Entrepreneur

How This Site Became the Go-To Marketplace for Rare and Antique Goods

1stdibs was launched in 2001 and continues to find ways to stay fresh.
At 1stdibs headquarters in Manhattan, a 19th-century Italian plaster bust and Mark Shaw photograph for Dior, circa 1954, decorate a mahogany credenza in the manner of T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbings. Source: Courtesy of 1STDIBS

There are treasures everywhere you look. Rare things. Exquisite things. Gloriously, decadently opulent things. Over here is a George III fireplace mantel complete with Siena marble frieze, produced circa 1670. Over there is a one-of-a-kind Italian crystal chandelier designed by the celebrated glassmaker Giulio Salviati and manufactured in Murano during the latter half of the 19th century. And be sure to take a look at Berthe Morisot’s 1894 oil painting Jeune Fille au Manteau Vert, created by the pioneering French impressionist at the peak of her fame.

These lust-worthy objects are not in a museum, mega-mansion or royal palace. They’re not in an auction house catalog, either—and they’re definitely not on eBay. They’re all available for purchase on 1stdibs, the digital marketplace that is revolutionizing how antiques and luxury goods are bought and sold.

Launched in 2001 as a virtual-world counterpart to the historic Marché aux Puces, the sprawling flea markets that take place each weekend across Paris, 1stdibs has evolved into the premier online shopping destination for interior designers and private collectors across the planet, aggregating furniture, fine art and other treasures from the most trusted and respected dealers in the business—dealers who were effectively blocked from doing business on the web until 1stdibs removed the logistical pain points that had been holding them back.

1STDIBS CEO David Rosenblatt.
Image Credit: 1STDIBS

“My theory is that every single industry will be completely redefined by the internet,” says CEO David Rosenblatt. “The world of design—and art, in particular—has yet to go through that transformation, and this is the company that will offer that opportunity. Fifteen years ago, if you wanted to buy any of the products we sell, you had to live in a city that had the right sellers, and you were limited to the products they sold. Our dealers now have access to a global audience who

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