Institute Releases Survey Of Top Antique & Vintage Trends From Past 12 Months
New York - For industry insiders, the wait is finally over. Now in its fourteenth year, the Asheford Institute's annual survey of top decorative arts buying trends from the past twelve months has just made its way onto both digital and paper newsstands across the country.
The international survey/poll of past students and graduates from the Institute has become a staple to many in the antique and vintage industry for its unique ability to look into the current state of today's decorative arts marketplace - especially as it relates to prevailing sales trends that can dramatically influence dealers decisions when it comes to sourcing out popular antique and vintage items for their inventory.
Anthony Harper, the school's lead researcher, says the key to getting meaningful survey results that businesses and dealers can actually use to help plan their inventory buying strategies is based on receiving actual data regarding antique and vintage sales, alongside item-specific requests from buyers, which can then be used to indicate the interest and popularity that exists for a particular collecting genre. From here, Harper says that dealers can then make meaningful decisions on the type of inventory they want to add to their businesses.
To get a complete listing of the antique and vintage categories that moved up (or down) the school's decorative arts charts over the past twelve months, simply scroll down to see the latest results.
Emily Watkins is a freelance decorative arts writer, and an honors graduate of the Institute. She splits her time between New York and London as a contributing columnist to all things MCM and is also a recognized specialist in the field of Asian & European ceramics.
Poll/Survey Results Of Most Popular Decorative Arts Trends
The following survey was conducted by the research staff at the Asheford Institute. The survey consisted of a sampling of over 2,264 current students and past graduates that are actively employed or working within the antiques, collectibles and vintage marketplaces within the United States and Canada (both urban and rural areas). All those who participated in the survey operate their own antiques and vintage, or estate sale/appraisal businesses (including online concerns), and are listed as proprietors in the survey.
Survey Mission Statement
The focus of the survey was directed towards interest in current market trends within the antiques, vintage and collectibles community, based on sales and requests for particular items/genre/periods from customers and clients. The survey was informal in nature, and therefore did not employ any standardized or measurable scientific practices or criteria in obtaining results. Survey results were categorized by the age groups of the proprietors, indicating item/genre/period specific preferences most popular to each of these groupings.
The item/genre/period listings, and their relative popularity with consumers, were represented by a potential numerical scale of 1 to 10 - with 1 being the most popular - and 10 being the least popular.
(*Note: While the survey did not include specific geographic comparables, the terms North East (NE), South East (SE), North West (NW), and South West (SW), were used where applicable to indicate particularly strong interest in item/genre/periods. Listings without these abbreviated notations indicate positive interest in “all” geographic locations).
(Note: *Victorian – this term is NOT inclusive of Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and Mission style in this survey.)
Antique & Vintage Business Proprietors - Age Grouping: 20 - 40
1. Textiles - There seems to be little stopping the craze for all things vintage - especially when it comes to the textile variety. Strong sales over the past few years have only increased, as more and more vendors are apparently entering this extremely lucrative marketplace. Last year's number two on the list has now regained its foothold as the most popular trend amongst younger antique and vintage dealers. Once, almost exclusively the domain of the fairer sex, rising prices and excellent return-on-investment numbers, along with a broader reach of available items, has netted an increasingly larger number of men entering into the mix as well. Many who also ply their trade at flea markets and pop-ups are reporting strong sales, but difficulty sourcing quality inventory. Perennial favorites include branded jeans (early Levi's), handbags of the Gucci variety (any brand really), and top name kicks (aka sneakers), from Nike and niche brands like Tretorn. Younger dealers offering hybrid storefronts that mix decorative arts sales with consignment textiles are also indicating impressive numbers with everything from shoes to formal ware. Secondary items such as boho influenced macramé wall-hangings, pioneer styled quilts, and floral print fabrics are also extremely popular. (NE) (NW) (SW) (SE)
2. Waterfall Edge & Art Deco Revival - While still likely to be considered a niche category to some extent, the dramatic rise and sudden popularity of this trend has many taking note. Younger dealers from east and west coast cities like New York, Toronto, Miami, and LA are reporting exceptionally strong interest from Gen-Z and late Millennial buyers. Monikers range from Miami 80s, Post Modern, to Art Deco Revival. However, regardless of the heading, many younger dealers seem to be betting on the trend becoming more than just a passing fancy. Sales of laminated glossy waterfall edged pieces have witnessed steep price increases over the last year, along with 80's style black lacquer cabinets, and consoles and desks that harken back to the days of Miami Vice. Vendors report that sourcing inventory is still cheap and plentiful, but could change quickly if the trend gains mainstream traction. (SE) (SW) (NE)
3. Art Deco - While many of the youngest buyers might be favoring 80's Art Deco Revival pieces, the slightly older Millennials seem more content with having the real thing. Almost all dealers from this age category reported exceptionally good sales for literally anything Art Deco (AD). The demand for authentic items rose again this year, according to many dealers, and so did the prices. Leading the sales pack were case pieces such as cabinets, dressers and armoires. Smalls were also popular, with table lamps, ashtrays, clocks and objets d'art all selling well. This is the third year in a row that Deco has remained in the top three in this category, with some some poll respondents seeing it as a long-term 'hold,' in much the same way Mid-Century Modern has been for the last ten years. (NE) (NW) (SW) (SE)
4. Mid-Century Modern (MCM) - While Mid-century modern may have dropped a notch or two over the last few years, it's overall appeal with buyers and collectors is still by and large one of the most consistent within the decorative arts community. As knock-offs and repos have become virtually ubiquitous in today's marketplace (think Wayfair and even Walmart), legitimate period correct pieces are still commanding top dollar. However, along the coasts in major urban centers, the trend is beginning to wane. Dealer survey reports show that while demand for items like kitchenware, barware, objects d'art, jewelry and even paintings and sculptures is still relatively strong, there is some 'settling' in other areas. Aside from the classic designers such as Platner, Gehry, Jacobsen, and Eames, many lesser known names are showing a drop in prices from the highs of only a few years ago. Conversely, younger dealers operating from the middle of the country's urban centers are reporting a slight uptick in sales. Danish credenzas, Eames style lounge chairs, diamond metal work chairs by Harry Bertoia, cone-chairs by Verner Panton, and knock-off chaise loungers from Charlotte Perriand are all still popular - but to a greater or lesser extent - based on geographic location. (NE) (NW) (SW) (SE)
5. Kitchen & Barware - Coming in at fifth place again after its premiere last year, kitchen and barware would have likely stacked higher had it not been for Miami 80s and Art Deco Revival. Dealers from this category have been doggedly hunting down the best vintage examples from various styles and periods - especially modern and post-modern examples. While MCM barware still reigns supreme, many dealers say that when it comes to the kitchen, it's all about the Corning Ware, with some items from the 1960's actually "selling" for over $7,000 on eBay! While the "asking" price for the example listed here may seem even more extreme (ridiculous to some), at over $19,000 for a single casserole dish, it is nevertheless indicative of the current fever-pitch within this collectible market. Of course with such prices (realized or not), dealers are acknowledging that original inventory go-to's such as garage and estate sales have quickly dried up. Sourcing from second or third-party retailers and pickers is an option, but many poll respondents said that even resale items are being priced out of the market - creating a bubble - which even the most optimistic dealers think is likely to burst. Jadeite, McCoy and Bakelite round out other popular dealer choices, but at a much more reasonable and accessible price point. (NE) (NW) (SW)
6. 'Space' Collectibles - As a category, this one tends to be a hit-or-miss proposition for many dealers, with its popularity being almost entirely tied to what NASA does or doesn't do in a given year. Of course with the launch of the ten-billion dollar James Webb telescope and the successful Artemis test mission around the moon, it was a thumbs-up season for most, at least according to dealers specializing in this type of collectible. From photos from the telescope, to laser-cut models of the telescope itself, sales were reportedly brisk. Artemis pins, patches, cups and commemorative coins and logos were also popular with collectors. Most dealers reported high stock turnover as the events unfolded in real-time, with prices rising commensurately. With NASA's continuing Artemis missions over the next few years, prices for related memorabilia is expected to escalate further. (NE) (NW) (SW) (SE)
7. Victorian - Early, Mid & Late - Yes, you read it right! While not even a blip on many dealers charts last year, Victorian era furniture has suddenly surged in popularity, due in large part to a group of buyers who until very recently were more aware of Ikea as a brand, than the English monarch and the style named after her that ruled the western decorative arts scene for almost seventy years. But just as Millennials and Gen-X'ers have grown and changed over time, so has their taste for reuse and recycling. Antique-show dealers and east coast pickers are reporting that traditionally cash-poor Gen-Z'ers are continuing to snap up reasonably priced Victorian pieces as an alternative to buying flat-pack and new, with an eye to helping the environment. Practical items from tables, desks and benches, to chests-of-drawers and chairs took top billing, but dealers noted that smaller items and decorative pieces were also starting to sell well. While not quite of the Bridgerton era, as far as décor goes, many dealers have nonetheless attributed the recent rise in Victorian interest to the popularity of the Netflix series and its historical depiction of the decorative arts. (NE) (SE) (NW)
8. Early Americana/Canadiana - Fast on the heels of the mini-Victorian resurgence, it wasn't too much of a surprise to suspect that the straight and mostly simple lines of the primitive motif might also follow suit with the younger generations desire for less adornment and more sustainability. With natural patina returning to favor and painted surfaces fading, many dealers from this group have finally begun to cultivate inventories representative of the genre. Sales of harvest style dining room and coffee tables, along with pine blanket boxes, smaller chests-of-drawers, and flat-to-the-walls (all 1980s antique store staples) have blossomed. Blending occasional primitive pieces with the modern motif was popular in the past, but a number of younger dealers say the emphasis has been changing recently with a stronger demand for the rustic look as first chair, with MCM pieces playing second or even third fiddle. Reproductions remain a concern, but younger buyers seem less worried about authenticity than they do cost. Interest has been strong across most regions, but particularly in the Northeast and Northwest. (NE) (NW)(SW)
9. Lucite & The 1970's - Modular furniture and Lucite pieces continue to bring in the buyers searching for that perfect representation of the "Me" decade from the 1970s. White plastic chairs, shag rugs and space-age themed objects d'art have maintained a consistent presence in many dealers showrooms throughout the Southwest and Northwest, with dealers in California noting strong sales in just about every area of this decorative arts category. Lucite furniture, Gehry inspired wiggle chairs, chrome and black vinyl stools, hanging chairs, rattan furniture and mirrored tables are all staples of the period. The movement is strongest along the west coast, but dealers in other regions are also reporting rising numbers, especially in southern urban areas like Miami and Atlanta. Many examples can be susceptible to damage issues like rust on chrome or scratched mirror surfaces, so condition is key. (SW) (NW) (SE)
10. Lighting - Although dropping three spots this year, lighting has continued to be a relatively popular choice with dealers seeking to stock up on a reliable and saleable inventory. Examples from the Victorian era, to MCM, and lava lamps of the 70s, along with custom made pieces continue to be sought-after by dealers in major urban centers, antique-show vendors, and online sellers, though some dealers feel that industrial and Steampunk styles may have moved past their prime. Sale prices have been reported as consistent across the board with plenty of available first-source inventory. Space-age chandeliers and 70s style lights have become hot with the urban condo-crowd, but sources say it's only a matter of time before the brass and copper motif returns in full, as requests for the old school look continue to mount. (NE) (NW) (SW)
Antique & Vintage Business Proprietors - Age Grouping: 40 - 60
1. Art Deco (AD) - For a number of dealers in this category the question over the last few years has always been whether or not Art Deco has the staying power to remove MCM from it's throne. Investing in inventory can be pricey for both styles, but MCM has the added advantage of popular longevity on its side, while AD is a 'relative' newcomer to the lists. However, after nearly three years at or near the top of the charts in one category or another, many dealers from this age group have finally thrown in their hats, and say they're now fully committed to the AD trend. While most in this category acknowledge that they've probably sold as much Mid-Century modern during this period as AD, they've also noted that the demand for good quality AD pieces outstripped their ability to supply it. Additionally, a number of survey respondents indicated that had their inventory of AD been sufficient they would've easily surpassed their MCM sales over the same time period. As with almost all dealers who reported in, sales of both large and small items from clocks, jewelry, lighting, and decorative objects, to large case pieces and chairs, were all big sellers. Supply issues continue to affect most, as first-source buys from garage and estate sales remain a hit or miss proposition. (NE) (NW) (SW) (SE)
2. Textiles - Just as with the younger generation of dealers, the textile movement has now spread itself out to virtually every type of vendor within the decorative arts marketplace. The exponential growth of online textile dealers on sites such as ThredUp, Depop, Etsy and Poshmark has almost single-handedly moved this collectible category from relative obscurity only a few short years ago, to one of the most popular and profitable collecting categories out there. Bricks-and-clicks dealers abound, ranging from vintage sneaker gurus to more seasoned types with classic offerings from such designers as Norman Norell, Bonnie Cashin, Lacroix, Pucci and Ossie Clark. Demand from consumers continues to remain high, both online and off. As with most other categories this year, dealer complaints center on tight supply issues and rising prices at original-source vendors, such as second-hand and charity thrift stores. (NE) (NW) (SW) (SE)
3. Automobilia/Petrolina - No longer a niche collectible, dealers in this category who specialize, particularly in areas like signage and tinware, have seen exponential growth over the last few years, as men of a certain age, and with a certain amount of disposable income seem to know no bounds when it comes purchasing examples from this genre. Dealers report that sale prices continue to escalate year-over-year for the best quality pieces, with even lessor examples also rising in value. Access to top-shelf inventory remains low as television shows such as American Pickers have likely fueled additional public interest in the field. As long as automobiles remain a staple of modern life though, most dealers think this collectible category, and its rising prices, are here to stay. Competition amongst peers is tight for the best-of-the-best, including oil cans, emblems, gas pumps and signage, with many dealers having to rely on pickers and secondary sources for a stream of reliable inventory. (NE) (NW) (SW) (SE)
4. Mid-Century Modern (MCM) - Although this area of collecting has seen some fluctuations with dealers in this category over the last year or two, it still remains a strong puller for most of the those who invested in its stock. While the range of buyers may have diminished somewhat from the uber-trendy and hip to a more segmented mid-country niche, dealers say there's still plenty of overall interest across the board in almost all facets of the style. And while reproductions may abound, the majority of dealers indicate that anything with a notable name attached will still sell for top dollar. Of particular interest to buyers wishing to sit, are Wassily and Cesca chairs, LC3's and Barcelona semi-recliners with an ottoman. Other notables include Eames shell chairs, Aalto stools, and Knoll sofas. For many dealers though, the real star of MCM over the last couple of years has been barware. Items such as Atomic Starburst frosted Collins glasses with gold detailing, and Anchor Hocking Tumblers are selling at a tidy profit for those who bought into the trend early at garage and estate sales. Kitschy wall-art designers such as Erwin Walter Burger, and sculptors like Aldo Londi, have also seen solid price increases for their work in recent years. Jewelry, paintings, sculptures and general objects d'art seem to be holding their value as well, but prices are slowing. As with most popular collecting genres, finding quality stock remains a problem. (NE) (NW) (SW) (SE)
5. Victorian - Early, Mid & Late - No longer just a rising fave amongst younger dealers and millennial consumers, the growth of Victoriana has also caught the attention of middle-aged dealers as well. Like much of the furniture market, sales of Victorian items have also been on the upswing recently, as the end of pandemic restrictions has spurred not only antique and vintage markets, but furniture sales in general. Dealers are reporting that customers are continuing to complain about long wait times from overseas manufacturers for contemporary pieces, which in turn is motivating many of them to revaluate their decisions when it comes to decorating options and wait times. According to a number of survey reports, it's not just youngsters who are actively buying up marble-top occasional tables and oak buffets, but an older clientele that may have missed out on the decorative wood tone motif over the past twenty years. For some dealers in this category, MCM is the only style they've ever known, so when it comes to sourcing Victorian inventory, many are claiming that it's often a surprise to find such an abundance at such reasonable rates. (NE) (NW) (SW) (SE)
6. Costume Jewelry - There seems to be no end in sight to the public's fascination for costume jewelry. Ranking overall at five last year, this area of collecting continues to remain steady and strong across almost all age groups of collectors and buyers. Major auction houses continue to offer important sales, and designer names such as Bogoff, Barcley, and Trifari are all in high demand by dealers and buyers alike. Vendors from online vintage stores and antique shops continue to indicate that finding sufficient stock is proving a challenge and becoming increasingly difficult, as savvy garage-salers and estate sale liquidators are scooping up much of the available inventory for resale online. Examples from known designers like Stanley Hagler, Catamore, D'Orlan, and Giovanni have escalated well beyond the range of the average buyer, with dealers expecting market prices to climb higher as interest flourishes, and stock diminishes. (NW) (SW) (SE)
7. Art Nouveau - Rising onto the charts this year for the first time since 2020, many dealers from this category are attributing the public's renewed interest in the Art Nouveau style to it's 'timely' connection to Art Deco's recent rise in popularity. Online sales for smalls and other objects d'art have grown dramatically according to many dealers in urban areas, as corollary interest by buyers of mid-century modern pieces seems to have sparked a return to more sinuous and gracious lines for some collectors. According to sellers, Art Nouveau items tend to blend easily with almost any design format, making them especially desirable to younger urbanites. Dealers continue to note a shortage of good available stock and a subsequent rise in asking prices from pickers and other online dealers. (NE) (NW) (SW)
8. Lighting - As housing starts and renovation numbers dropped dramatically this past year due to interest rate hikes, some vintage and architectural salvage dealers speculated about a knock-on effect for antique and vintage lighting sales. While most areas of this collecting segment continued to show steady numbers, there were some areas of weakness; particularly in the Steampunk and Industrial genres, which are often popular with those conducting home renovations. Whether or not this was merely an outlier to overall sales results remains to be seen. Bucking the trend however, were examples from the Art Deco and Mid-Century period which proved to be extremely popular with collectors. Seventies themed globe and chrome wall sconces, double-cone desk lamps, hanging glass and aluminum chandeliers, along with plate-style space-age wall lights and MCM floor-lamps were all good performers. Sourcing options remain relatively plentiful, with top condition getting top dollar. (NE) (NW) (SW)
9. Paintings/Sculptures - Moving beyond the realm of just furniture and geometric jewelry, Art Deco also made its presence felt in more established artistic endeavors as well. Prices and interest in early twentieth-century artists such as Tamara de Lempcika, and famed illustrators Georges Lepape and Romain de Tirtoff, also saw prices for their works rise sharpley. Brutalist mid-century metal sculptures from the likes of Fantoni, Jere and Tom Greene remained hot, as did metal wall-art creations from designers like Marc Creates. Reproductions of this style abound, with many dealers reporting contemporary pieces being made "in-the-style-of," as also selling extremely well. Lesser known painters from the era, such as DeGlopper, Bruneau, and Siebert continue to remain in vogue as evidenced by strong year-to-date auction results. (NE) (SW) (NW)
10. Vinyl Records - Collectors of a certain age it would seem are continuing to push the press of vinyl records and their accompanying album covers to new heights. After Covid sales peaked, many insiders expected a reprieve from surging prices, but not so according to a number of specialty vinyl dealers. Rock'n roll titles remain a favorite and were big on buyers lists this year as collectors clamored for rare examples of original presses. Unblemished examples from Led Zepplin, The Beatles White Album, anything Elvis Presley, The Clash, and Bob Dylan's Freewheelin' album topped the charts for many collectors this past year. However, examples from jazz great Miles Davis, and even soundtracks from movies like the Caine Mutiny also paid out handsomely. Sources are still plentiful but original pristine album jacket covers are a must for top prices. (NE) (SW) (NW)
Antique & Vintage Business Proprietors - Age Grouping: 60 - 80
1. Chinese Antiques - Last year's number six, Chinese antiques have once again risen to the top of the senior bowl. While this area of collecting has been popular with older established dealers and more advanced collectors for years, recent turmoil and strained relations between the west and China have put a damper on the open exchange of goods and related information. Despite such restrictions, many dealers say they've continued to see strong numbers not only at auction houses, but on showroom floors as well. While prices remain firm and demand high, top dealers continue to warn of the spate of reproductions and of the difficulty in obtaining authentic inventory. High-end sales are generally international in scope, with fan favorites ranging from porcelain objects from the Ch’ing dynasty, to Shuǐ-mò, or water-and-ink watercolor paintings. On a more pedestrian level, traditional furniture, vases, robes, and silk paintings are also continuing to post solid gains according to many long established dealers. (SW) (NW) (NE)
2. Mid-Century Modern (MCM) - It was just seven short years ago that dealers from this category reported virtually no sales of MCM whatsoever. Since that time, senior dealers have not only been steadily adding to their MCM stock, but have done so in such a way that many of these established vendors have now become responsible for the majority of higher-end pieces being sold in today's marketplace. While many of the senior poll respondents declared that their overall MCM furniture sales had increased over the last twelve months, there was also a vocal minority indicating a stagnation of interest. Many dealers are continuing to acknowledge a geographic bias when it comes to sales, as those with storefronts in urban centralized sections of the country continue to post solid gains, whereas east and west coast dealers are showing more muted advances. Sourcing quality inventory remains a constant challenge, according to most, though less so the farther you move inland. (SW) (SE) (NW) (NE)
3. Toys & Board Games - Perhaps it's just nostalgia and wishful thinking that makes one believe that dealers of a certain age should unquestioningly have a great supply of childhood toys and board games on-hand, or maybe it's just the years in business that gives them that anticipatory edge when it comes to knowing what best to collect. Or perhaps it's just plain 'ole luck, but whatever the case may be, it would seem that collectors have been snapping up vintage toys this year like Saturday morning hotcakes. Prices have climbed for many childhood favorites - but particularly in demand have been vintage board games, such as Monopoly, Ouija, Risk, Backgammon, and virtually anything from Milton Bradley. Classics, such as wind-up toys, tin trains, along with diecast cap guns and cars are all making the grade, with steep increases in valuations for even modest examples according to some dealers. Action figures and franchise-driven toys from films like Star Wars that include Darth Vader, Bobo Fett, and Droid figures are all commanding top prices. First-source buys at garage or estate sales are inventory best bets. (SW) (SE) (NW) (NE)
4. Georgian (Style) Furniture - Slowly but surely, a number of senior dealers are beginning to express some positive numbers related to sales of Georgian furniture. Whether this recent uptick in popularity is due in part to the images of stately rooms and accompanying furniture, as shown in Netflix's Bridgerton and Crown series, is unknown, but what is known, is that more and more people are being exposed to the decorative fineries of the Georgian period now than ever before. Younger collectors who may have only witnessed modern motifs in the past, are now suddenly able to experience the grandeur of decorative themes from the Georgian era, leaving them perhaps wanting for more than just the look of an Ikea or Crate & Barrel inspired room. Most dealers say they're encouraged by the rising prices from recent auctions this past year, but will take a wait-and-see attitude before committing to any large-scale inventory investments. (NE) (SE)
5. Art Deco Period Jewelry - While many of the younger dealers seem focused on Deco's rise within the furniture scene, older dealers are resting their backs, and have instead turned their attention towards smaller examples such as jewelry. Sales for top-shelf pieces from Maison Janesich, Paul Brandt, Cartier, Tiffany and Caldwell saw soaring prices at auction not only in Asia this past year, but also in North America. Demand is not expected to peak anytime soon as it looks like the revival of the Art Deco trend is here to stay. (NE) (SW) (NW)
6. Victorian - Early, Mid & Late - Like almost all the other categories, the nascent resurgence of interest in Victorian furniture seems to have been sparked by millennials and Gen-Z'ers looking for a bargain. However, for many dealers from this age group, the timing couldn't have been better, as items that were languishing in back rooms, have now been dusted and brought back onto showroom floors. As post-pandemic foot-traffic increased, so did sales. While prices are still down overall, certain styles from within the era, along with particular pieces, such as marble-topped washstands and side tables, are not only selling well, but are back to commanding almost full price. For many of these older dealers this is a welcome sight after almost twenty years of depressed values. As one would expect, supplies are plentiful across the board. (NE) (NW) (SE)
7. Watches (Antique & Vintage) - Despite the recent glut of sellers during the pandemic, prices for top quality classic wristwear examples are continuing to rise. Sales of men's antique and vintage watches have been some of the top trending items on a number of the larger online platforms, with dealers across the spectrum reporting stellar sales on everything from Gallet Chronographs from the 1940s, to 1960s Rolex Submariners, Seiko Sport Watches from the 70s, and Omega Speedmasters from the 1980's. Prices have almost doubled on some models over the past twelve months alone, and dealers are already warning of an impending shortage of legitimate examples as pieced-together versions frequently pop up for sale on sites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace. Boxlots at auctions can be a good option for parts and spares, but first-source finds have become increasingly rare. (NE) (NW) (SE) (SW)
8. Silver - Marching up ever-so-slightly from ten to eight on this year's list, Silver has finally begun to move in the right direction, at least according to a number of 'sliver-haired' dealers with considerable stock in this once popular collectible. Years of seemingly perpetual downturns in the market may finally be a thing of the past, as some poll respondents are indicating a moderate uptick in interest and price, particularly along the east coast. While many say it's probably too soon to write home about, dealers are nevertheless bullish on the long-range outcome, and are tying some of their hopes to the nascent comeback of 'brown wood,' and shows like Netflix's Bridgerton to again popularize the once glamorous metal. Silver flatware patterns such as Grande Baroque, Repoussé by Stieff, and Lunt Sterling are all showing signs of revitalization amongst collectors. Restocking supplies remain robust and inexpensive. (NE) (SE)
9. Architectural Antiques - Even as house prices dropped and renovations stalled this year, dealers from this category say they still managed to do quite well on the tail-end of 2022s market. Many people who had started renovations during the pandemic were still completing projects, so the demand for salvaged vintage and antique architectural pieces remained relatively high. Dealers with outside space for inventory that allowed for on-property shopping and browsing also reported decent sales during the early spring and summer months, especially after post-Covid shopping restrictions were lifted. Chippy painted pieces (columns), balusters, railings, old doors and multi-paned wooden windows were mainstays, but dealers appear hesitant to invest further until interest rates and housing issues settle. Inventory is plentiful in all regions. (NE) (SW) (NW) (SE)
10. Ephemera - While post-pandemic sales numbers have dropped somewhat this past year, ephemera is still quite popular (and profitable) with many older dealers. During the heyday of Covid, prices skyrocketed as people sat at home and ordered up their favorite items for delivery. Today, most sellers and collectors are back out on the hunt at garage and estate sales, with overall pricing and cost expectations more muted. It's not that prices have gone down dramatically, say dealers, it's just that they've settled into a broader range of expected values. Top sellers for many print & paper dealers this year included such items as, movie posters from Hollywood's golden years, travel brochures, menus from cruise lines like Cunard and White Star, concert ticket-stubs, and vintage airline items - such as promotional posters and even seat-back safety instruction cards. Inventory is widely available, and prices are expected to remain steady. (NE) (SW) (NW) (SE)
** Disclaimer: This survey was conducted for general information purposes only and relied upon a sampling of verbal and written responses for its construction. The data was compiled from provided information, and thus, should be treated accordingly in regard as to accuracy and correctness. *Asheford News Ticker Service - 2023
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