I LOVE antiquing. I love it so so so so much. So I was thrilled when I got an email from 1stdibs.com announcing their Saturday Sales, "join us... as we re-imagine the tradition of weekend yard and barn sales."
Now 1stdibs is the BIGGEST rip-off going. Seriously. I think that the dealers are actually delusional. There are some nice pieces, but I honestly think the dealers are egging each other on, putting a price on something to see if some idiot will actually buy it. And I am a well traveled antiques aficionado, toted around since infancy with a mother who poked in them all, all over the country and beyond, so I feel confident in knowing what is a fair price. If something is fabulous, unique, beautiful quality, it deserves a high price. However many of these dealers are actually offering new pieces as antiques, so buyer beware!
My favorite culprit of this is Liza Sherman Antiques. Now Ms. Sherman has a lovely eye and cleverly merchandises her shop. Clearly she is very impressed with "the power of the object trouvé..." and herself, for that matter, if she thinks an object trouvé is found at a Merchandise Mart.
Take her Belgian Bricklayer Table, for instance, supposedly from the 1950s and without a price (read: expensive). ANY designer knows this is courtesy of one of my favorite dealers, Bobo Intriguing Objects.
Or any of the pieces she has selected from Sausalito-based company, Roost. You can buy one of these delightful crocheted lamps from Ms. Sherman for $1200, or you can patronize one of my favorite vendors, Rian Rae (one of the nicest, most accommodating dealers you'll ever meet), for $224.
Many of her pieces are from another craftsman and industrial design maven, Jason Wein of Cleveland Art. The lighting she showcases is cleverly masked as vintage/antique by saying that it is "20th c" and the condition is "good." These are hand-blown, organic, tactile and beautiful light fixtures. There is no "good" to the condition - they're brand new.
I met these guys this summer at Brimfield and they are a) talented and b) super nice. Take a look at their inventory - their pricing is also reasonable for the well-edited selection. Love the rolling cart as a coffee table, and the oak display cabinet for my ironstone.
And don't forget one of these for laundry...
For those east coasters, ask if they'll drive out your piece to Brimfield and you can pick it up there with a truck. Save a LOT on shipping and get a bunch of things...
Now in fairness to Lady Liza, she DOES have some fun things. Their prices are just outrageous. But take her ideas and start scouting on Ebay. Like this graphic display of vintage sand shovels, selling for only $2650...
Head to a REAL flea market - and save yourself about $2500.