Sunday, February 2, 2014

"In the antique business

there are no experts, just students." ~ Wayne Mattox Antiques

Unlike the traditional retail world where one can go to a catalog and order, the antique/vintage/retro business works in the wheel of fortune game-spin the wheel so to speak at an auction, flea market, yard sale.  We keep adding labels to make the business more current since antique has that grandma dusty smelly hoarder feel to it. Still as Walmart is urged to closed some of their giant stores, and Amazon is raising shipping costs, the small brick and mortar shop owners hang on, and, in this economy, where you may need to create your own business to survive, perhaps the small shop will have a renaissance not to mention offer an escape from the truly maddening world.

When I first started in this business, the price guides were our catalogs.  But, so many of those have faded into the internet searches, but the Kovel guide is still in print as well as online.  The book used to be produced by Terry and her husband Ralph, but, when he died in 2008, her daughter joined the business.  I do wonder if she will maintain it when her mother dies. 
Anyway, the Kovel price guide people released the top searches for 2013 in the antique world and did a comparison to 2001.

In 2013, antiques enthusiasts were busy researching:  (1) China, (2) Book, (3) Bottle, (4) Lamp, (5) Doll, (6) Toy, (7) Milk Glass, (8) Cookie Jar, (9) Occupied Japan, (10) Fenton, (11) Carnival Glass, (12) Pottery, (13) Furniture, (14) Roseville, (15) Vase, (16) Depression Glass, (17) Collector Plate, (18) Limoges, (19) Coca-Cola, (20) Delft.

The Top 20 searches of 2001(1) China, (2) Dinnerware, (3) Furniture, (4) Book, (5) Doll, (6) Figurine, (7) Carnival glass, (8) Plate, (9) Toy, (10) Bottle, (11) Roseville, (12) Glass, (13) Porcelain, (14) Avon, (15) Cookie Jar, (16) Depression Glass, (17) Hummel, (18) Vase, (19) Lamp, (20) Clock.

China is on top on both lists, and I think it may be because as children clean out parents' houses, they want to know if that stash in the china cabinet is worth anything not necessarily because they are interested in the patterns.  Seeing collector plate and Avon on the lists tends to fit in that same mindset.  I do love that "book" is now number 2.   Maybe the e-books have some impact there...what happens when the printed word on paper vanishes?
Cookie jars moved up from 15 to 8...that again may be because they were found in attics, or maybe people are tired of cookies in bags and boxes?  Toy is a constant since people do collect memories, and we all loved our toys.  What will the kids of today have?  X-boxes?

Here are the insights from the Kovel site...."Experts agree that there has been new interest the past 12 years in advertising collectibles; 1950s furniture, as well as Scandinavian and Italian furniture; art pottery, with renewed interest in Roseville; and mid-twentieth century accessories, like modern silver from the U.S., Mexico, and Denmark. There’s also huge interest now in costume jewelry, vintage toys and things made of iron like doorstops and bottle openers. Sports memorabilia like baseball cards have less collector interest. So have Royal Doulton figurines and much antique wooden “brown” furniture. Interest has changed from Currier and Ives prints from the 1800s to photographs.
And there is a group of enthusiastic technology collectors who want everything from old electric fans and typewriters to early computers and TV sets."
I still urge people to buy what they love, what they can use, what keeps them in touch with their souls not just their future investments. 

“Priceless things matter not for their value, but because they offer us an enduring reminder of stability and permanence.”
― Barbara Taylor Bradford, Power of a Woman    

1 comment:

emmasouthlondon said...

So pleased I found your blog -
it's fantastically interesting!
Emma.