Monday, September 15, 2014

The More The Merrier - Subcultures and the Antiques Business

There is a constant debate in this business as to how to get "younger blood" involved and interested in antiques and the history surrounding the objects. 

Now, there are tons of young, mold able minds out there. Directing this throng of disorder into the antiques business would be like trying to direct a nervous bull through a dealer's show full of Lalique and Tiffany art glass. 

 However, there are tons of young minds who are already interested in history, its related objects and accoutrements.

You may have already heard of some of these terms:




My personal opinion of such genres, subcultures, etc; like Steampunk, Dieselpunk (etc, etc) is that as antiques folks and history lovers, we should ALL embrace these groups. 


These groups are full of people who are as like minded as the antiques crowd. the only difference is they just happen express their interest in history, the fashions, the "gear"/objects, etc in a different way than we do. 

They do throw less traditional things into the mix, and even in some ways "improve" what we know as factual history. The mixing of fiction and factual history is nothing new. The term "Historical Fiction" is a long standing tradition in writing circles.

 Steampunk is simply a a modern version of Historical Fiction. They have pulled science fiction of a "past" age into the fold, and hit "MIX" on the old eggbeater...and added a steam engine to it.

 The problem with the "antiques business" I quickly noticed/encountered when I was a young dealer/picker, was those in the business projected staid, snobbish, boring, dry, elitist (etc, etc,etc) types of attitudes. 

Not exactly appealing to a younger crowd...not by a long shot. The business has changed in many ways, loosing some of those negative traits from some circles, but it has a long way to go. 

Many of those individuals who participate in Cosplay, LARP, Steampunk conventions, (etc,etc,etc) and those such events are interested in history. However, they are not keen to be bored to death.

 SO many people make history what it is not.  Take, as an example, all those history teachers we encountered in our school years who, to our chagrin, managed to make our favourite subject a snoozefest.  

What we all know history is NOT is BORING 

We all need to expand our horizons, experience new things, look at the world in a different way. Perhaps picking and dealing in antiques has forced me to look at things differently. I would think that this business, more than any other, should be full of people who look at things differently than the mainstream public.

I suggest you check out these genres, even if no where else but the web, on sites like  Google Images, Google, eBay,  Etsy, Pinterest as well as the list of links I have listed at the end of this post.

Expand your horizons. You might just find you fit in to these groups, find new markets for your merchandise, make friends, find partners, meet kindred spirits and just generally open up your eyes to many possibilities of the antiques business you never even realized existed.

I have to go...I've got an airship to catch!

Part of a quickly made Steampunk outfit I created for a Halloween party I attended

(Feel free to send your comments with your favourite Steampunk website links! If they are not "spammy" or already represented here, I will be happy to add them to this list!) - Modern technology with a Victorian flair!

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