Originally Posted by SkinnyGoomba
I have bonsai stands in my house for tropical bonsai. The Bonsai go outside every summer and rather than rearrange my whole interior I simply put some chinese pots on the stands, one is a rice container and the other is a wine vessel. Both of these are entirely useless as those objects currently, because I'm not going to store rice or wine in either of them.
They could do a fine or miserable job of that intended purpose, but I'll never know, I just look at them and think about how much I like how they look. They're not particularly notable, just some random Qing Dynasty works of questionable origin (meaning they're probably early 20th century repros).
So there is a space for functional pieces that go largely unused because either their function is no longer an everyday need, or because they're ascribed a name like 'vase' so that they can appeal to a wider audience.
I don't know many people who collect art glass for the sake of collecting art glass, but there are plenty who have bowls and vases that go unused and amount to nothing more than decoration. I don't over indulge in this, but I do see the appeal of art glass, sculpture and pottery.
First, what happened to the Multiquote button?
Second, I don't see anything wrong with this. Personally, I don't like knickknacks and something that pretended to by a vase but could not be used as a vase would get on my nerves as I would find it slightly pretentious.
But you are doing something else, I think. In fact, a couple of different things. While an object might be currently useless, that does not mean it is either pretentious or badly-designed. It might have been a fantastic rice container, in its day. Something that is what it is but which is no longer useful in the modern world is, to me, very different from something that pretends to be something it isn't.
One of the things I find most attractive in antiques is when they are, or rather, were, functional objects made beautiful. For example,
These are standardized weights that were use in Babylon about 3000 years ago. Of course, they have no use today but that doesn't make them any less compelling.
And I have no problem with things that make no pretensions to be anything other than pure form, like sculptures or wall art. I do not like art glass but only because having it around leaves me in a constant state of anxiety.