Friday, October 29, 2010

Perusing the Interwebz

I just finished stalking Craigslist for a good 45 minutes.

I think physicists need to study Craigslist, just for the record, because it warps the space-time continuum. I could swear I was only on Craigslist for 10 minutes tops, but nope, it's been 45 minutes. Okay, an hour, but who's counting?

Not the physicists, who seriously need to get on this mystery pronto.

I'm in the habit of looking for treasures in the form of armchairs that might need to live in my apartment (now that it's dried out), and so I decided to kill some time browsing the offerings, when I should have been paying attention to Major Tom.

Major Tom is not a fan of Craigslist, in case you were wondering. He wants the physicists to study it so they can declare it a hazard to humanity's survival so I'll pay more attention to him, and less to the offerings on - er - offer.

What is there on Craigslist on a typical Friday evening?

Crap. Lots and lots of crap.

That "wingback chair" is no wingback, honey - it's a La-Z-Boy recliner. And that Queen Anne chair? Good grief! Don't you know an Eastlake style chair when you see one?


Beautiful typically means run screaming as fast as you can and gorgeous usually translates to don't bother opening this posting.

In fact, the postings I tend to look at aren't the ones that include designer in their headline - because La-Z-Boy is not "designer" - but are the ones that give a brief description and the brand and the color.

So Red Hickory Chair Wingbacks definitely gets a look, even though they're more than I can afford right now, and the wrong color, because this lady 1) buys nice furniture and 2) I'm a sucker for Hickory Chair. It's described perfectly. I really wish I could use them in my house, somehow (especially since the price has dropped from $1200 to $800 to now $500 for the pair... want the info? Leave me a comment).

I've learned that certain terms - Queen Anne, for example - are horribly abused. Antique is by far the most overused. Armchairs from 1974 are not antique. Armchairs from 1910 are. In case you didn't know, the strict definition of an antique is that it's at least 100 years old. Anything less than 100 years is just vintage.

None of the posters on Craigslist appear to know what Queen Anne style actually is (cabriole legs, shell motifs, figural-profile back splats on sidechairs, etc...), and they bandy the term about with abandon.

Bandy about with abandon. Say that one five times fast.

After I'd hit all the chair postings I cared to see, I decided to take a peek at art.

It is yet another term loosely applied by frequenters of Craigslist.

Call me strict, but I do not consider an original painting to be something you bought at Z Galerie. Because it wasn't actually painted. If there are multiple of them on a rack in a store, then it's not original.

Original means: Not derived from something else; fresh and unusual.

Original does not mean that you are buying the 80th one of something. It means that there is only one, that you are the first to do it or to make it or to find it or to say it or to write it.

And now, I'm thinking of Eddie Izzard's riff on original sin. I think I'll leave you with that for your listening pleasure.

(Warning: some offensive language... and a man in drag.)


  1. Seriously?!? They're only $500?!? Would you consider going and looking at them and telling me if they're worth buying? That is a STEAL!

  2. Hickory Chair has been making fine pieces like these red Queen Anne wing chairs for 99 years! They are generational and worthy of recovering if needed. Thanks for sharing our passion for fine hand made furniture. We hope you acquire them for your home!