In case you needed further justification for choosing antique furniture over new, Scott Wallace's article in the most recent National Geographic provides it. He tells the story of the ongoing and illegal logging that is robbing the South American rain forest of the last great mahogany trees. Wallace describes a black market in permits which obscures the true origins of the lumber coming out of Peru and elsewhere. Many of these trees are being cut from protected lands or over-harvested from legal logging territory. In addition to the greater consequences for the planet and larger society, the local Indian tribes are quickly losing the forest home that sustains their way of life. 

So how can you be sure that you're not contributing to this type of illegitimate deforestation? Perhaps the only way is to buy antiques. Take this Georgian period wake table, for example. The trees that replaced the ones used in its construction are now well older than 200 years (assuming they haven't been poached).

March 28, 2013 by Mark Finke