Mulling it Over with Millennials
A Millennial Perspective on Property in Rago’s Unreserved Auction
20 February 2018
Everywhere you turn there’s another story about how Millennials are ‘killing’ this market or ‘disrupting’ that industry. Publications and media outlets including the New York Times, Fox News and Business Insider have put those in their 20s and 30s on the hook for the decline of everything from napkin sales to diamond mines to the Applebee’s Take Out Menu (yes, really).
There’s also no shortage of articles attempting to define and describe just who Millennials are – how they perceive themselves, what they like and where they see themselves in society.
What does seem to be missing from this conversation, however, are the voices of actual Millennials. It’s certainly interesting and informative to read a middle-aged magazine editor’s perspective on the younger generation, but there’s much to be said of the value of primary sources.
Ahead of our February Unreserved Auctions, we sat down with real living, breathing Millennials on the Rago staff. We asked them to tell us a little bit about themselves as Millennials, a lot in the sale that really appeals to them and why.
Here’s what they had to say…
Samuel Grillo – Cataloguer, Coins and Collectibles
I’ve heard it said that Millennials don’t have enough respect for the past, or that we don’t appreciate the opinions and tastes of older generations. Maybe I’m just a ‘bad’ millennial, but I’ve never felt that way. In fact, it was my grandmother who first got me interested in record collecting. I spent a lot of time with her as a child and she was always listening to records. I guess it just rubbed off on me.
As a record collector I have a few “white whale” acquisitions that have been SUPER hard to find. The Velvet Underground’s debut album is one.
The Velvet Underground had a close, if complicated, relationship with Andy Warhol, who served as the band’s manager and producer during the mid-60s. This album, adorned with a tactile “Peel Slowly and See” banana sticker designed by Warhol on a stark white background, is a product of this brief period of collaboration and was released in three “states.” Lot 751 on February 24 represents the second state of the album’s pressing and features a black sticker covering the entire back of the album jacket. Though insanely popular in all states, it is tough to find a clean copy in any state with an intact banana sticker.
Literally stickered with an iconic piece of post-war art, this album is a great piece to frame and hang. And as one of the greatest rock and roll records of all time, it’s also fun to listen to. Lot 751 is a fantastic addition to any record collection.
Nicholas Fonteix – Asst. Director, Marketing and Communications
My wife and I are in the process of purchasing our first home. As daunting as the home buying process is, equally terrifying is the prospect of having to fill all these empty rooms!
We’ve decided that one of our first décor projects will be to transform our basement into a “Speakeasy” style lounge. There’s just something about the free-wheeling, devil-may-care attitude of the 1920’s and 30’s that speaks to us – a kind of ‘refined rebellion’ that is so perfectly encapsulated by the design and décor of the era. We’d love to recreate a small slice of that social and design philosophy in our own home.
Lot 1513, a pair of art deco style club chairs, would be a great start. Curvy and puffy yet distinctly masculine, these brown beauties are gushing with character from the perfectly distressed leather to the teardrop of brass studs on both arms. In pricing out furniture for my new home, I’ve seen similar chairs retail for far more than the $1,000-1,500 estimate affixed to this pair. A fantastic design at an equally fantastic price, Lot 1513 is my “lot to watch.”
Sarah Ann Wilson – Appraisal Associate
Lot 999, an acrylic painting on board by local New Hope/Lambertville artist Jane Gilday is an easy favorite of mine. There’s just something so charming and warm about the bouquet of sunflowers. This vibrantly colored still life – enhanced by a poem carved into the gilt frame by the artist – is sure to brighten up any room and add a ‘pop’ of color to any décor style.
Olivia Tornick – Asst. Director, Digital Marketing
My favorite piece in the sale is lot 512 - a circular Venetian style mirror. I can see it staring back at me from above my bathroom vanity or hanging elegantly over my dresser, complementing the jewelry collection I have displayed on my bedroom walls. Or I would love to use it in my entryway, to give my hair a final check on the way out the door.
In a sale with so many wonderful options, it was this mirror that spoke to me because it reminds me of something I’ve coveted in my mom’s house. A lifelong collector, she’s the one who has instilled in me the appreciation for the arts, and I try to recreate her design aesthetic in my own home. The sophistication of the metallic monochrome finish lends itself elegantly to all sorts of décor, from traditional to modern. And with its charming patina, crowned top and beautifully beveled edges, I could lose myself gazing into my reflection musing, “Mirror, Mirror on the wall…”
Lauren Cronk – Cataloguer, Fine Jewelry
The bar is the focal point of our home. Not just because my fiancée and I have a taste for bourbon, but because it encapsulates the eclectic décor of our Philadelphia home. Stacked with vintage finds like cut crystal decanters, succulents in hammered copper vessels and bar tools, it brings together the aesthetic of our country style living room and modern kitchen.
Lot 365, a martini pitcher by Donald Colflesh for Gorham, would be the perfect addition to any bar. Colflesh’s forward thinking design philosophy helped rejuvenate the silver trade after World War II and is readily apparent in this martini pitcher. Its elongated silvered body and angular handle would bring a much needed touch of Modernism to a sea of glass bottles.