Antiques trade needs new blood

It’s not often a column stops me in my tracks. Wayne Jordan’s guest column in this week’s issue of Antique Trader was one of them.
The entry below is my editor’s from the Dec. 23 issue.


Antiques trade needs new blood

If you only read one article in this week’s issue turn to page 8.


The topic of Wayne Jordan’s guest column describes a far-reaching
concern that will no doubt affect how we will buy, sell and enjoy antiques
for the foreseeable future. Auctioneers have seen it. Dealers have seen
it and you collectors have seen it: No new blood in antiques.

This is the ‘new norm’ for this hobby and trade. Indeed there are young people interested in antiques.
Occasionally they are seen at shows and auctions; see page 5 for a
report on one of today’s hottest young stars, Taylor Swift, 19, being
spotted at the Nashville Music Valley and Tailgate Shows. However, the
harsh reality is that there are not enough of them to support a trade
as large as the one we have now. Rather than lament with his fellow
auctioneers, Jordan works to define the problem and pose a solution.
Without new blood entering the hobby, we face an unfamiliar future. It doesn’t take much effort to link the disinterest of antiques
and collectibles to an indifferent attitude about museums, artifacts
and our cultural heritage. If you think that’s too melodramatic, take a
look at what happened to Forney, Texas.

An article on page 12 shows the city’s retail economy is in shambles
after it made antiquing a cornerstone of its downtown revitalization
plans. Tax revenue is down and shops are closing left and right.

Could lovely Walnut, Iowa, be next? What about the shops in Somerville,
N.J.? Will the 100 or so antique stores in Glendale, Ariz., become
nothing but memory?

I’d like to see your thoughts on this issue and share them with
readers. Meanwhile, make sure you see our next issue in which we visit
a fledgling mall selling antique and vintage items with a very
different type of business plan — one that is designed around young

Eric Bradley

Welcome Fred Taylor: Furniture Detective

Please join me in welcoming Fred Taylor to the roster of regular
Antique Trader columnists. For years, Taylor has stood fast, never
wavering from his love of antique furniture nor his advice that
quality-made pieces will always hold their value. Taylor has been
featured in Antique Trader before but we’re happy to make him a regular
weekly feature from now on out. Based on the number of inquiries we get
here at the offices on furniture, I have no doubt you readers will keep
him plenty busy with your comments and questions.