Now That is the Ultimate Question
I was very nearly knocked sideways recently, when having sought a quote to install a built-in bookcase in my office, I was quoted the princely sum of $24,000.
It’s important to note that said bookcase was small…very small, and took up only one fourth of a very, very small wall.
‘That is of course, for a solid timber carcass with gilded bronze mounts, beautifully veneered fronts, and hand carvings across the fronts and sides?’ I queried.
‘No madam’, responded the cabinetmaker, ‘it would be constructed of chipboard with two-pack paint. If you want a custom build then we would need to re-quote I’m afraid, but even then, gilded bronze and burr elm is not something that we can offer.’
‘Thank you for your time, I’ll have to think about it.’ I said, as I walked past a large-wall sized 19th century French flame mahogany and gilded bronze antique bookcase in the shop, and glanced at the price-tag of $12,500. ‘Goodness’, I thought to myself, ‘now, that’s good value’.
So it was with bewilderment, that I resolved to re-design my office with common sense in mind. And what better way than with a pair of 19th century burr elm two door antique bookcases with purple-heart drawer fronts, gilded bronze mounts and feet, and solid oak interior.
For it seems to me, and it is a wholly controversial view I know, that we have become conditioned, groomed even, to believe that poor quality and machine made is somehow a desirable luxury item – simply because it’s well marketed and has a large price tag. Sadly, so often, we do not take the time to reflect on what’s driving this trend.
Big business, big marketing, big profits and low production costs resulting in the generic, homogenised, cookie cutter products we have all grown accustomed to, and indeed scramble over one another to attain.
Now before you argue with me, for I know that you will, we don’t pretend to sell inexpensive products at Wallrocks. We do firmly believe however, that when our customers buy our antiques, they’re acquiring furniture with integrity. Furniture rich with history. Furniture with character and a story. Furniture made with the highest quality craftsmanship and materials. Furniture that could not be made today for the price tag that it wears.
And so it is one of the passions of our business. To champion and celebrate the quality, the character and the value of yesteryear. For if no one does, if we all just forget…accept…move on – then beauty, skill and meaning, will be lost. Will you join us?
Alternatively, please peruse the below gallery.