We are often told by auctioneers that religious antiques tend to fall rather flat at auctions. This is certainly an observation by Wayne Mattox from Antique Talk. He says that often devotional items that have been cherished by owners so in good order are brought in to be appraised, only to be told that although good quality, their item is not valuable.
However there are pieces of devotional furniture that perhaps aren’t quite so uncommercial. The humble pew comes to mind. These pieces of antique oak and pine were very popular 20 or 30 years ago and with the decline in church attendance, many of these pews were sold off as were the churches that they inhabited.
A compromise to the devotional perhaps is the Victorian Gothic which still has a firm following. Pieces of antique Victorian Gothic furniture had the stylistic significance of original gothic Christian architecture, but with connotations towards the horror and romance of Victorian melodrama. Authors such as the Brontë sisters, Edgar Allen Poe and Bram Stoker (of Dracula fame) were all associated with the genre and Charles Dickens’ writings (also of the genre) were questioning the social fabric of the time.
So perhaps buying and owning a Victorian Gothic antique bookcase in Lancashire could indicate certain multifaceted characteristics in you. Rather than being perceived as a one dimensional devotional soul, these antique bookcases open up a realm of possibilities for the owner to enter the world of horror and romance.
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