With the recent downturn in the property market, billionaire real estate investors like Simon Halabi have taken a hammering on the property front. However according to Forbes Rich List he is still worth $2.8bn.
Mr Halabi lives the life of the rich recluse and remains as a man of mystery to many outside his closest circle. For people like Mr Halabi, part of this membership to the super-rich list relies upon perceived lifestyle choices, which in his case include a chateau and vineyard in France, a yacht moored in Portofino in Italy and offices full of antique furniture in fashionable London’s Mayfair.
It is clear that antique furniture still maintains a prominent part of what is called conspicuous consumption, a term used to describe goods and services that are bought with the main purpose of displaying wealth and social status, although perhaps Keeping up with the Joneses is easier to say. The term conspicuous consumption was introduced by the economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen in 1899 to describe behavioural characteristics of the rising nouveau riche, the new emerging wealthy middle classes of the mid to late 19th century. However, consumption patterns like these are also reflected now amongst poorer groups where consumerism manifests itself in many ways from the buying of designer labels to having cosmetic surgery.
Although valuable antique furniture might still remain the preserve of the very wealthy or the lucky few to grab a bargain, it is possible to follow in the paths of the super-rich through buying a choice piece. An antique desk from selected Lancashire and London dealerships will always be appreciated no matter what your background.
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