Lancashire fans of the Prohibition-era drama Boardwalk Empire will be pleased to hear that the city’s antique traders are bearing up well during the economic downturn.
Boardwalk Empire, set against the backdrop of the gambling resort of Atlantic City and starring Steve Buscemi as Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson, is rich in period detail. Nucky’s Victorian mahogany partners desk , for example, is a genuine antique, as are many other pieces of furniture, and an exhibition of costumes and accessories from the series was a highlight of the 2011 Atlantic City Antiques Show. A popular event that unites specialists from every corner of the antiques industry, this year’s show was held on the 13th and 14th October, with highlights that included include antique valuation clinics and a workshop on vintage glass repair.
Among the quirkier exhibits was a rare life-sized figure of Colonel Sanders, of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame. American traders are becoming increasingly innovative to weather the current economic climate and rare, modern pieces can be just as collectible as Victorian balloon back dining chairs . Whereas a Lancashire collector would probably blanch at the thought of a 1930s funhouse mirror in their lounge, it’s right up the alleyway of a New Jersey youngster brought up on a diet of American Pickers.
When it comes to traditional furniture like antique chests, the message from America is that it’s a buyer’s market with antique dealers having to settle for smaller profit margins. This is a global trend. In Preston, for example, a Victorian mahogany partners desk can be picked up for a fraction of the price of a few years ago.
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