Bond & Bowery: High Style, Reasonable $$$Author:Mary Jo Bowling
Some people are addicted to online gambling. Others have a problem with Internet porn. Until recently, my little vice has been shopping on 1stdibs.com. Then an antiques dealer got me hooked on Bond & Bowery. I love this site so much I don’t care if I ever get the monkey off my back.
Basically, Bond & Bowery is much like 1stdibs, except it’s not as expensive and the less cluttered site is slightly easier to use. It was started in 2007 by a trio of antique dealers who thought the Internet was pillaging their business and wanted to get a piece of the action. Now they act as an online clearinghouse for dealers with items like these midcentury lamps ($1,295 for the pair) from Trebor/Nevets in Long Beach.
“It used to be that interior designers would line up outside of the big antique shows, hoping to be the first inside and get a look at the goods,” says co-founder Elliot Spaisman. “The Internet changed all that. Now you can shop all over the world online. Although it’s still great to go to the shows, that sense of urgency is gone.”
Also gone are some of the sky-high prices. When you can easily comparison shop and locate hard-to-find pieces, it’s hard to charge as much.
Most of Bond & Bowery goods are priced under $3,000, although there are exceptions. A pair of Victorian sidetables from Empiric in Los Angeles are marked $1,970.
Spaisman says his site differs from 1stdibs in a couple of other ways: Many of the items are not finished to perfection and many come from people who sell to dealers. “A lot of designers realize that it’s less expensive to take a piece to someone and have it refinished than to buy it in perfect shape from a dealer,” he says.
Of course, that’s not to say that this lovely boomerang chair ($2,850) from Porter & Plunk in Palm Springs needs any work at all.
Notice all of the dealers I’ve mentioned are in the Golden State. “We have about 20 dealers from California,” says Spaisman. That’s a good showing for a New York-based company with a total of 50 dealers.
“The California goods are a bit quirkier,” he says. Perhaps he’s thinking of the Ed Wormley burl-top coffee table ($2,300) from Hudson’s Estate Gallery (Oakland) or the vintage remote control submarine ($800) from PCH Modern (Carson, CA).
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