(IN PROCESS OF BEING REWORKED & UPLOADED)

 

   What’s HOT?

prepared by: Dean Smokoff

Some Definitions First

Although antiques and collectibles go hand in hand; there are some differences. Antiques have a much more traditional meaning; at least for now.  By antiques, we have meant furniture, certain artwork, glassware, old radios, jewelry, dishes, toys, certain books, and more. 

Collectibles have a wider meaning.  They tend to follow more what the pop culture reflects at the time.  In fact, pop culture is a phrase that’s relatively new describing items usually seen as more contemporary than antiques.

These can be comic books, baseball cards, icons like Marilyn Monroe, lunch boxes, and more. And, of course, there’s a lot of crossover between the two categories.  

The Advent of Antique Malls

Antiques used to mean antique stores.  You usually thought of dimly lit, musty smelling establishments filled with a little bit of everything.  As the malls came along, this changed to individually owned stalls, some specializing in certain areas. This gave us a much larger variety of items to look at. 

One antique mall in Seattle’s downtown/Pike Place Market area, Antiques at Pike Place, AntiquesatPikePlace.com, includes both antiques and collectibles and is one of the most successful malls here.

The mall mixture is usually some antiques and some collectibles.  Stores and malls that focus only on antiques are struggling more now.  This is because of how strong collectibles are coming on now.

Collectible customers tend to be younger and much more interested in pop culture items.  There’s also a current demand for industrial-looking lamps, fans, and furniture pieces.  This is more of a separate category but can still fall in the collectible area.

Okay; What’s Hot and What’s Not?

Furniture:This is a very changing field. What remains hot are smaller pieces of antique furniture. The new antique buyers often times are living in housing that’s much smaller than previous times. Therefore, think small.  They’re not looking for big, clunky pieces of antique furniture.  Antique, small tables, chairs, and shelves are great. 

Artwork:  Affordable paintings by known or unknown artists, mixed media pieces, and art from the Northwest School of Art.  Again think smaller.  Western paintings and sculptures remain desirable.  These are just a few ideas.

 

Jewelry:  Of course, signed estate diamond jewelry, especially anything art deco is still hot.  Costume jewelry has dipped in value lately, but when it’s more art deco; it can still be in demand. 

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Elegant Glass:  While Depression glass and other older glassware have dipped in demand, elegant glassware is still desirable.  That would include Cambridge pieces and similar manufacturers.  Because prices on these items can be relatively high, the economy is still holding sales down in this area. 

Office Equipment:  This includes old typewriters, fans, and the like. 

Motorcycles Any pieces you find for old Indian motorcycles, Harley Davidson and others, are also hot right now.  Some old automobiles pieces also. 

 

What’s Hot Collectibles

Collectibles are that wider field tied more to Pop Culture. 

Sports Items: This field can include anything from baseball cards to old football helmets and old baseball mitts.  Also, look for anything to do with old Seattle Sonics.

Movies and TV:  Look for anything that has to do with the icons.  This includes Elvis, The Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Page, James Dean, and many more.  Books on these people are great, photos, and anything else tied in.  Of course, just like antiques, anything signed/autographed by these people is hot.

Stereo/Phonograph Equipment: This category crosses over into antique radios.  But add childrens’ portable record players, phonograph players with built in tuners and speakers.  Even the reproductions out right now sell well.  The old oak stand-up 78 players aren’t selling that well now.  People like turntables you can stack records on as well as the higher quality single play Technic tables and other known brands. 

Records: This includes long play LPs, 45s and 78 records.  Vinyl is red hot now.  Look for Led Zeppelin, The Beatles (anything connected to the Beatles – they merchandised everything), Elvis, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam on vinyl, and all the other great artists from that time period.  Blues music is also hot now.  And the right sheet music connected with any of the great recording artists from the 50’s through the 70’s is popular. 

Furniture: Anything to do with records and record players; record cabinets for example.  Furniture painted white can be in demand.  Think small tables and shelves with that antique look or retro-Mid-century look. 

Comic Books:

Look for early Marvel comic – Spiderman, Fantastic Four, and the like.  Also find early Superman and Batman.

 Toys: This is a huge field.  Look for things that tie into old radio and TV shows; things like Roy Rogers, Star Wars, Davey Crocket (anything old Disney) small cars and the rest.  If they’re in their original boxes, prices can quadruple. 

Straight Razors and Zippo Lighters: Enough said. 

Globes: Old world globes

Books: This category can run from books on World War II to anything involving the aforementioned icons to old science fiction things and sports books. 

Western Items: People interested in collectibles grew up with Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Maverick, Gunsmoke, and all the rest.  Find just related western looking items.  Great nostalgia pieces.

Collectibles are that wider field tied more to Pop Culture. 

Sports Items: This field can include anything from baseball cards to old football helmets and old baseball mitts.  Also, look for anything to do with old Seattle Sonics

Movies and TV:  Look for anything that has to do with the icons.  This includes Elvis, The Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Page, James Dean, and many more.  Books on these people are great, photos, and anything else tied in.  Of course, just like antiques, anything signed/autographed by these people is hot.

Stereo/Phonograph Equipment: This category crosses over into antique radios.  But add children’s’ portable record players, phonograph players with built in tuners and speakers.  Even the reproductions out right now sell well.  The old oak stand-up 78 players aren’t selling that well now.  People like turntables you can stack records on as well as the higher quality single play Technic tables and other known brands. 

Records: This includes long play LPs, 45s and 78 records.  Vinyl is red hot now.  Look for Led Zeppelin, The Beatles (anything connected to the Beatles – they merchandised everything), Elvis, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam on vinyl, and all the other great artists from that time period.  Blues music is also hot now.  And the right sheet music connected with any of the great recording artists from the 50’s through the 70’s is popular. 

Furniture: Anything to do with records and record players; record cabinets for example.  Furniture painted white can be in demand.  Think small tables and shelves with that antique look or retro-Mid-century look. 

Comic Books: Look for early Marvel comic – Spiderman, Fantastic Four, and the like.  Also find early Superman and Batman.

 

 Toys: This is a huge field.  Look for things that tie into old radio and TV shows; things like Roy Rogers, Star Wars, Davey Crocket (anything old Disney) small cars and the rest.  If they’re in their original boxes, prices can quadruple. 

Straight Razors and Zippo Lighters:  Enough said. 

Globes: Old world globes. 

 Books: This category can run from books on World War II to anything involving the aforementioned icons to old science fiction things and sports books. 

Western Items: People interested in collectibles grew up with Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Maverick, Gunsmoke, and all the rest.  Find just related western looking items.  Great nostalgia pieces.

 

 

Summary

Antiques are in a very flux period now.  The newer buyers are much more interested in things different than older buyers.  And since everything is still supply and demand, many of the newer and younger buyers are driving the antique and the collectible fields.  Although there were many more collectibles made in some areas, they often didn’t hold up well and are now gone.

The scarcity of some of these collectible items and the current demand are driving prices up on these things. Both antiques and collectible sales are doing well now as the economy gets stronger. Many people look at antiques and collectibles as a hedge against inflation.  Certain things like an Spiderman number one comic book is worth around $1,000.00 now and will hold this value (and go up) for a long time.

You need to be more careful of buying in the antique field because some of these items are on their way out.  This is especially important for buyers and collectors that look at their purchases as more of an investment. Regardless of what your interests are, it’s important to follow your passions and have fun with what you collect.  Many people have turned their hobby interest in antiques and collectibles into solid businesses; especially with the introduction of selling on-line and creating that internet market.

The antiques and collectibles business and interests will never die.  They evolve into different categories and different buyers.  Trying to be ahead of the curve is the challenge.  And, as always, the fun is still in the hunt and discoveries you make.