Finding a new way to succeed

As I was reading the news the other day, an article piqued my interest: top ten interior design predictions 2010.

Normally, I don’t put much stock in articles like this. After all, aren’t we the ones always telling readers to avoid trends and “buy what you like,” “save for the best” and “research before you buy”? On the other hand, this article, published in the San Francisco Chronicle, made it a point to single out antiques and collectibles in four of the ten predictions.

The article says people will be making a move toward the natural patina of woods, metals and other materials: “We don’t even mind a water mark or hint of rust.” Gasp! Who knew all you phonograph collectors out there were so trendy?

Texture will be important with recycled glass candle holders as an example of something unique for the home. These same experts go on to tell us to display our antique or vintage souvenirs proudly. I wonder if my dead starfish suspended in a glass snow globe filled with seashells counts?

Coming in at no. 5 is the observation that antiques are plentiful and priced for every budget. “Antiques and vintage pieces add soul to any space,” interior designer Jay Jeffers was quoted. Now there’s a trend we can see lasting well beyond 2010.

Never give up

On page 19, Alan Petrillo tells of new reasons why antiques dealers shouldn’t give up the ship. Despite a devastating decade for the small-town antiques merchant, many out West are going back to school and learning the ethical, accepted methods of appraising an estate. They say the need will only grow in the next few decades.

This is a serious change for dealers. Although they have always been asked to give appraisals, becoming an actual appraiser is a huge difference. It means career long testing and continuing education. For many dealers, the change also means the switch from a more active career to one that can be tedious – a major change after decades in the business. Thankfully, the marketplace is making the switch worthwhile. It appears appraisers are earning between $100 and $300 an hour, depending on the number of items to be examined.

The dealer’s perspectives explain the costs and benefits of sticking with an industry despite the challenges. For those out there who still “keep on keeping on,” perhaps it’s time to look for a new way to succeed.

Eric Bradley

A correction: In the Jan. 20 issue, the location of Jackson’s International Auctioneers and Appraisers was incorrect. The firm is based in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Antique Trader regrets the error.


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