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aibu to want to get rid of inherited antique stuff?

(26 Posts)
biggles50 Mon 26-Jan-15 10:46:57

I used to be a dreadful hoarder even hanging onto a broken china cup of my grandma's until I saw sense. We have a ton of inherited furniture from my uncle that looked fine in our last Victorian house. In our newly built house the furniture looks so dark and dated and we have so much crap. I thought to paint some stuff or just get rid. Also have a ton paintings that are so depressing and grim. I just don't know what to do with them. I was brought up with them but they're not my taste any more. I go into other people's houses and just love the freshness of modern art and furniture. aibu to go and visit an auctioneer?

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 26-Jan-15 10:50:19

Go for it. There might well be other people that will love and appreciate them, not to mention pay good money. You could keep one or two of the best bits to remember your uncle by but you have no moral obligation to keep it all. Let it make someone else happy and get the style of furniture that you love!

26Point2Miles Mon 26-Jan-15 10:52:51

Auctioneer? To be honest most 'old' stuff isn't worth anything and you can't even give it away! How do you know it's 'antique'?

Hatespiders Mon 26-Jan-15 10:53:30

YANBU. If you sold these things at auction, the people who bid for them and acquired them would get enjoyment and pleasure from looking at them.
You can then choose your own decor, more to your modern taste.
They're just objects at the end of the day. You still have the fond memories of your uncle, which don't depend on dark outdated furniture to warm your heart.
I got rid of quite a lot of 'stuff' when we downsized from our last, much larger house. It was a wrench at first, but we sold a huge amount at garage sales and car boots etc. I felt enormous freedom once it had all gone to new owners. The money was useful, and our present house is light and bright with just one or two ornaments.
I would go ahead and take it all to an auction house. You may be surprised at how much it fetches.

DoraGora Mon 26-Jan-15 10:59:38

I'd start with things which are labelled, stamped or have the maker's name engraved on them. It shouldn't be too hard to find out roughly what they're worth. If nothing is stamped or labelled then I'd ask an auctioneer to offer me a price for the job lot and take it away. If I really didn't want what he left behind, and couldn't give it away on freecycle, I'd take it to the tip.

Hatespiders Mon 26-Jan-15 11:04:08

Our local auction house has different types of sale. They sell antiques of course, but also have a regular 'Cottage Sale' for items not quite so valuable. And they put several items together in job lots too.
If there are any really collectible things, there are specialist sales for those too.
I agree with DoraGora, do it in the order she suggests.
And I'd say, Do It!

IDismyname Mon 26-Jan-15 11:14:00

Take some pictures of the stuff and send them to the local auction house. If you have heaps of stuff, you may get someone out to come and look at the stuff.

I'm totally with you on getting rid of it.

My DH, an only child, has practically all of his parents stuff in this house. I cannot get him it part with much of it at all. Some rooms feel like a museum.

cozietoesie Mon 26-Jan-15 11:35:10

Keep one piece as a remembrance and sell the rest - after taking pictures of them. There must surely be one good thing among it all?

SaucyMare Mon 26-Jan-15 12:19:01

but don't let the auctioneres collect it for you, my dad ended up owing them loads, as they got very very lost on the way to our house, and charged him for the extra time, at an extornionate rate.

Latara Mon 26-Jan-15 13:25:22

Some of the stuff could go to an auctioneer, but the stuff that is not sellable there could go to a 'vintage' shop - you'd be surprised at some of the junk they sell! (Not saying your stuff is junk).

Or do a car boot sale - people seriously do buy anything.

Latara Mon 26-Jan-15 13:26:59

Also you could get the furniture valued & find out whether it's worth anything - and the stuff that isn't worth much could be done up and painted cream or white with a wood paint - that's what I've done to some of my (cheap not antique) furniture.

Worksallhours Mon 26-Jan-15 14:26:34


We "inherited" quite a few pieces of antique furniture from relatives: one, in particular, was an antique desk that my DH had been told, for years, was an X from Y and was worth Z.

We both hated this desk and had nowhere to put it but, for years, hung onto it because it was an X from .... blah blah blah.

Until one day, my DH had just had enough. This desk was in our garage, taking up loads of space. We had tried to sell it a few times, but people always screwed us around. So he decided there and then to get rid of the problem by smashing it up accidentally and taking it to the tip.

And what do you know? He swung that sledgehammer into the leather insert panels of that desk to find that underneath...

... it was chipboard. grin

The bloody thing was a repro!

biggles50 Mon 26-Jan-15 18:16:03

Thanks so much I feel inspired to crack on and get rid. Yes there are a couple of things I'll hang onto and I like doras idea and taking pictures. Miles yes the stuff is antique as we had much of it valued a few years back. Some stuff was of no value but some of it was so that's how I know. Love the story about the chipboard repro.

shovetheholly Mon 26-Jan-15 18:19:57

Ha! Love the automatic assumption that the OP's stuff couldn't possibly be genuine. Go Mumsnet.

Just to second what a PP said: auctioneers in my area don't just do valuable rare stuff, there's a lot of old crap older furniture there too. It's not
bleeding Christies. Have you people not seen Tat Bargain Hunt?

HerRoyalNotness Mon 26-Jan-15 18:31:31

wall gallery

Old paintings can look great in a modern setting, as a wall gallery. I've thought about it for our dining room, but haven't had the chance to look around for anything. Also, if any of them are framed ornately, they can be sold for the frame if nothing else. check the signature of the paintings carefully though, and do some research, before you get rid!

This is how I used an ornate frame in our home, I bought it without the picture, think I paid CAD100 iirc.

OliviaBenson Mon 26-Jan-15 18:33:52

Where are you OP? I'm after antiques for our Victorian house!

MissBeehiving Mon 26-Jan-15 18:36:03

Antique furniture has fallen in price considerably - you can pick up some really great bargains now because everyone else's taste has changed smile We inherited MILs furniture earlier this year, which she had valued a few years ago, we had it revalued for probate and the prices were about a quarter of what it had been valued previously shock. We kept what we liked and sold the rest.

Auctioneers do general furniture sales for most stuff and the good quality antiques go in the antiques sale. Our does a picture sale too. In all but the very best cases the prices are literally pence.

I have a very modern house -it's a mixture of old and new but I might be tempted to "shabby chic" it.

Woozlebear Mon 26-Jan-15 18:44:05

Op 'brown furniture' is now tipped to make a come back so don't assume you'll get nothing for it. It's worth getting stuff valued. Stuff that's now 100 quid or less would have been much much more 10 years ago or so, and everything comes round again. Besides, there may be something rare and/or collectible in there. Anything that's not worth much might still be sellable to the sort of little shop that paints up furniture and sells it on in a French distressed shabby chic incarnation.

But I agree. Don't keep it if you don't like it and actively want it. Stuff is just stuff. Memories and feelings are not embodied in stuff.

Mintyy Mon 26-Jan-15 18:46:44

Do they still do that TV show where Angela Rippon comes to your house with an Antiques Expert and organises a garage sale?

Cash In The Attic?

G'wan, do something like that.

Mintyy Mon 26-Jan-15 18:48:00

I think you're right that antique furniture just looks wrong in a modern house, and shabby chic anything is plain horrible.

Tobyjugg Mon 26-Jan-15 18:51:00

Sell it. We love this sort of stuff and without people selling it, how would we get it.

MissBeehiving Mon 26-Jan-15 18:53:12

Why am I getting images of Steptoe and Son ? grin

DustyGold Mon 26-Jan-15 18:57:40

Hi op,
If you have brothers or sisters be careful; perhaps give them first refusal...

greenfolder Mon 26-Jan-15 19:13:26

yanbu at all. i have stuff that is off to auction (toys and collectibles) and will feel much happier when it is done/

RumAppleGinger Mon 26-Jan-15 19:25:51

My DF was an antique collector and when he died everything came to me. Some of it I love and have kept, larger items I put into auction smaller items I put on eBay.

If you don't like the stuff don't feel bad about letting it go. You will be so much happier once it's gone.

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