My parents actively collected antiques from 1973-1978. This video shows the section of their warehouse in Sherman where they were stored and refinished before their antique museum opened in 1992. My dad loved to restore and repair the antiques as needed.
My parents had two purposes for buying antiques. First, they appreciated the craftsmanship in the antiques and thought they were made better than what you could buy new. They would go to antique auctions almost every weekend, making trips home with their purchases in their El Camino. They could buy the antiques for what the dealers were paying, so it was a good way to buy. Plus, my dad could repair things that needed repairing. Basically, it was a great hobby for my parents after my dad retired. My mom would say what she liked at an auction, and my dad would buy it.
The second reason they bought antiques was to have another inflation hedge. In the 70’s inflation was starting to run anywhere from 6-13% per year, so people were worried about having too much in cash. My dad had majored and taught economics and he was aware of the dangers of inflation, even at those levels over time.
Some of the antiques they bought were used in their house, also. They thought it was smart to live with your investments, as well as have them as furniture for the house. Over the following two decades, they did very well with their antiques as they went up in value, or rather, the dollar’s purchasing power went down. They also had a great time together in the process.
One more thought on the subject of what they bought. They decided to only buy walnut antiques because the wood was not as fragile as oak and other types. Because of its quality, walnut antiques could have more ornate carvings, such as what you see in Victorian furniture. It’s when the availability of walnut became scarce that the furniture makers turned to other types of wood, and the ornate carvings disappeared. My parents thought walnut would always bring a premium because of its quality, however, this has not been the case so far. People have tended to like oak, even though it’s not as strong as walnut. Quality doesn’t always win out in our society.