Monday, January 5, 2009

Daryle Lambert: Nothing Lasts Forever


One of the things we enjoy about dealing in antiques, fine art and collectibles is that the quality names seem to stay with us regardless of market conditions. If you like finer things, how would you ever forget Meissen porcelain, Rookwood pottery, Tiffany glass or Rockwell paintings? These names are etched in our minds, but how about other companies we have grown up with that have always represented quality.

Here are just a few: Royal Doulton, Wedgwood and Waterford. Did you know that, because of changing times, these companies have all come together under the same company and that through the years, even though they have retained a certain amount of their original quality, most people would agree that it isn't the same quality as it was in the past.

The reason that I am bringing this to your attention is because the company that incorporates these names has just filed for bankruptcy. The company tried to find a suitable buyer but none was to be found. Quality is quickly disappearing from our society as we accept the throw away mentality of the world today. This is a general statement but I believe it to be true. However, there will always be that remnant of people that appreciate the finer things. These people will support the secondary markets that we deal in for antiques, fine art and collectibles. In fact, as more and more of the household names disappear from the retail marketplace, it will be better for us, as collectors try to recapture things they remember from their past. Because of the expense involved in producing quality items, I feel that the future is dim for the people that want to live as they did in the past. Paper and plastic plates and utensils are here to stay and the paper table cloth won't be replaced by a linen one any time soon. The new reality is that if it looks okay it is good enough.

You must be asking why then am I so encouraged? The reason is that fewer and fewer people will be able to recognize quality items, but we will, and this limits competition and will allow us to maximize our time in finding items to fill the requests we receive from the true collectors in the future. Also, as companies discontinue making products, the price on the secondary market for their older pieces will increase and that make us very happy.

Wedgwood, Doulton and Waterford may never be the same again but their items produced in the past can be our pathway to success.

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