I was inspired by an Instagram post to share about the first antique I ever bought, and how I got into interested antiques.
The first antique I ever bought was a book. The title of the book was The Reveries of a Bachelor. I had never read it, and I never did read it. I did not know at the time that it was one of Emily Dickinson’s favorite books. I was a teenager, and I was browsing in an antiquarian bookstore. I wanted to buy the oldest book I could find. When I realized that I could not afford the oldest book I could find, I settled for a book published in the 1850s that was only 99 cents. The book was meaningful to me because I felt the value in its age, not because I knew anything about the books itself. I had it for about 20 years, and unfortunately it met its end with some puppy teeth.
Growing up I also heard stories of an aunt and uncle who sold antiques and frequented auctions. I romanticized the world of antiques. I wanted to do those things, too. I wanted to buy from Sotheby’s. (One day?!)
How did I get from buying an old book to selling antiques? In college my favorite classes were my furniture history classes. I loved how an age of a piece could be identified by the shape of its legs or the pattern in the veneer. I still have my furniture history textbooks to use as references. During one of my internships a designer I was working under asked what my dream job was. I told her it was to own an antique store. She seemed surprised, but I do think a degree in interior design is certainly helpful for that line of work.
Funny enough, I cannot tell you what the second antique I ever bought was. I have tried to remember, and I just can’t. I have continued to love to buy antique books. Today my favorites are old versions of the classics I’ve read. I also love to buy books written by Lord Lytton, who shares my maiden name. I’ve said it before, buying an antique is usually a sentimental thing, and so I’m truly curious. What was the first antique you ever bought?