Antiques and the Decorative Arts, Still Trending Down

For the last 15 years the mantra of antiques dealers is that “the tide has turned” and antiques are coming back in fashion. The reality has been a steady decline that seems to never stop trending down. Yes, there are exceptions, but the use of period furnishings in interior design …

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Buyer’s Premium Redux, the 1sdibs Approach

No one is more thankful than me as to how 1stdibs single handily took on the industry’s challenge and hijacking by the Sotheby’s/Christie’s auction methods. The duopoly’s goal was to take away the dealer market by imposing a profit gouging buyer’s premium. Consumers could pay it as they weren’t concerned …

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Daring to Decorate With the Decorative Arts

Elle Décor Magazine has been setting the new standard of success in the shelter magazine competition. Their editorial style has attracted a hip and stylish following of readers and the work of designers who accommodate that sensibility. The void of classical furniture and period decorative arts that are pre-1940s is …

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What you see is what you get

What I saw this afternoon, strolling down the aisles of the Winter Antiques Show in New York, kind of sums up what is endemic with the antiques trade, and by its virtue, so contrasting to the auction environment. I am dealer, a third generation dealer. I’ve also never participated in …

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When Decorators Used to Teach Their Client

I had an interesting conversation with Mario Buatta, who recently published a book on his lifetime of designing interiors for clients who could afford the best and looked to a person who understood what that meant. We reminisced about the skills today’s clients require from their interior designer, and what …

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The State of the Decorative Arts Market, Never Better

After a solid 15 years of ho-hum at best business, the decorative arts are finally reaching a critical state, with the greatest potential for success in front for all to see. Great merchandise has never been more available. The quality is of all shapes and forms, and anyone with some …

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“Concerned Dealers” and The 1stdibs Challenge

There appears to be a dialogue of some 1stdibs member dealers who have made public comments and complaints about an evolving process of commerce. It has always been a concern that this industry has little life blood left compared to just a decade and further into the past. While auction …

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The New UK Way: Auctioneer Exemption, Of Course

When I was trying to relax this past Sunday morning, I picked up the latest edition of The Art Newspaper and was stunned when I came upon an article explaining how the new English Regulatory Reform Act of 2013 would exempt the auctioneer’s from being a party to a public …

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Going, Going, But Not Gone; This Decorative Arts Dealer

If you take out of the equation, Mid-20th Century Modern, the traditional antiques dealer no longer exists or does so as a relic of the past. Counting down the number of surviving dealers from just 20 years ago is a staggering thought. The monumental shift in taste has made the …

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Survival By Consolidation

One thing you can say about the dealer network, it is incredibly fragmented, to the point of total specialization and independent operation. While I like to think Newel is the antithesis of that domain, there are no Christie’s or Sotheby’s among them, except perhaps in specific, isolated fields. They did …

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