How old must really an old object be for you to enjoy it?
Well, that depends: are you a historian, an archeologist, an expert antiquarian looking for the real thing, or are you just after that particular ‘scent of past’ so difficult to define accurately?
No, I’m not speaking of forgery: though not entirely devoid of appeal, forgery implies an intent to swindle that makes it disagreeable (unless of course the goal is just a juicy prank 😉 ). But how about things such as for instance an antique desk lamp – old tarnished chiseled brass, green opal shade, discreet romantic light – that looks so good on your desk even though you know perfectly well it was made no longer than a year ago?
No doubt that if you had a choice you’d go for the real thing – who wouldn’t? But every so often getting the real thing presents a few minor technical problems: for one thing, you may want the Rosetta Stone – but unfortunately there’s only one of it. And even if the British Museum were amenable to parting from it, it would look sort of cumbersome in your living room, let’s face it. So you clench your teeth, ignore your friend’s sarcastic comments, buy for a measly 1£ a convincing copy that fits in your pocket, and once back home you put it on your library. Kitsch as it is, any time you dust your shelves you’ll see it and remember that day in London when you found out that you could still decipher some of the Greek on the original and had to wipe some very embarrassing tears off your eyes.
Its a sad truth: there are so many rare or unique pieces in the world we would dearly like to own for the sheer pleasure of looking at them at leisure and allow them to evoke thoughts and feelings they only can do – or perhaps also some good (if obvious) copy capable of pushing our minds in the same direction.
That’s the way of us dust lovers: our homes are filled to the brim with genuine old, even antique pieces: books, gadgets, trinkets, coins, paintings, mechanisms, instruments and whatnot, result of countless expeditions through antique dealers, junk shops, flea markets, garage sales and the like. But alas, no one is without sin: occasionally, whenever availability, practicality or cash issues forbade to acquire the real thing, we got hold of a few discreet good-taste copies to play their role and pretend 🙂
And sure, the Mona Lisa hanging in my bathroom is the original, the one in the Louvre is just an enlarged copy of it 😀 😀 😀