I have put together a list of the most popular antiques in regards to what sells good, what retains their value well etc from the broader antique market. This article covers a small sampling of the myriad of antiques you can find on the market but should be enough to give you a very good idea of whats going on in the antique market.
Antique silver has always been one of the hottest sellers on the antique market retaining it’s value over the years. Silver has seen a recent boom over the past few years with the increase in the price for silver. Unfortunately this leads to antique silver getting melted and sold for scrap. Individual pieces of silver such as antique silver-plated serving forks areÂ very popular. ThereÂ are two main categories of antique silver.
- Antique silver flatware this includes utensils such as spoons, forks and knives.
- Antique silver hollowware this includes vessels like bowls, trays, tea services, and vases.
There are different grades of silver:
- Sterling silver is the highest quality and usually the most valuable.
- Silver plate is also popular and still has good value.
- American silver is slightly lower in value then sterling silver. American silver is also known as coin silver.
Most silver has a hallmark or stamp. The hallmark or stamp will provide some important information about your antique silver:
- The standard of silver used.
- Origin of the silver
- Date the silver was made
- The maker of the silver.
This information is vital in determining the age and value of your antique silver.
Here are a few popular antique silver makers:
- George Jensen
- Rodgers and Sons
Antique Ceramics and Porcelain
Porcelain is also known as China; named after the country of origin. Chinese porcelain was originally exported to the United States in mass quantities. The main Chinese porcelain patterns were Rose Medallion, Honeycombs, and Butterflies. English porcelain was also widely exported. Here are some of the popular exporters of English porcelain:
- Royal Dalton
- Royal Worcester
The most popular color schemes for dinnerware and porcelain is blue and white this is also called Flow Blue.
Well known and highly collected examples of blue and white porcelain are:
- Royal Copenhagen
Antique pottery gets its base color from a mineral found in the clay it is made of. There are some varieties which include Redware, Yellowware, and Stoneware. During the mid 19th century American Art Pottery was created in large quantities and is widely collected today.
There are many types and styles of antique clocks. Antiques clocks are highly collectible due to there beauty and functionality.
Popular antique clock types:
- Tall case Clock (English name of the Grandfather clock)
- Grandfather Clock (American name of the English Tall case clock)
- Carriage Clock
- Bracket Clock
- Mantle Clock
- Wall Clock
- Pocket Watches
The case design was usually determined by the period in which they where produced andÂ followed the furniture trends of the period. The more elaborate the clock the higher the value in most cases.
Popular antiqueÂ clock and watch makers:
- Seth Thomas
- Howard Miller
Antique Metalware and Metal works
Metalware/works comes in many forms. Everything from magnificent bronze sculptures to humble pewter utensils. Common metals used were bronze, pewter, brass, iron, and copper.
The Asian antique market has seen a dramatic rise in prices at auction in the past few years. Asian antiques have been setting record prices at auction houses around the world recently. This has also spurred an increase in the amount of reproductions and fakes to surface. Remember to do your research and do not hesitate to call in a specialist if you have any doubts. Make sure to buy from reputable dealers that can be verified. This category includes antique furniture, carvings, statues, porcelains(A popular maker of antique porcelain is CloisonnÃ© they are well known for the vases. they produced), art, antiques that originated from Asia, jade, figurines especially ones of religious figures such as Buddha.
In the antique furniture market there is a vast amount of styles and types of furniture. Every country had its own trend. Some of these trends would spread into the major popular market for antique furniture i.e. England, United States, and Europe. Below are some of the more popular antique furniture pieces:
- Dinning Furniture
- Sofa/Chaise Lounge
- Phonograph/Music Boxe
- Player and Non Player Piano
Antique furniture is another market that has been heavily flooded with reproductions. Some of these reproductions are very remarkable and have even fooled many specialists. Make sure to always do your research I can not stress this enough. Most antique selling venues do not have return policies.
Period furniture is furniture that was made within the time period of that style. Like most antiques furniture styles were reproduced right after they hit the market. Period furniture is usually styled after a maker that was popular in that time period.
Here is a brief list of furniture styles from the United States, France and England. For more information on antique furniture styles see my article on antique furniture styles over the past 200 years.
American Antique Furniture Styles:
- William and Mary (1690-1725)
- Queen Anne (1725-1750)
- Chippendale (1750-1780)
- Federal (1790-1815)
- Classical (1815-1825)
- Empire (1825-1845)
- Country and Shaker (1690-1900)
French Antique Furniture Style:
- Louis XIV (14) (1643-1715)
- Louis XV (15) (1723-1774)
- Louis Philippe (1830-1848)
English Antique Furniture Styles:
- Georgian (1714-1812)
- Regency (1812-1830)
- Victorian (1837-1901)
- Edwardian (1901-1910)
Antique rugs have been very popular for many years. With this popularity it has had an increase in reproductions. There are still many countries that hand make there rugs the same way they were made many years ago. This can make telling the difference very difficult for the novice antique buyer. Antique rugs and Artwork are two antique fields that I myself will always consult with a specialist on when buying or doing my appraisal work. BothÂ almost require you to use a specialist when making an expensive purchase.Â There are many styles that vary from country to country. These can range from a flat surface like a tapestry to a pile surface like carpet. Anything smaller then 9ft x 6 ft is considered a rug. Anything larger then 9 ft x 6 ft is considered a carpet. Runners are long narrow carpets.
Other Popular Antiques Categories:
- Architecture and Garden
- Books and Manuscripts
- Decorative Arts
- Maps, Atlases, and Globes
- Musical Instruments
- Science and Medicine
- Toys and Dolls
Antique markets are ever changing. What maybe popular today might not be popular tomorrow. The value and popularity of an antique can be influenced by many factors such as who is buying them, what region they are being bought or sold in, and past performance on the antique market.
Remember the saying buyer beware when it comes to antique buying. Here are a few tips on how to protect your self when it comes to buying antiques.
- Research, this is the most important thing to remember.
- Check out the seller.
- Ask a professional for there opinion spending a few dollars up front can save you more at the end.
- Use your judgment ask yourself these questions.
- Does the antique seem too good to be true?
- Is it too new?
- Are there ware marks where there should or should not be?
- Dose it fit the correct time period?