Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fun on the Interwebs:

I love this site, and if you are a frustrated interior designer or collector of antiques, you should, too. Dealers post their wares online, everything is indexed by category, and the resulting database is fully searchable, so if you’re in the market for a mid-century modern coffee table or a wooden swan decoy, you can search hundreds of antique stores with one query, obtain pricing information, etc. A lot of the merchandise is high-end, but there are some bargains to be had, in addition to some really cool and funky stuff, and if nothing else it gives you an idea of what items are worth.

Yeah . . . on the subject of worth, I ran across this listing the other day:

This is a “rattan peacock chair,” circa the 1970’s. Look familiar? It did to me. Because we’re in the process of cleaning out the carriage house in preparation for a massive garage sale to come, and tucked in a corner is MY “rattan peacock chair,” the one that served as “occasional seating” in my first post-college living room. When I ran across the chair the other day, I wondered aloud as to appropriate pricing, and now I have an answer. $2,200. Um, seriously? These things were ubiquitous as bean bags in the seventies, and, if I recall correctly, similarly priced. Apparently – according to one New York-based purveyor of “junque” (spell it all French-like, and you can jack the price a BUNCH) – the “rattan peacock chair” has SIGNIFICANTLY appreciated in value. Score! Mine is lacquered an intense yellow, but if some theoretical buyer is willing to pay $2,200 for a natural-colored one (or, more precisely, a non-theoretical seller is deluded enough to list a natural-colored one for $2,200), then I’m sure there’s a market for mine. Right? Right.

I also was intrigued by this pair of “Grand Tour bathtubs.”

These would really class up a Viagra commercial. (Why ARE those people sprawled out in adjoining bathtubs, and why are the tubs on the beach? Or in a field?) Actually, they are much smaller than actual size, and it’s the small size, coupled with the following product description, that truly caught my eye:

"In centuries past, young gentlemen would take a 'grand tour' of Europe and purchase art and objects as evidence of their education and travels. These white marble baths are two such pieces."

Don’t know about you, but nothing says “sophisticated world traveler” to me like “a pair of diminutive replica bathtubs.” In the Pantheon (hey, a Grand Tour pun!) of items associated with the Grand Tour, you have the Eiffel Tower, the Acropolis, the Leaning Tower of Pisa . . . and, evidently, the diminutive replica bathtub. Learn something new every day!

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