We were bemused when we recently read the The Wall Street Journal declare in an article titled That Perfect Dining Room Table? No One Wants It, Even If It's Free that the market for antique furniture had disappeared.
“When moving to a smaller abode...(they discover) their prized family heirlooms have turned into junk,” claimed The Wall Street Journal. Hip young consumers choosing cheap imports at IKEA and Walmart were blamed for making “Victorian-style mahogany and oak...almost impossible to give away.”
While The Wall Street Journal was correct that obsolete items (pianos, pre-flat screen TV's and their entertainment centers) are tough sells now, our Safety Harbor estate sale defied its dire predictions. In a house owned by a transplanted New England collector, the antique furniture sold! From the checked upholstered sofa to the carved wood bedroom set and candle-stand dresser, almost every piece was gone at sale's end.
Perhaps more surprising was who bought this traditional furniture. A third went to dealers who were anxious to restore and resell in a market they saw as improving. Almost half went to buyers in their late 20s to late 30s, who recognized the quality of solid wood construction and the value in buying at estate sale prices. The rest went to neighbors who saw how old furniture could serve new purpose in an area of similar homes.