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Green youths love antiques

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There are suddenly signs of new interest in antique furniture.

The pendulum is swinging upwards again for antique furniture, thanks to the growing fashion for sustainability in home decoration and furnishing, says Pontus Silfverstolpe, co-founder of the international search engine Barnebys, which monitors the lots offered by more than 2 000 auction houses on its website.

Barnebys’s research has shown that there is a new generation of homeowners striving to be “green” by purchasing pre-owned objects and furniture, rather than spending money on new items.

After years of slump in brown furniture, there are suddenly signs of new interest in antique furniture, Barnebys says. The signs are there in records of web surfing, such as:

* Searches for antique dining tables have increased 21% globally in the last 12 months.

* The search word ‘’Chippendale” has increased by 9% in the UK and US the last 12 months.

* Tiffany lamp searches have increased by 63% globally over the past year.

Silfverstolpe comments: “The reason is green. It is also because of the huge growth of a younger audience using auctions as part of shopping and buying behaviour online and the presence of young women among the shoppers in an area dominated by older men for centuries.”

In a recent Barnebys Online Auction Report the following trends were revealed which impact on issues of renewability:

* Auctions are no longer the exclusive domain of the very rich. Massive growth is expected in the lower-and middle-income sections.

* There are lower hammered prices on average but the industry compensates with more items to sell in the lower and mid-segment by online distribution.

For more details, visit www.barnebys.co.uk.

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