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Antique Furniture

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Antique FurnitureAntique furniture and antiques in general get more and more popular every day in Europe as well as in America. It is very desired by those who use this type of furniture to highlight their individuality and by those who wish to design their own old-fashioned interior and use the antiques for it.

For some collecting old and ancient pieces of interior is simply a way of continuing family traditions and a way of recreating family history, for others it is a way to establish themselves as a member of a higher class of society.

Modern furniture is very much affected by fashion and style changes, just like clothes and accessories, but fashion has no power over real antiques that the older they get the more desirable and expensive they become. It is because antique furniture keeps the memory of nothing but people in itself telling stories of all of its owners and allowing their new ones to be a part of history and feel the wind of times.

The process of collecting the antiques is a very long and difficult one to carry out, because if one decides to create a unique interior using specific items of antique furniture it is simply impossible, no matter the circumstances, to collect and buy all of the pieces at one time and making the interior come true may take years to happen.

Even from the point of using antiques as a way to launch the capital into something, there's never a right or wrong way. It all depends on the condition of the furniture, its age, furniture's creator, its originality, the way it left itself in the history books. One should also remember that restoration works can increase the price of an item for a lot.

In 1990 the most expensive piece of furniture ever seen was an antique cabinet from count's Badminton mansion. It was bought by Prince Beaufort the Third. The cabinet was made in 1726 at Opificcio delle pietre dure in Florence. Made from ebony, decorated with luxurious incrustations and wooden sculptures, bronze, wonderful paintings, the cabinet became a symbol of antique furniture, sculpture and art. In 1990 the cabinet was sold at London's Christie's auction house for unbelievably high price (according to those times) - 15 million 178 thousand dollars. The buyer was Barbara Piasecka Johnson. Later on in December 2004 the «Badminton cabinet» was sold at Christie's auction house for 27 million 463 thousand 250 euro. It was sold to Wien museum.

That same year an armchair of the eighteenth century, made by Hertault in 1755, which was owned by count d'Artois was put on the auction for 600 thousand euro and was eventually sold for 5 million 815 thousand 250 euro. Of course the previous owners got their piece off the deal.

Even though antiques are fairly popular, there were none sold at the first session of Sotheby's auction house at 24 of March, 2008 which took place in Charpentier Galerie, Paris, France. There were a lot of unique and outstanding items from the point of the experts' view. Such were, for example, a couple of bookshelves from Louis XIV private library. The antique bookshelves were decorated with mosaic and one can easily see a «Sageot» signature that was used by famous furniture crafter - Nicola Sageot. Another item that was not sold was an outstanding game table from the times of Louis XVI (1782), decorated with wooden mosaic made from the lemon tree.

According to all that's been said, it is very hard to predict what prices for antiques will be.

By the way, there is a lot of old furniture that is sold at antique stores, not only auction houses. Those include a lot of rare and unique items. A rookie collector can find great help in such stores from the managers and the furniture is usually sold with lots of attributes. Later, such stores can find specific items you might want to buy.

A lot of famous persons are known for their passion for antiques. Not so long ago Hollywood star Brad Pitt bought marvelous furniture set for his girlfriend Angelina Jolie to use it in their newly bought mansion in France. It's been said that some items cost around half of a million dollars each. Elizabeth Taylor, another Hollywood celebrity tries to use antiques not only in her houses but also in her yachts. By the way, Brad Pitt bought such a yacht in 2004 previously owned by Elizabeth and presented it to Jennifer Aniston.

Of course, there is no better gift than old and expensive things. Antique furniture is very appealing in that aspect. It is beautiful, unique, it has a sense of old times in it and such furniture can turn an ordinary house into sophisticated and luxurious once it's there.

Lana Plotnikova  
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