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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Deal of the (19th) Century

It's not exactly news that antique furniture prices have been in the doldrums for a few years now.

We were visiting a week ago with a friend who runs an antique shop in Vermont, doing our best to feign interest as he complained that (1) prices had dropped to rock bottom levels and (2) that even so, no one was buying old pieces anymore.

Biedermeier desk

This 1825 Biedermeier cherrywood chest
may be out of favor, but it's still a beaut.
So we were not surprised a few days ago to read a Wall St. Journal article on the same subject.

"The market for period pieces, including 18th-century Louis, authentic English Regency and Irish Chippendale, is ripe for the picking," says the Journal. "Consider this: A pair of Louis XVI fauteuils that were $35,000 15 years ago just went for $10,000 at auction."

There are deals to be had on English Georgian and German Biedermeier furniture, as well.

If you believe that one good piece can carry an entire room, then now is the time to get serious. Prices of good antique furniture will rebound eventually. In three, five, or ten years, a $10,000 purchase today could be worth two or three times as much.

Read the complete Journal report here.

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