Antique Furniture? The End of an Era?



In the middle of May over 27 years of amazing antique collecting from Butchers Antiques & Nostalgia on Hwy 15 North near Smiths Falls was sold by auctioneer Dan Peters in a 2 day liquidation tag sale. Personally I love antiques and the history they bring with them. So what actually happened to the market for secondhand furniture?

You would be surprised to find out that today’s consumers are now shopping at places like Ikea or Wal-Mart. No longer does anyone want to own big heavy furniture pieces, and the reality is that older folk who have accumulated 30 years of furniture and personal effects are now looking to downsize.


Whether you are moving to a smaller living space or simply minimizing, many people are making an unwelcome discovery: those once prized family heirlooms have suddenly turned into junk. Upholstered sofas, Victorian-style mahogany and oak furniture, and even pianos have become almost impossible to sell or, in some cases, give away. If you’re trying to donate something to a local charity store remember to them it’s not a “prized family heirloom”, it’s just used furniture.

Victorian furniture was once highly valued and sought after and high prices at antiques stores and auctions reigned supreme. Now those same pieces are simply called “brown furniture” and usually purchased for a “shabby chic” look and being distressed with chalk paint. The matchy match look is now gone and the slogans of re -purpose, re-invent, and love again is all the rage.

So what is replacing older period furniture in second hand stores and flea markets? The 50s-70s styles have become so popular that today’s furniture manufacturers are imitating hot items like Mid-Century Modern and sleek Danish style furniture, and that is just a few examples of this functional movement in furniture design.


After sadly viewing the furniture pictures for sale of Butchers Antiques & Nostalgia on Dan Peter’s Facebook page my beliefs are that antiques are still dear old friends. Of course I am now in the minority, and it will be interesting to see how society manages the avalanche of used and unwanted stuff accumulated by the McMansion generation.  You don’t have to be a rabid environmentalist to be a little worried about where it’s all going to end up.

Like my friend Sarah Cavanagh said: “Today it’s all fast and cheap without roots”

In memory of Butchers Antiques & Nostalgia


Related reading about Comba Furniture Store

The Day the Comba Building Sold-Taylor Block

Comba’s -The Scariest Building in Carleton Place?

Walking With Ghosts — The Accidental Addiction

Do You Know What I Found?

Win a House in Carleton Place!

Smooth Criminals in Carleton Place –The Robberies on Bridge Street

The Emporium of Life — Joyce Murray

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

4 responses »

  1. I am an antique furniture person. Have lived in many old houses and have always kep things passed from my gram and now my mom and dad’s stuff. I have downsized and some say the place looks a little cluttered butt I prefer the term cozy, just like my gram’s house was. May have to upsize to an old house again if I can find the right one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We have an old dining room set that was my husband family’s, 200 years old. We don’t use it much, b/c it is too uncomfortable (horse hair and straw stuffed leather seats), and it is falling about. Too expensive to refinish it. It is dark wood and so not my style. 20 years ago, he was offered very good money for it, now….he could not give it away…not that he would. He thinks it will come back into style again in 20 years or so and that could be true. What was old becomes new again.


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