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Are Antiques Really Old News?! 5 Fast Facts


Welcome back to the T-O-P Move Management blog! This week we are continuing our focus of setting realistic expectations when it comes to downsizing, estate planning and moving. Some of our readers have informed us that some of the most helpful information on our blog pertains to ‘brown furniture’ and the reality that our often-cherished treasures may be considered junk or clutter by the generations that follow.


If this concept is new to you, we encourage you to explore our blogs on ‘I Love My Parents…But Not Their Stuff’ and ‘The Etiquette of Heirlooms’.


While we have no intentions of dashing anyone’s hopes who may be in the downsizing or gifting process, we do hope to shed some light on the reality of the demand (or lack thereof) for antiques. While the two blogs mentioned above outline the emotional, physical and familial issues in passing down possessions, this week’s blog reveals 5 hard and fast facts that reveal how the industry of antiques is truly old news.


Did you know…


#1: On an international level, antique shops have been closing in record numbers over the past 5-10 years. Consider that just minutes from the famed Louvre museum, the once bustling Louvre des Antiquaires center has dwindled down to half a dozen shops from previously housing hundreds of dealers!


#2: The world’s three biggest auction houses, Bonham’s, Christie’s and Sotheby’s, have all shifted their business focus despite long-standing, successful reputations in the high-end antiques industry. All have drastically reduced their antique furniture platforms to focus on contemporary art, jewelry and wine instead…


#3: The cost of space via high-rent and high costs of ownership have influenced not only the recipients of heirlooms, but the antique-sellers themselves. Decreased market demand has plummeted many antique furniture pieces to sell for less than half of their previous value – while space rental has only doubled or tripled over the past decade for many store owners.


#4: Living in the presence of history has succumbed to living in the age of comfort and convenience. In an ever-increasing era of hustle and bustle, people want more electronics that make life easier, less stuff to clean and an extremely comfortable bed to rest their head! Formal living spaces, period-inspired rooms and collectibles just don’t fit today’s lifestyle.


#5: Quality doesn’t count anymore… All levels of antiques are struggling. High-end markets scramble to find buyers who even recognize the value of their pieces. Mid-market antique items used to be desired by medical offices, law firms and hotels… who now opt for modern looks that fit their client demographics. Lower level pieces have zero demand, thus zero value anymore…


While we know this may not be the news that so many of us would love to hear, we hope that we’ve cleared up some questions about ‘Will my kids really not want my stuff?!’ or ‘Maybe the antique market will make a comeback…’. We hope to make every transition easier by setting every expectation on the right path upfront!


*Resource Used: Out With The Old – Why the bottom has dropped out of the antiques market


Don’t forget to reach out for your complimentary consultation for

moving, downsizing or de-cluttering today!


Julie & Helen 

Helen Ingwersen