I'm not a psychologist, just a reader.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  21. Cochise

    Cochise Justified & Ancient

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    Only because the cheap cr*p went on the bonfire ages ago - it's the quality stuff that tends to survive.

    I'm an obsessive collector - I have to be careful not developing new areas to collect, because once started on a particular field I have to have complete sets of things - mild OCD I guess.
     
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  22. Kingsize Wombat

    Kingsize Wombat Abominable Snowman

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    Ok, I'm 54, I moved out of home when I was 19. I've lived and worked on three continents, have visited a couple more. I've been married and have an adult son.

    And I like to splurge a bit of beer money on some toys that I couldn't afford as a kid.

    How well I perform my role in society is for others to judge, I guess.

    But I do get your point.
     
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  23. Yithian

    Yithian Intergalactic Space Crusader Staff Member

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    I've got my fair share of retro-toys, too.

    No insult intended.
     
  24. Kingsize Wombat

    Kingsize Wombat Abominable Snowman

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  25. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    Excellent points.
    I also think that because most of the best antiques have been sold to foreign collectors in Germany, USA and Japan, the market over here is suffering a drought. Many collectors or would-be collectors have given up waiting for the really good stuff to turn up. Most big-ticket antique sales are now happening entirely between dealers.
     
  26. Spookdaddy

    Spookdaddy Cuckoo

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    Yes. The idea that old is, by definition, better is nonsense; I suspect the ratio of shoddy to quality is not far off a constant - and an awful lot of the stock we think of as antique came from wealthy households whose owners could afford to invest in quality. I know a bit about this - I make some of my own furniture and have restored a few old pieces myself (including my pretty basic, but solid, kitchen table - which I love); even allowing for decades of wear and tear, and physical issues like joint shrinkage, some stuff was pretty clearly not so well constructed in the first place.

    That said, many household items represented an investment which they no longer do: a pretty standard bed could be inheritable wealth in a way we would no longer consider it to be. So those on a lower income who did spend on quality tended to look after it as a long term investment.

    These things go in phases. After the war and into the 50's and 60's my dad bought antique furniture because it was cheap - people were sick of austerity and wanted new. People have always collected antiques, but I suspect that our current idea of the industry is based on something that started sometime in the 70's - we are into another phase now. People are still buying antiques but I think there's been a shift amongst those who can afford quality furniture to investing in new pieces. This is a good thing - it means that carpentry skills are maintained, and that we are making antiques for the future.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  27. Spookdaddy

    Spookdaddy Cuckoo

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    A shameless bit of self promotion. I always wanted an old wooden filing cabinet - but they are either stupidly expensive, or very poor quality. So I made my own:

    20150924_094358b.jpg


    Not an antique, but made out of 150 year old floorboards. Maybe an antique to someone some day.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  28. escargot

    escargot Beloved of Ra

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    Oh I SAY! Wow! That is beautiful.
     
  29. Yithian

    Yithian Intergalactic Space Crusader Staff Member

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    Hear-hear!

    Top craft skills.
     
  30. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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