I DON’T KNOW when the antique market first got underway, but I suspect that like everything else the notion of an antique is era-specific. Mass industrial production of commercial consumer goods is an innovation whose origins are of slight remove, both geographically and historically. Before 1900, there were relative few objects to be bought and sold, near all of them hand produced in small number and bartered outside of the production and marketing cycles which now seem as inevitable to us as breathing. This is not to suggest that the idea of mass production had not yet occurred by the twentieth century. In textiles and food and furnishings and housewares, and a few other lucrative industries, industrial-based fortunes were amassed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. But the antique, which by necessity requires time to develop, is a modern idea. And that is our present topic.