Thursday, February 20, 2014

ANTIQUING “Going Green”

A ntiquing is as green as it gets.  By its very nature, the antique industry was in the business of recycling long before “going green” became fashionable.   Consider how much more waste would currently be in our landfills if people didn’t reuse, and cherish things of the past.  Right now, being green is "in", and is arguably the most important thing to be as a consumer, with huge benefits for future generations.
In short, to shop “green” means purchasing existing goods, i.e. furniture, silver, bronze, glass, porcelain, jewelry and much more.  Not only does it reduce fuel, oil, and new manufacturing waste, but it conserves our natural resources and environment, especially the destruction and depletion of our rain forests worldwide. 

For example, a wonderful 19th century French table, that most likely made its way from one Continent to another at some point in time, is just as sturdy now as when it was hand crafted more than 150 years ago.  Unlike like the model purchased at your local IKEA or furniture store, which was mass produced, with a minimal lifespan fit to consume our landfills in a short number of years (est. 2-5 years).   The antique table however, will at the least retain its original value, with a very significant chance that it will actually increase in value over time.  The modern pieces are literally worth less the second you buy them.  So, when comparing your options to acquire a lovely rustic dining table for your home, the solid and sturdy 19th century handmade table is hands down the best buy, both in the short and long term!

Besides the obvious longevity of service provided by antiques, we must also take into consideration and appreciate the craftsmanship of these pieces.  As creative as our modern artisans are today, we barely touch the surface of what our artisans used to be.  Many of the techniques used in creating these wonderful pieces have been lost or are presently a dying art.  Take a look at the hand chasing and repousse work in English and American sterling silver, the French, Spanish and Italian mythological and neo-classical hand carvings on sideboards, buffets and armories, and the intricacy of Italian micro mosaics, these are all techniques once meticulously worked by hand, using imagination, now duplicated and mass produced by machines in an easy going modern day fashion.

So now you are thinking, “but Antiques are expensive….” right?  Wrong!  Generally speaking, good quality antiques and collectibles are cheaper than new items of similar or lesser quality.  

So visit your local antique store, flea market, or even do a little research online, you may be surprised at what you find!

RTF Antiques works with fine art and antique importers and dealers worldwide.  If you are looking for specific pieces for your home, office or design project, please let us know so that we may help you find them!
Designers Welcome!