Top Decorative Arts Web Sites
Picking the most useful antique, vintage, and collectible web sites can sometimes be a daunting task. Many of the sites you bookmarked yesterday are no longer around today. And, while a number of Internet locations can provide some guidance and direction, over time they can slip, and simply become marketing and advertising tools, rather than sources of useful information.
With this in mind, the writers at the Asheford Institute have undertaken the task of showcasing a few of the best sites we've found in regard to today's decorative arts marketplace. These are sites that do more than just sell a product or service, but sites that can actually help teach, and inform through their online presence. So, without further ado, here are the school's Top Ten decorative arts web sites as picked by staff writers and instructors at the Institute..
Our Top Picks...
1. Maine Antique Digest - With a recent update of their web site, including a nice archival link to older stories, and a database of prices for subscribers, many consider M.A.D. to be the bible of antique publications (AKA, The New York Times of Antiques). With all this superb content, that's probably enough reason to visit!
2. The Internet Antique Shop (TIAS) - OK, we may be a little biased here - since we' know these people, but this is far more than just an Internet antique mall. They have plenty of shops and pictures from which to peruse and examine antiques, plus a host of other services.
3. Journal Of Antiques & Collectibles - While we're on the subject of great antique newspapers, this is another publication we really like. The writing is clear, crisp, and relevant to "today's" stories of antiques and collectibles. It's also nationwide, and a go-to industry resource for dealers, collectors and enthusiasts.
4. Sotheby's - Now I can't say this is a web site that you're probably going to be doing a lot of purchasing from, but I can say that for a high-end, top-of-the-line auction house for the rich and famous, it's got some of the best information, from some of the best experts anywhere (Hint: try reading the descriptions of items for sale... it's like a mini-encyclopedia of terms and definitions!)
5. Antiques Roadshow - What list would be complete if they didn't include at least one version of the show... (you have 3 different shows to choose from now, since they're in three different countries!)
6. Antiques-Atlas.com - This is little far from home, but it's nice to see how they do things over in England (where there are an awful lot of antiques!) Just reading the descriptions on the photos can provide one with a wealth of knowledge...
7. Price Miner - This is a pretty cool and relevant site - especially if you're looking to find someone who might be interested in what you've got to sell - with over 4000 Collector Clubs listed - you're sure to find someone who wants what you've got.
8. 1stdibs - Okay, so the prices, like Sotheby's, might be a tad on the high side for the average collector, but this site has some of the best and most detailed listings of items out there - not to mention their fabulous pictures (You can learn just by looking at the images and reading the descriptions!)
9. Antique & Art Information Network - No question, it's not about their web site, which is, well... horrendous, but it is about what they sell. Now not everyone may need antique specific "software" for their business, but if you do, this is worthwhile checking out... they've been around a long time.
10. British Antique Furniture Restorers' Association - A great site for restorers that has been around since 1979. BAFRA offers some of the best insights and resources for restorers and re-finishers out there. Products and information on "how to" are part of what they do. If your interests are in this area of the antiques and collectibles field, then they're definitely worth a look.