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The idea of an object having value due to its age is only about 100 years old. It may only be a coincidence that this corresponds to when the legal definition of an antique was established. Before that, except in the case of Greek and Roman antiquities, items were judged purely on their artistic merit, or how fashionable they were, age meant very little. Very often furniture and other essential works of art filtered down through the social strata as the landed gentry refurnished their houses. This frequently involved a complete updating, replacing not only the decorations but occasionally remodelling the fabric of the building as well. Some outdated or unfashionable furniture and other items were banished to the attic or the servants' quarters or dumped, to be recycled by the estate workers. Passed on down through the centuries, and often altered on the way, these objects eventually find their way onto the market, sometimes without the current owner appreciating the value. The anticipation that an undiscovered treasure may lurk in the next shop is part of the thrill of collecting.