What's in store for the future of antique collecting?
I’ve been an antique collector since I was old enough to know that I could give people money in exchange for neat old things. I’ve amassed quite a collection of antique artifacts that many of you have seen parts of in pictures. I love collecting antiques and pride myself on my collection. As such, I often wonder about the future of antique collecting, because I feel like I’ve grown up at an interesting (and perhaps troubling) crossroads for the hobby.
Mass production of cheaply-made goods as opposed to the careful creation of quality products (such as handmade household items and industrial products manufactured in small numbers) has been the norm for years now. High-quality (or at least interesting) products from the past are not being made anymore, and by their nature will become rarer and rarer with each passing generation. For example, cheap particle board furniture (such as products from IKEA and Wal Mart) will become more and more common as older, high quality pieces become more scarce. Pieces with a high level of craftsmanship will be available, albeit considerably more rare.
Due to ever increasing rarity and the apparently uncollectible nature of most modern products, will antique collecting eventually become a hobby that only the wealthy can pursue? Will the stuff we can buy today that is available by the thousands at Big Box stores wind up in the antique stores of the future, or will less common art pieces made in exceedingly small numbers wind up there instead? Will the paradigm shift in another direction entirely to favor goods that aren’t so cheaply made?