The findings of our recent 2015 ACC Antique Furniture Price Index highlighted the persistent decline in the value of antique furniture, sparking Halls Fine Art Director, Jeremy Lamond, to launch an online campaign in the social sphere to Bring Back Brown Furniture, with the hashtag #BringBackBrownFurniture on twitter.
1 Stop telling everyone what it used to sell for and start to actually sell it
2 Forget the ‘good old days’
3 Extol the eco-friendly virtues of antique furniture from its low carbon footprint to its enduring quality throughout the ages. Reference everything from Wolf Hall to Downton Abbey when you sell it-make it relevant and popular by association
4 Compare it pound for pound with the modern alternative. Buy one particle board plastic-runnered chest of drawers for your shop and sit your George III mahogany chest beside it. Let the furniture do the talking
5 Emphasize the personal generational story of antique furniture compared to modern alternatives. This type of furniture is your ‘farmer’s market’ your fresh bread roll and home-made cake. And a bargain? It is your Lidl, Aldi and Iceland all in one! And they are not making it any more so it’s exclusive and cheap!
6 It’s a bargain! If you are selling a piece for £1,000, stress how cheap this actually is-the customer will never need to re-furnish and can pass on the furniture to the next generation at no cost to you, to them or to the planet. How cheap does it have to be? Keep a piece for thirty years and it has cost you £33 per annum!
7 The nay-sayers will tell you that antique furniture is ‘too big’ for the modern house. So sell big furniture to big old houses and occasional and small furniture to modern householders. Everyone needs a chest of drawers, a wardrobe and a sofa- all of these can be antique! Brown furniture is not ‘inconvenient’ it’s unique! We are giving people something to look at again.
8 Start the conversation with someone near you from the next generation. My children and yours are the new buyers and they need to be ‘on board’. They need to be ‘trending ’on brown furniture
9 Forget short term investment potential (except at the very top end) and concentrate on William Morris in supplying something which is both ‘beautiful and useful’
10 Remember the best times in life? When you are with family and friends? The more the merrier? Many pieces of antique furniture have a communal quality from stretch dining tables to the Welsh dresser, sets of chairs to triple wardrobes, its furniture for using, sharing and enjoying with friends. It makes your house a home-not a ’show home’!
What do you think – is now the right time to invest in brown furniture or not?