A few days ago, though, I have acquired a new old piece:
It is part of a set of two, identical but for the colour of the upholstery fabric. My grandparents bought those armchairs, a coffee table and probably a few other pieces of living room furniture (obviously) in the 1950s; until then, they did not have a living room, but the family gathered round the dining table, and living rooms had been mostly understood as something posh people would have in their homes, not your average working class family.
My mother kept this armchair when her mother died and used it until very recently in my parents' living room; it is in very good condition, whereas its twin is stored in my sister's cellar and will probably need a bit more work than merely a bit of beeswax polish and a good dusting.
My mother also told me that she remembers how proud she was when her parents chose and bought the new furniture; and I of course remember it well from my earliest childhood.
Ever since moving to this flat in October 2003, I have been using my grandparents' original furniture: the two sideboards / cabinets from the 1930s, bought when they got married, and the 1960s coffee table, bought when they felt the need to modernize and spruce up their home a bit.
Now, this armchair is the perfect complement, with its wooden frame and the colour of the fabric. Look how it was made - in those days, furniture was not just glued or stapled together like bits of cardboard.
After I was done with the cleaning, I took my first break in my new old armchair, reading the paper and having a sandwich.
And of course I will eventually add the second armchair, too.