An interesting quote from an 1862 periodical review of the loan collection of art treasures that had just gone on view at the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A)-
"Art, far more than use, is the stimulus of expenditure. A sense of art makes Mrs. Brown envy and finally outshine Mrs. Jones’s d’Aubusson carpet, though her own Brussels was but little the worse for wear. Art urges Mrs. Jones to emulate Lady Robinson’s Minton dinner-service, while her previous set (over which Jones grumbled so much at Copeland’s only the year before last, and of which but one sauce-boat and three plates are yet broken) subside to lower shelves in her pantry as second best. Art relegates to the second-hand dealer in Tottenham-court-road those armchairs which Sir John Robinson so long persisted in proving to be perfectly comfortable, by dropping off in one of them every time Lady R. delivered her tirade on their shortcomings."