Some people prefer to buy new, factory-made furniture or household items because there is an idea that because it is ‘new’ it is somehow better. However, this is a fallacy and anyone who has purchased a new piece of furniture only to have it fall apart a few years later knows that this is true. Purchasing antiques is a better way to get a truly quality piece of furniture that has already stood the test of time. Many people have heard of the saying ‘They don’t make them like they used to…’ and the fact is, they don’t. Not only is the quality of a good antique much better than any piece of big-box store furniture, it also holds a greater historical significance, which illuminates an intangible value and interesting story behind the work. These are two of the main reasons why it is always better to purchase antiques over modern factory duplicates.
The majority of antiques come from a time when skill and craftsmanship were valued for the beautiful work that it could create. These days, skilled labor and crafting technique is not as appreciated as it once was. This has resulted in a decline in the quality of work that is being produced. What was once a table lovingly crafted by a carpenter is now a table pumped out of a factory setting. The woodworking skill and craftsmanship techniques that were used to create wonderful furniture and ornate carvings are simply not as common now. The work that was being made before industrialization had taken over every aspect of production is work that had much more effort put into it. Many antiques are the result of countless hours of dedicated labor and the result is something that not only looks amazing, but has been built to last lifetimes. Many antiques have been passed down generation upon generation and they are still solid and beautiful pieces to this day.
Another reason why antiques are so valuable is that they hold a greater historic significance. To tell someone that you bought an armchair at an outlet mall is no story at all. In fact, there are thousands of other armchairs with the exact same story. However, purchasing an antique holds an entire history to it, which is something that makes an antique special. Estate liquidators know this and that is why so many of them can make thousands of dollars from an ‘old chair’ purchased at a garage sale. The reality is that history is valuable and it defines an object by setting it in a time and place, which is something that should be respected. To own a piece of history is to own a piece of humanity.