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Antiques - why?

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Lucky Strike, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Senior member

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    I think that there is no doubt that "classic modern" is as much a period look as edwardian is at this point. My taste tends to more contemporary, although I do like some modernist and some antique.

    I agree - the term "klassisch modern" seems to be the accepted term in e.g. German. The definition of antiques as applied arts objects more than a 100 years old is also a widely accepted one, and the term is also codified in many countries. (Export licences, insurance, etc.) Although considering the natural shortage of domestic antiques in the US, I suspect the definition is rather stretched there.

    Compared to Europe, the ratio of antiques to population in the US is very different, the much stronger European habit of warring on domestic soil notwithstanding. Typically, some of the best markets for antiques have been Germany and lately Russia, which were the countries where the worst destruction of property happened during WWII. It's simple supply and demand, combined with demographics.

    I'm not trying to be all European and condescending here, but objects like this pre-date the great waves of immigration to the US in the 19th century:

    [​IMG]

    This went for around $6.000 all included in an auction here. There’s nothing wrong or right (e.g. a signature) with it that’s not visible in the photo. Well, it was actually bought from abroad on the strength of this photo. Any thoughts as to the value in America?

    Elsie de Wolfe, the legendary interior designer in the "tart's boudoir" style (think gilt rococo overdose) described her living as "Introducing new money to old furniture".

    It seems that part of the job description these days is also "introducing old money to new and new-ish furniture", which actually is a lot harder. In a few years, it will be just "introducing money to furniture", I suppose.
     
  2. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    I like the combination of high culture and Kantian tastes with John Waters camp, combined with controversial photography and obscurity.

    Perhaps a room painted entirely in black lacquer paint with an 18th century Swedish crystal chandelier and Persian rugs with Allen Jones coffee tables, Joel-Peter Witkin photographs put amongst the walls which are completely filled with 19th century Academic paintings.

    Sort of like a PostModernist Soane house.
     
  3. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Senior member

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    Cheers - I actually tried to replicate the "Girl Table" once, - I share a loft with two friends of mine. The flat is a louche but run-down seventies bachelor pad - must have been very impressive in 1975.

    Turns out they don't normally make window-dressing dolls in an all-fours position. And they're surprisingly expensive.

    But I agree on the eclecticism. I'm tired of period reconstructions in interior decorating. Unless it's an actual historical room, or a recreation of one for, say, museum purposes, or it's done out of some sort of historical piety, I really can't see the point.

    I think this very often happens for two reasons: People don't trust their own taste, and go for the pre-packaged look, or they actually have a real historical interest in a period. The last option is demanding - I recently heard of a man who lives in an enormous fin-de-siecle flat, with the original furniture, spartan waterworks and coke-burning stoves, all more or less worn out. Even the velvet rope bell-pulls for the help are intact. The story is that he inherited the flat, and just couldn't bring himself to alter it. I have to admire the dedication to historical correctness, but I could never live like that.
     
  4. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Cheers - I actually tried to replicate the "Girl Table" once, - I share a loft with two friends of mine. The flat is a louche but run-down seventies bachelor pad - must have been very impressive in 1975.

    Turns out they don't normally make window-dressing dolls in an all-fours position. And they're surprisingly expensive.

    But I agree on the eclecticism. I'm tired of period reconstructions in interior decorating. Unless it's an actual historical room, or a recreation of one for, say, museum purposes, or it's done out of some sort of historical piety, I really can't see the point.

    I think this very often happens for two reasons: People don't trust their own taste, and go for the pre-packaged look, or they actually have a real historical interest in a period. The last option is demanding - I recently heard of a man who lives in an enormous fin-de-siecle flat, with the original furniture, spartan waterworks and coke-burning stoves, all more or less worn out. Even the velvet rope bell-pulls for the help are intact. The story is that he inherited the flat, and just couldn't bring himself to alter it. I have to admire the dedication to historical correctness, but I could never live like that.



    That is well said.

    I think that one reason that some people have a distaste for contemporary furniture is that they are only exposed to Ikea and ZGalerie, and not good modern design. Firms like Cappellini, Moooi and Zanotta (somewhat) are producing the pieces of furniture that are being shown in Modern art museums throughout the world. They are a far cry from Ikea.
     
  5. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    That is well said.

    I think that one reason that some people have a distaste for contemporary furniture is that they are only exposed to Ikea and ZGalerie, and not good modern design. Firms like Cappellini, Moooi and Zanotta (somewhat) are producing the pieces of furniture that are being shown in Modern art museums throughout the world. They are a far cry from Ikea.


    also about 10x as expensive...you gets what you pays for.
     
  6. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Cheers - I actually tried to replicate the "Girl Table" once, - I share a loft with two friends of mine. The flat is a louche but run-down seventies bachelor pad - must have been very impressive in 1975.

    Turns out they don't normally make window-dressing dolls in an all-fours position. And they're surprisingly expensive.

    But I agree on the eclecticism. I'm tired of period reconstructions in interior decorating. Unless it's an actual historical room, or a recreation of one for, say, museum purposes, or it's done out of some sort of historical piety, I really can't see the point.

    I think this very often happens for two reasons: People don't trust their own taste, and go for the pre-packaged look, or they actually have a real historical interest in a period. The last option is demanding - I recently heard of a man who lives in an enormous fin-de-siecle flat, with the original furniture, spartan waterworks and coke-burning stoves, all more or less worn out. Even the velvet rope bell-pulls for the help are intact. The story is that he inherited the flat, and just couldn't bring himself to alter it. I have to admire the dedication to historical correctness, but I could never live like that.


    I love that decrepit nature of this '70s bachelor pad you describe, especially the fact that it was impressive in the '70s. It brings to minds sordid luxury gone to seed, literally, with mildewed shag and peeling veneer; a veritable utopic failure.

    As for this fin-de-siecle set-up, I love the dedication and aesthetic desperation-like an old aristocrat fighting a desperate fight against money. Very McDermott & McGough
     
  7. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Senior member

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    I love that decrepit nature of this '70s bachelor pad you describe, especially the fact that it was impressive in the '70s. It brings to minds sordid luxury gone to seed, literally, with mildewed shag and peeling veneer; a veritable utopic failure.

    Decrepit is the word, the mildewed shag has been replaced, but the dark brown veneer in the kitchen/bar is peeling somewhat. It looks like Hugh Hefner with leprosy. It's split level, and one flatmate has built a complete little record studio (he makes electronica, sometimes with vocals) in the attic room. And although it's in the middle of town, noone can actually see what goes on on the roof terrace.
     
  8. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Senior member

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    I'm not trying to be all European and condescending here, but objects like this pre-date the great waves of immigration to the US in the 19th century:

    [​IMG]

    This went for around $6.000 all included in an auction here. There's nothing wrong or right (e.g. a signature) with it that's not visible in the photo. Well, it was actually bought from abroad on the strength of this photo. Any thoughts as to the value in America?


    Any comments as to this? I'm really curious.
     
  9. Edward Appleby

    Edward Appleby Senior member

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    I love antiques, for both aesthetic and historical reasons. The house I, er, am growing up in, is full of them, so perhaps that's where I got my taste. Probably also influenced by my love of history.
     
  10. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    I lived in an ranch house full of Gustave Stickley pieces.
     
  11. shqiptar

    shqiptar Well-Known Member

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    Any comments as to this? I'm really curious.

    It certainly is a fantastic piece; however, are you trying to sell or buy it? The answer to the value depends on who's selling and where (city, private dealer, or auction house).
     
  12. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Senior member

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    It certainly is a fantastic piece; however, are you trying to sell or buy it? The answer to the value depends on who's selling and where (city, private dealer, or auction house).

    Sorry about the tardiness in answering - this piece was sold at the auction house where I work. The corresponding value in the US would be the hammer, plus buyer's commission.
     
  13. Jerome

    Jerome Senior member

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    I like antique things a lot. Its not only the aesthetic or the pecuniary value, its also the "projective" function they have. When I studied art history we had some course at a museum looking at Renaissance paintings, that had wooden panels as a base. The pics themselves are normally very well conserved (and sometimes even reproduced better in high quality coffee table books containing pictures taken by good cameras, anyway [​IMG]), and we concentrated more on the content or the composition of the pics themselves, yet when I took the time to inspect the wood they are painted on I only then realized the immense actual age of those things: damn, I thought 500 years have passed since this has been painted (moreso with e.g. Ptolemaic mummery), and looking closely I could really see, nay "feel", the great antiquity of it...if you can touch or really closely inspect the object your understanding of it will acquire a new level of profundity, quasi a new quality and thereby your understanding of also things like history itself will "improve"; those, btw, are some simple hints to some arcane secrets, too. ;D

    ...so I recommend to everyone (also w. a lower budget), to also at times buy some antiques of maybe not top or low/"fucked up" quality that are cheap but nonetheless can be very old or can have a history that one would have to research oneself...its great fun

    ...yeah one hears that "collectors" always crave the best quality etc but many of them seem not to be able to comprehend the more hidden secrets of their possessions respectively seem to trade them for fame or greed or some form of deluded idealism in what they strive for....or some other corrupt and worldly things...[​IMG]...so finalmente: when some famous painting like Munch or some such gets stolen I say: so what?, there's a Munch repro in every other house anyhow (and 'sides theyre impossible to sell off so will turn up w a good likelihood)...good art is destroyed- eventually- just as all things have to perish, and good art is created again and again anew by the next generation by US...so my take on the whole business is to see this stuff more sub specie aeternitatis as a whole yet also enjoy whats still here- in any form, from personal experiences to secondary literature or traveling to some sights....yay for the antique!
     
  14. dkzzzz

    dkzzzz Senior member

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    I think one can develop aesthetic interest to antiques and become a collector or admirer. The other way for antiques into your heart is through your surroundings.
    Things that considered antiques in US are mostly junk. PBS Antiques Road Show anyone? Prices on that junk are even more comedic.

    There is completely different situation when it comes to antiques in 3rd world countries or Europe. Many people grew up in old European cities and remember the site, the smell the feel of really old.
    In US due to horrible quality of houses very few people exposed to old and beautiful from the early age thus most prefer plastic crap produced in a last 40 years.
    Only American elite has been exposed to a real beauty and craftsmanship by living in a great houses and being surrounded by things of beauty and quality.
    I believe that surroundings you grew up in, inexplicably and permanently affect your imagination and taste. Thus growing up in a split level ranch in a suburb would make you desire everything Ikea for the rest of your life.
     
  15. weeks

    weeks Senior member

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    I think one can develop aesthetic interest to antiques and become a collector or admirer. The other way for antiques into your heart is through your surroundings.
    Things that considered antiques in US are mostly junk. PBS Antiques Road Show anyone? Prices on that junk are even more comedic.

    There is completely different situation when it comes to antiques in 3rd world countries or Europe. Many people grew up in old European cities and remember the site, the smell the feel of really old.
    In US due to horrible quality of houses very few people exposed to old and beautiful from the early age thus most prefer plastic crap produced in a last 40 years.
    Only American elite has been exposed to a real beauty and craftsmanship by living in a great houses and being surrounded by things of beauty and quality.
    I believe that surroundings you grew up in, inexplicably and permanently affect your imagination and taste. Thus growing up in a split level ranch in a suburb would make you desire everything Ikea for the rest of your life.


    This is one of the most elitist, eurocentric rants I have ever heard.

    The idea that only the elite Americans and Europeans can appreciate beauty is ridiculous. There are and always have been American craftsmen, a large majority of whom are neither rich nor have ever set foot on European soil.

    The idea that all American homes are horrible quality is equally laughable.
     
  16. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    I like old houses and antiques. Accordingly, my 120 year old house is stocked with several pieces of period furniture.

    My passion though is for antique art glass, especially by Louis Comfort Tiffany. I like the different forms he created and the way he used color. From intaglio carvings of ivy to rare colors such as red, he created glass that I enjoy admiring over and over again.
     
  17. caelte

    caelte Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I think one can develop aesthetic interest to antiques and become a collector or admirer. The other way for antiques into your heart is through your surroundings. Things that considered antiques in US are mostly junk. PBS Antiques Road Show anyone? Prices on that junk are even more comedic. There is completely different situation when it comes to antiques in 3rd world countries or Europe. Many people grew up in old European cities and remember the site, the smell the feel of really old. In US due to horrible quality of houses very few people exposed to old and beautiful from the early age thus most prefer plastic crap produced in a last 40 years. Only American elite has been exposed to a real beauty and craftsmanship by living in a great houses and being surrounded by things of beauty and quality. I believe that surroundings you grew up in, inexplicably and permanently affect your imagination and taste. Thus growing up in a split level ranch in a suburb would make you desire everything Ikea for the rest of your life.
    I'm stunned.
     
  18. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    I think that one reason that some people have a distaste for contemporary furniture is that they are only exposed to Ikea and ZGalerie, and not good modern design. Firms like Cappellini, Moooi and Zanotta (somewhat) are producing the pieces of furniture that are being shown in Modern art museums throughout the world. They are a far cry from Ikea.

    I was looking at these occassional tables by Montis called "Spots." Have you any word on the company's work?

    I like antique mirrors, old mirrors with chips in the silvering and frames.
     
  19. crazyquik

    crazyquik Senior member

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    Elsie de Wolfe, the legendary interior designer in the "tart's boudoir" style (think gilt rococo overdose) described her living as "Introducing new money to old furniture".

    I wish I had a few rooms like this [​IMG]
     
  20. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Senior member

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    Art Deco and Nouveau. Unfortunately it doesn't match our very 1960 condo building. it's more 1960 resort (yes in DC it makes no sense) than anything near Deco.

    My main problem is price. We recently found a great antiques store nearby that has stuff I could just cry over. You could decorate an entire home from this place. But the prices are waaaaay beyond what we can afford.

    For now we stick with small stuff like an art nouveau vases or bookends when we run across something.


    b
     

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