Oct 11, 2012

Future Antiques are Being Created Now

Just like the antiques of today which were created a century or more ago, the antiques of tomorrow are being created today. The skills and techniques of the artisans which have been honed over centuries are still alive and well, even in this mechanised 21st century. Will your next furniture purchase be one of the antiques of tomorrow?

Today’s furniture is tomorrows antique
If you choose to buy a piece of furniture which is mass produced with built in obsolescence, ten years down the road it will probably end up on a bonfire or taken away for recycling. Making an informed choice and buying a hand crafted Jonathan Charles wine table (pictured) you can guarantee that piece of furniture will be around long after you have departed this mortal coil. With the same skill and devotion to detail which handmade furniture has been subject to over the past two hundred years or so, a Jonathan Charles piece is an antique in the making.

Mass produced versus handmade
There is obviously a market for mass produced cheap furniture, but mass produced furniture is made purely as a functional piece. Mass produced may look good, but in the main is produced and sold within the parameters of consumer trends. A sofa, chair or sideboard may look fashionable when you buy it, but see what it looks like in five or ten year’s time. Handmade furniture on the other hand isn't made to fit in with trends or fads of interior design, neither is it made with built in obsolescence so you end up having to replace it in time.

Handmade furniture such as the diverse range which is produced by the Jonathan Charles design studio, are in themselves works of art. When buying a piece of handmade furniture you are investing in something which has functionality but at the same time exquisite form.

Handmade finely detailed wooden furniture created from teak, oak or walnut are one off pieces, even though they may be made according to a detailed set of plans. The swirls, loops and arches of the grain are enhanced by the way the artisan places them, a skill which takes many years to hone and perfect.

However, it is well worth the wait; a finished piece such as a card table crafted from mahogany, a vanity dressing table with fine marquetry or an extending dining table made from walnut is unique, and isn't intended to be the same as another piece of the same design. Combined with the extraordinary level of polishing and finish the depth of the wood and the pattern of the grain stand out.

Eighteenth and nineteenth century style has never fallen out of favour and yes, you will pay more for a finely crafted piece of handmade furniture, but it is worth it. The piece you buy will probably outlast the person buying it and at some point be marvelled at a hundred years hence.

Can you say the same for a mass produced piece of furniture even surviving for ten years?

Graham Green is a freelance writer and blogger, and has a love of old books and fine furniture and is a fan of the fine furniture created by the Jonathan Charles design house. 

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