The Institute, which has been conducting the industry related survey for over ten years now, uploaded its latest trending data on decorative arts sales for 2018 via a dedicated page on the school's web site. The survey, which focuses on compiling and grouping information related to customers buying habits over a twelve month period, came about as a result of strong interest from readers requesting updates from previous surveys, said current Director of the Institute, Charles Green. He went on to note that there were some interesting changes in the poll results this year. "Our questionnaire has become more detailed, resulting in answers that are more period and genre specific. We're really able to drill down now into the types of antiques and vintage items that are actually selling well within a 12 month period." Green also acknowledged that the increase in poll-participants (up 15% over last year), had led to more accurate survey numbers in regard to particular sales categories. "More data has simply given us better survey results," said Green.
The school's lead Poll Researcher, Anthony Harper, echoed Mr. Green's sentiments and went on to say that the main goal of the Institute's survey was to provide meaningful analysis of measurable interest in current trends within the antiques and collectibles marketplace, based on actual sales results and requests for specific items from customers.
Harper, who has worked on eight of the school's past polls, noted that while the survey was based on a general series of questions, and did not employ any standardized formulas, the overall results were still very revealing when looked at as a whole. “The shift in what's considered collectible is continuing to change, and at a more accelerated pace than before," said Harper. "For the last few years it's been Mid-century modern, but this year we're beginning to see some challenges to that dominance."
Some of the other highlights from the poll included a resurgence of all things Western. "We're seeing a revitalized interest by the public in literally anything related to the American past and particularly the wild, wild west" said Harper. Other top sellers on the school's list include a few industry standards such as Star Wars items, space related toys from the 1960s and 70s, as well as automobilia and related mechanical items. Harper noted that just as in past polls, the most noticeable change in collecting genres was being reported by younger dealers, who indicated that consumer tastes seemed to be trending towards virtually anything related to the latter half of the twentieth-century. "The reality is the younger collectors are the one's moving the ball forward now," said Harper, "the rest of us just appear to be along for the ride."
For readers wanting to view the full results of the Institute's 2018 survey, you can find them online at:
- A.I.A. Staff Writer's
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