Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Daryle Lambert: Shaker takes us back to another era.

Thanks to www.romawat.com

What do you think of when you hear the word Shaker? For me it is a simple way of life. The Shakers don't try to keep up with the Joneses but just try to enjoy the gifts that God has given them. They don't go in debt so they don’t worry about losing what they own. Doesn't that sound wonderful? Shakers make the most of what they own. They grow their own food, allowing them to sleep well at night not worrying about how to paid for what they need. Most people today have a very hard time understanding a group of individuals that are capable of providing for themselves. We have become almost totally dependent on others for our very survival and, in times such as we are living in today, that makes it hard to maintain our way of life. In good times or bad, however, the Shakers maintain a balanced lifestyle, while all the time giving thanks for what they have. Doesn't this all sound nice in this time of downturn in our economy?

There is humor in all of this. While the world wants all the fancy things that seem to become worthless, the simple items produced by the Shakers continue to escalate in value. In the Antique Trader on August 4, 2003 it was reported that a 6 ½ inch wooden box with its original yellow paint sold for $42,550. Guess what? If you ran across this piece at the next garage sale you attend, it might be priced at a couple of dollars. The exciting thing about finding Shaker items is that most people would just think of them as primitive items with very little value. In that same article on Shaker items, there was a basket from 1870 that was exhibited at the New York Whitney Museum that sold for $63,250. Now that is some basket!

When it comes to Shaker items most anything they produced is eagerly sought after by collectors. Would you think that seed box labels have much value? Probably not, but at $1000 a pop it sure would please me if I found a few dozen of them. Perhaps the items most recognized by people as being Shaker are the furniture pieces. All the pieces of furniture have a very simple design whether it be a bed, chair, table or chest and each piece is meant to be functional, not decorative. Here are some prices: beds $ 5000, chairs, $3500, chest $50,000 or more. I would say that must make the Shakers, living and dead, proud of their accomplishments.

Don't forget to look on Abebooks and Amazon for used issues of the prices guide on Shakers and their life style. Simple can be better.

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  1. Beautiful piece! Love the shape and finish.

  2. It seems different countries, different cultures, we really can decide things in the same understanding of the difference!
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