Monday, August 8, 2011

A is for August and Antiques

I mention in my profile that I love for antiques. I haven't spent a lot of time talking about them, but in August I'm going to shed some light on some of my favorite things. It's obviously a favorite, I posted the sign right there on my wall in my living room!

First of all, I grew up around antiques. My mom owned an antique store when I was very young, and we traveled all over the country searching for great furniture and small pieces to bring back to Texas. By the time I was 8 years old, I could pick out an 18th century French armoire from across the room, and on closer inspection, tell you if it was a good deal or not. Even though my mom's store eventually transitioned into solely gifts and no antiques, I never lost my appreciation for the beauty of old relics.

For me, it's the skill that created these antique treasures that makes them so special. In this day in age, when schools are no longer teaching cursive, many traditions and trades have fallen out of favor. Yet, the long lasting artistic skill and attention to detail of the past has created millions of antiques that remain in stellar shape today. Those pieces that are only in "decent" shape? Well, thankfully there are still a few out there that can restore them to their original grandeur.

MS Rau Antiques, New Orleans

Unfortunately, many stores today slap in the word "antique" to their name and yet don't display a single piece that qualifies as an antique on their floors. An antique is something that is over 100 years old. That means it had to be made in the 1900s or before to qualify under this heading. When talking to an insurance adjuster, objects only qualify as antiques if they are dated to 1880 or before (we learned this from experience). However, "antique stores" are filled with shabby chic finds and mid-century modern pieces which are just that--shabby chic and mid-century modern, not antique. Needless to say, it's frustrating to get excited about a new store only to find out it's filled with furniture from the 1950s and 1960s. Good thing there are still a few diamonds in the rough that showcase quality antiques from all over the world--the kind you save up for.

I love the style displayed here, but they are NOT antiques.

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