One thing about online real estate listings is that with staging, we lose a lot of the quirky aspects of homes long-lived in, both loved and unloved. So when we came across this mid-century listing in Berkeley we were stunned by the roughly 70K worth of George Nakashima furniture sitting around. A bench, a "Conoid" model dining table, and eight dining chairs. The living room furniture is probably Milo Baughman and there's an Ed Wormley armchair and ottoman downstairs somewhere. We're sad we never made it to the open house, but there are online "resources" that will fill hours with mid-century furniture and decorative arts porn.
Time to graduate from Ebay. Never before have such broad resources been available in online and in-your-jammies. All these sites are a great way to learn what you're looking at: Wright in Chicago has the most accessible online auction catalogues and some of the best stuff. Solo-Rago has interesting stuff, but with more depth in decorative arts and a slightly awkward web presence. Big sale coming up this month, catalogue goes online April 6. There was a major sale at Sotheby's last week, and results are still online (painless registration may be required) with images and descriptions still available. There's nothing 20th century coming up at Christies, but they're still worth a good browse. It's OK. We can't afford any of it either.
And to top is all off, the site with the slightly awkward name: 1stdibs. Also requiring a painless registration, a collection/search engine for decorative arts and antiques, not unlike a very grand Ebay store. And with our official Curbed caveat emptor: nothing on 1stdibs comes with the kind of vetting and expertise that the four preceding site have. So if seems too good to be true, it probably is. Just like on Ebay.
· Wright [Wright]
· 19th Century Furniture [Christies]
· 20th Century Decorative Arts [Sothebys]
· Solo-Rago [Rago Arts]
· 1stdibs [1st Dibs]
· 265 Panoramic Way, Berkeley [Bebe MacRae/Grubb]