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AN UNLIKELY PUBLICATION

I find the magazine The Economist to be highly informative and generally pretty spot-on about world events.  So when I picked up the December 19th issue, I was quite surprised to see, not only an article on the antiques business, but one that was quite negative about the state of the industry, and industry they claim is dying.  So I of course told everyone I knew about this article and what I thought.  After a few days, I realized I should tell The Economist what I thought as well.  So I did, and amazingly enough they published my letter in the print edition, a place usually reserved for diplomats or CEO’s letters.  I suspect I was the only one, probably ever, to write a letter to the editor at The Economist about old brown furniture.

 

AN UNLIKELY PUBLICATION

“I disagree with your take on the antiques trade (“Out with the old”, December 19th). It is not dying, merely changing, and its future is bright. The traditional definition of an “antique” being at least 100 years old is restrictive and outmoded. The New York Armory Winter Antique Show now allows items from as late as 1969.

You implied that the popularity of Mid-Century Modernism explains why antiques are out of fashion. However, one may see in this a sign that the younger generation still appreciates old things, just different things than their parents appreciated. Thirty-somethings are expanding their tastes; the heavy hand of Mid-Century is lifting and early 20th Century Modernism and Art Deco styles are creeping in. 
 
A more eclectic use of styles in interiors is indeed returning. In the Architectural Digest 2016 forecast, several interior designers noted a trend away from Mid-Century period rooms towards more traditional styles mixed with the modern. Robert Stilin, a designer, even used the term “brown furniture” in a positive light. Not quite the definitive death that many old-guard dealers are predicting. 
 
CHRISTA PIRL
Christa Pirl Interiors & Furniture”
Christa Pirl

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