I know virtually nothing about antiques.
There … I said it. In the past year in which I have been strolling around the Antiques Quarter as their resident photographer (or tog as we say in the trade …. Basically I make a big black thing go click) I have learned nothing about antiques. I have not the slightest notion as to what actually constitutes an antique and what does not.
Is the indestructible bulk of my great grandma’s table an antique? I have no idea but it sits solidly and sturdy in the corner of my room with no intention of ever falling apart. I know that the person who made it would not have used power tools. This is far more impressive than my wardrobe which was purchased two years ago and I fear will not live to see its third birthday.
I know that this wardrobe was designed on a computer and constructed on a factory assembly line with power tools and was finally put together by me with a screwdriver and wine. All of which combined created a delicate little flower that does not like too many clothes hanging or the bar begins to bend. I say it is unlikely to make its third birthday but I fear it seeing next Wednesday is being optimistic. This is especially true if I decide to purchase another shirt and tax its already questionable abilities.
If we are unlucky enough to suffer a nuclear war then the surviving cockroaches will be sitting to dinner at my great Grandma’s table.
I of course know all this before I purchased the wardrobe which begs the question as to why I decided to purchase something that will fall down next week rather than something built to outlast the human race.
I do have a rather sneaky suspicion the table is vintage rather than antique. This matters not as it is quite content to sit there awaiting antique status.
Happily for me and for any of you who nothing of antiques it does not matter. It takes no knowledge of the difference of what constitutes antiques or vintage or even antique, vintage and retro to recognise something lovely to purchase. It also takes no special ability to recognise if blowing on piece of furniture causes it to sway then potentially it is not a great purchase.
There has been a massive sea change in purchasing over the last few years. Charity shop shopping has become the cool thing to do and people are looking for alternatives to mass produced items, up cycling for instance has seen a huge boom. Pre owned is no longer the arena of the strapped for cash but the purchasing habit of those savvy shoppers looking for something different and of good value.
And by good value I certainly do not mean cheap. A lot goes into procuring the Antique (?) item, storing it and in many cases restoring it.
And then there is the concept of thinking outside the box .... Like some old cinema seats for the kids games room for example.
Now I get all best ideas either at 3am (there is a notebook next to my bed ... Last entry reads "Guy stood on a chair in an alleyway" ..... So maybe not all the ideas are belters) or while showering in the morning.
Before I horrify you with unpleasant imagery I get my ideas somewhere between shampooing the hair and lathering the torso. By the time I am at the tootsies I am refining the idea. This morning for example I was around the elbow when I started thinking about great Grandma's table and the irony that I know nothing about antiques.
It was while I was at the Tootsies that I had the idea that I really should get a model to pose on the table. I am not sure great Grandma would approve but that is the joy of antiques, you do not necessarily have to use them for their original purpose ... You can get creative.
You also have no idea what kind of history they have .... Those cockroaches will have no idea that a model laid on the table ... I'll make sure I polish it afterwards.