Tuesday 11 January 2022

Antiques are Green

Whatever you are looking for - buying pre-loved items at auction is always a sustainable choice compared with buying newly manufactured goods.

It sounds obvious – if you buy an antique or vintage item, no trees have to be cut down, no new resources have to be mined, no new materials have to be used and there’s no pollution from the industrial process required to make it.

Buying antique, vintage and second-hand items therefore reduces carbon emissions but it also saves resources, reduces landfill (by buying an item that might otherwise end up being thrown away) and cuts down on the transportation of new goods from abroad.

Indeed the antiques trade has been described as ‘the oldest recycling business in the world’ and yet it also fulfils the modern mantra – 'sustainable, re-usable and re-saleable'.


When it comes to furniture it’s a case of ‘Buy antique, Be green’.

The older the piece, the lower its carbon footprint. This is due to both its initial construction and long lifetime of use. Vintage and antique pieces are built to last and can have many owners over the course of their lifetime.

This reproduction mahogany pedestal desk sold for £170 at Boldon Auctions in January.

With many more people working from home these days, this small desk is typical of the sustainable options buyers have been picking up at auction for far less than they would cost new from a high street store. It sold for £170 at Boldon Auction Galleries in January.

Whether you’re looking for large or small pieces of furniture you’re certain to find the perfect sustainable option by clicking on our online auction tab Online Auctions.

This pine painted kitchen table sold for £30 at Boldon Auctions in January.

You can find good value designer furniture at auction. This Ercol drop flap table, a pair of spindle back Ercol carvers and a pair of single chairs and two other chairs, 74cm width, 136cm length sold for £240.  A new, similar Ercol dining table of a similar size would cost you well over £1,000, based on prices on the maker's website.

This Ercol dining table with six chairs sold for £240 at Boldon Auctions in December.

 If you are seeking to furnish a home on a budget look out for job lots - where multiple objects are grouped together - particularly at an auction house near you (so that you can pick up in person rather than pay for packing and delivery).

This Kitchen bar with stools and a pair of bedside cabinets was just £30 at Boldon Auctions in January.

 (article published and adapted from the-saleroom.com, 7th January 2022)

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