The auction house sent me a preliminary statement from last week’s sale.
My art deco sideboard sold for $650. The six place settings of lovely thoroughly modern looking 100-year-old china? $150. The antique clock? $350. Then the auction company takes 20% of that for commission. Some stuff didn’t even sell.
I guess the good news is that if I ever want to re-stock on furnishings, the auction house is the place to start for incredible bargains on lovely things.
I’ve had this antique ceiling fixture in my garage for 15 years, waiting to find the someone who wanted it enough to pay for it. It’s survived a couple of yard sales and a stay at a consignment shop without a taker. It graced my older home in Berkeley for 30 years so I didn’t want to just junk it.
This week I posted it on Craigslist for $60 and four people called about it – and last night the first caller came by with his wife (and the $60). They were a darling young couple who were renovating their little Victorian cottage and they fell in love with the fixture despite its broken petal (which I had disclosed). Rejuvenation Hardware had told me they could probably sell it for about $250, but so what. I preferred seeing how happy these folks were and imagining the light shining on their home.
It’s ust $60, but it’s another baby step in getting rid of excess stuff.
Today I called a local furniture consignment store to inquire about their selling a Victorian ladies chair that was my mother’s, as well as the aforementioned humongous McGuire executive desk.
Here’s the chair:
The gal said they’d have their appraiser give me a rough price, but not to expect a lot, because the market for antiques has plunged. “Antiques aren’t drawing the prices they did a couple of years ago… you might want to wait to sell,” she said.
Right. But I want to sell it now.
I understand fashion cycles – things go in and out of vogue. Currently the 1950’s are hot (whodathunkit??). Victoriana is cold. But my question is – will big old heavy stuff ever come back into fashion?
Everyone is wanting to live lighter, smaller, cheaper. Ikea – screw it together yourself is all the rage. If it breaks in a few years, so be it; we’ll get a new more trendy one when that happens.
Perhaps another golden age of well-crafted American-made antiques will return, but not until the economy is standing firmly back on its feet – and no doubt long after I’ve moved into my shoebox.