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Why Collect Antiques?
"A MAN'S HOME IS his castle." There is no question but that this old adage is as true today as when it was first penned. Yes, a man's home is his castle, but it is his wife who must dust away the neverending dust, who must clean and sweep, wash, wax and polish hundreds of hours every year to keep it that way.
A woman lives with her furniture so much more than her husband that her awareness of it surpasses his by a great deal. Husband and children live in the same house, true, but in a lesser number of hours and without the daily maintenance, so that as a consequence, they are not nearly so sensitive to, nor do they get the same enjoyment from, the furnishings.
In those long tedious hours of dusting and caring for her furniture, the housewife learns to know intimately each dustcollecting crevice, each carving and inlay, each adornment. An ugly piece of furniture soon turns a job, which at best can only be called dull, into one that makes her ready to scream.
Antiques have stood the test of time or they would not be antiques. Of course there were some poor examples made, just as there are today, but these were few. Many styles were of such excellence that they are still being made with little or no change in design. It is these lovely old pieces that the discriminating woman prefers to have in her home.
A poet once said, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." As long as you must have furniture anyway, you might as well have beautiful furniture. It costs no more, yet gives infinitely more pleasure.
Antique furniture encompasses so many styles and periods over a great many years, and in such a great variety, that there are enough varied examples to please every taste and budget.
Having stood the ravages of time, antiques are not only still useful, but through the years of continued usage have attained a mellow beauty unmatched by modern copies. This is called "pa tina," which is the same term applied in the same way to your sterling silver. Do you remember that when you first purchased it, the salesman told you to use it often because it would become lovelier with age? At first you hesitated, then as the shiny newness began to mellow you knew he was right. Furniture, like fine silver, is to be used and enjoyed.
The small nicks and dents, the tiny scratches and worn parts add to the all-over beauty and are a vital part of the charm of antiques and are much desired. Many manufacturers of new furni ture strive to gain this same effect, calling it a "distressed finish," which is often available at an additional cost.
These venerable signs of wear simplify upkeep too, for one more little mar caused by a careless guest need not mean expensive refinishing along with the annoyance of being without that needed table (and consequently having the lamp on the floor) several weeks while it is being fixed, as would be the case with new furniture.
In fact, many of the simpler country pieces made of durable pine and maple are practically child-proof.
In olden times furniture was individually built by hand in contrast to the fast assembly-line technique of today's methods. The best available woods were used along with sturdy construction.
Furniture was made to last. The very fact that they are antiques, and we still use them, proves that. Much of this same furniture will still be good long after their modern counterparts are serving as firewood.
FOOL THE JONESES
Modern furniture, unlike the antique variety, is made in mass production and sold simultaneously in several stores within the same city, therefore its cost is easily known. Whether you try to keep up with the proverbial Joneses or not, is a personal matter, but in either case, with antique furnishings it is possible to have just as charming and lovely a home without divulging the family income.
There is no need to feel that the furniture is out of date after a few years and thus replace it at a strain against Husband's budget, when the furniture is still in good shape.
BUY WHEN YOU WANT TO
Unlike modern suites of furniture, you can purchase individual pieces whenever you like. There are always other antiques which will blend with what you have already; and you can buy better items, one at a time as you wish (or as you can afford) rather than have to settle for lesser quality just because it is a set that has to be purchased all at once.
No matter which style you decide upon, there are always fine reproductions which you can use to fill in when the original is unavailable, or is too expensive.
Specific antique items are not always found at the first store, and may require some enjoyable searching for just the exact article you desire. To "go antiquing" is as much a hobby as a way to furnish your home. Women are known for their love of shopping, and this is one way to get in a lot of shopping with a little buying.