THE SOUL OF A HOUSE

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"To us, our house ... had a heart, and a soul, and eyes to see us with; and approvals and solicitudes and deep sympathies; it was of us, and we were in its confidence and lived in its grace and in the peace of its benediction."
—Mark Twain writing about his home in Connecticut

"I certainly had no intention of furnishing my house with antiques. Like most young homeowners, my thoughts were focused on how to meet the monthly mortgage payments, and how to afford a vacuum cleaner, and how to handle the first of the mysterious maintenance crises with which homes delight in challenging us. Just starting off, we're happy with those stray pieces of furniture charitable relatives give us and with the few pieces we're able to buy to start filling in the space. For we are young and it all, at last, is ours."

"And yet if only someone had advised us back then, if only someone had told us about the compounding returns of filling our homes with antiques, just as today more and more young people are recognizing the importance of saving now for a very distant retirement."

"Whether on a modest scale or a grand scale, they are buying furniture and paintings and carpets and decorative art that may well be beautiful and functional but which does not retain value, let alone increase in value. And if ever these pieces had to be turned into cash, or passed on to the next generation, they are, sad to say, worthless."

"The secret no one tells us is that for the same cost, and often for considerably less, it's possible to fill our homes with pieces whose workmanship, whose beauty, has stood the test of time."

"Like the world's supply of gold or diamonds, the supply of antiques is finite. What is there is there, but that supply is continually reshuffled, through death and divorce and depressions, through changing tastes. And, as with happening upon a new vein of gold or a new diamond mine, sometimes an antique will be discovered again—something that has not received the recognition it deserves is spotted, spiffed up and displayed, to be seen once more as the work of art it is."

—The Soul of a House: Adventures in Building an Antique Retirement Account

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CONTENTS

 

The First Time

Aladdin's Cave

The Golden Years

Norman

Collections

Looters and Liberators

Shuffling the Deck

An Expert Is ...

Pickers

"Some of the Blowing Dust Was Gold"

Lost and Found

The Inevitability of Fate

History 101

Jigsaw Puzzles

In Your Own Backyard

Panning for Gold

Home Porn

The Voice of the Cicada

A Slant of Wind
Best-Kept Boy in the World
Changing Law
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Fortune's Children
Gardening in Eden
Golden Days
The Making of a Bestseller
Olmsted's Genius
The Richest and Most Famous Private Chef
The Soul of a House
Treasure Wreck
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