But a recent study found that auctioned antiques weren’t going for as much as anticipated, or at the very least, prices were inconsistent. At a recent U.S. auction, an English shield-back side chair, previously valued at over $7,000 (£4,314) only reached an amount of $117 (£72), leaving antique dealers puzzled as to why these items were “more reminiscent of the 1950’s than now.”
Prices like £72 are just as low as the tags on furniture pieces being reproduced to look vintage. In other words, furniture shoppers can get a brand new, easy-to-find chair (none of the hunt-and-peck hassles of auctions or estate sales) at an affordable price and without the wear and tear.
Many online furniture retailers have jumped on the antique bandwagon, selling “vintage inspired” designs, like mahogany clawfoot dressers and Victorian-designed wet bars. Across the Web, sales for reproduced antique furniture are up, whereas sales for more traditional modern furniture, like leather sectional sofas and wall-sized media units, are at an all-time low.
Real estate agents are even suggesting that sellers decorate their homes with antiques—be it authentic or reproduced. Cabinetry with art deco hardware and dovetail finishes not only speak to the trend, and therefore, ironically, the modernity of the home, but these details also make properties appear more valuable. When potential buyers walk through the front door, a French-style secretaire seems more refined and tasteful than a birch bookshelf from Ikea.
Ornate pieces to furnish the living room—like plush fainting couches and satin grandmother chairs—are not only the most popular types of furniture sought by antique shoppers, but they’re also what buyers first see when they arrive to look at a property, and therefore, can bring up the value of a home. Funky cushion colors and gold distressing are popular among the hip, twenty-something set of home decorators, whereas more distinguished shoppers tend to pay attention to the craftsmanship and detailing, like hand-carved frames and sofa legs.
Browse the Internet and you’ll find that many retailers (such as Crawley’s Furniture) are offering deals on reproduced furniture these days. With the recession still lurking over our heads, the “vintage look” may be the more valuable alternative to your time and wallet.
Find antique reproduction furniture at http://www.crawleysfurniture.co.uk and
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Crawleys is an online based company which enables us to drive down the price of the finest furniture from around the world, also giving us the opportunity to supply all types and styles of furniture.