Do you use, or just display, your antiques?

Maybe it’s because I was always that kid that adults seemed to hover over whenever he was around anything breakable – I got a bad rap, for sure – but I prefer my antiques to be of the useful variety.

I don’t mind pretty smalls that decorate a shelf, or sit on a sideboard, but I prefer to be able to touch something. Maybe it’s to prove that I won’t break it after all, even after all these years.

Simply put, if I wanted to just sit and stare at something – not sit on it, not touch it, not use or get the tactile sensation of skin on surface contact, then I’ll go to a museum and wander the galleries stoicly with my hands clasped behind my back. In fact, in the decade and more that I lived in Manhattan I loved to go to the Met on a quiet afternoon and wander the halls of the furniture collection. What I most want from my antiques, though, is to interact with them on a daily basis – something that’s difficult now with a two-year old daughter running around my house.

Here’s what I want to know this week from Trader’s readers: Do you use your antiques, or just display them? If you use them, what do you use them for, and do you buy them specifically for use?

Let me know at, or post your response as a comment here.