The antiques market is ever changing and the start of a new year is a good time to evaluate trends. Some of this has been covered in previous columns but this will provide an overview of what is selling well.
Coins and estate jewelry are a good place to start. Gold and silver coins not only have the value of the metal but also have numismatic (collector) value. Rare coins command a premium well above their value in gold, silver or other metal. Estate jewelry with gold and gems typically fetch prices well above scrap value. Aesthetically designed jewelry appeals to collectors who are willing to pay a premium for pieces they will wear and enjoy.
Sterling silver flatware and serving pieces also hold value because of the silver value. Hand made pieces by silversmiths from the early 1800’s and prior are the most desirable. Other considerations that affect value are the maker, the age and the pattern.
Advertising signs and displays brought strong prices at auction in 2014. I would expect this to continue. They are a piece of Americana that look great in a restaurant or displayed in a home.
Antique paintings and other work by listed (trained) artists seem to hold their value well. Good pieces of art frequently bring prices in the $100’s and $1,000’s. Exceptional pieces by famous artists can sell for millions.
The memorabilia and collectibles market is strong. A recent NBC News story reports that the wealthy pushed collectible sales through the roof in 2014. They reported that collectible cars brought $1.3 billion at auction in 2014.
When rare baseball cards and memorabilia come to auction, there is no shortage of bidders. A Honus Wagner baseball card sold for over $400,000 at auction even though it was in poor condition. An owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks bought one in 2007 for $2.8 million.
Toys continue to sell well. 1960’s and older tin toys, dolls and character toys can bring $1,000’s. Comic book collectors are still actively buying 1960’s and earlier comic books. Superheroes are the most collectible. A 1939 comic book with the first appearance of Superman brought $3.2 million at auction last year.
A new generation of collectors is paying well for 1950’s and 60’s era “mid century” furnishings. High on the list is Scandinavian design furniture, glassware and other pieces. More unique, artistically crafted pieces by well known designers bring the highest prices.
Finely crafted period furniture, folk art and other pieces from early in our country’s history continue to be coveted. Historical memorabilia featuring famous people and events will always draw plenty of willing buyers.
For most of history, auctions have been the preferred method to sell antiques and other valuables. The competitive bidding process ensures that you are getting fair market value for your rare and valuable heirlooms and estate contents. Consignment ensures that you will get the lion’s share of the selling price. You can make New Year’s resolutions to get caught up on bills or put some money away for retirement a real possibility.
I will be teaching my “Evaluating your Antiques” evening class for the Worcester Public Schools on April 1st. “Updates will be coming soon about appraisal events at the Hitchcock Academy in Brimfield and the Leicester Historical Society along with a series of antique seminars at the Goddard House in Worcester.
Contact us at: Wayne Tuiskula Auctioneer/Appraiser Central Mass Auctions for Antique Auctions, Estate Sales and Appraisal Services www.centralmassauctions.com (508-612-6111), firstname.lastname@example.org