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Antique Trends Collectors Need To Know About

There’s something unmistakably exciting about collecting a piece of the past, especially when it can help bring a spark of personality and nostalgia to your possibly underwhelming modern home. Collectors should ultimately choose antiques that speak to their heart and soul, but there are likely going to be certain antiques you’ll be seeing more of because they’re hip right now. Here are some trends you, as an antique collector, may be inclined to embrace.

Anything Strange and Unusual

Over the years, in light of what’s been happening in the world, people are yearning for more self-expression and homes where they feel safe to be themselves—and feel safe in general. Life is short and fallible, right? Living it to its fullest and most fulfilled has become key; and this value seems to be driving a yearning to snag any strange knick-knacks and trinkets that not only help people stay connected to their cores, but also produce feelings of happiness and comfort. Sometimes that means weird antiques. Popular finds include funky ceramics and lamps or other light fixtures.

Early American Anything

The growing fascination with Early American or pioneer life might have something to do with the apparent simplicity of the lifestyle, where cooking over a fire and cherishing the spoils of your hard work were cornerstones of the time period’s culture. It does also help that the craftsmanship of the time was superior and thoughtful, a result of minimal industrialization and more human involvement. The rich history attached to every Early American item, their associations with a less frantically paced society and good quality, are all factors likely contributing to the collecting of pioneer farmhouse-esque goods.

Quilts

They’re bright, they’re bold, they’re cozy, and they scream authenticity. A quilt was never designed to look luxe, but nevertheless they’re attractive. And there seems to be a renewed interest in covering beds and sofas with quilts. Quilts can definitely make homes feel homier and add a nostalgic touch, which aligns well with renewed and growing interest in transforming homes into safe havens, rather than showcases of elegance.

Art From Unknown Artists

There’s apparently an increasing desire for art by artists who are either self-taught or completely unknown to art enthusiasts. In other words, any vintage painting or illustration from anyone could be considered worthy décor, as long as someone finds it fits well with their tastes and shows off who they truly are deep inside.

Folk Portraits

Cravings for portrayals of modest everyday citizens are rising. In a nutshell, folk art involves depictions of ordinary people being ordinary. These are not going to be paintings of royalty and tax collectors, but portraits of people who were the glue of their communities—being the steadfast and honest people they were. Staying even more on trend, antique fanatics are specifically hoping for portraits by amateurs from the Early American period.

Weathervanes

The urge to fill the home with farmhouse-style items from a bygone American era continues with weathervanes. We all understand that weathervane is pretty much obsolete meteorological technology in the 21st century, but they are cute—especially the ones topped with animal silhouettes, which are apparently the most popular going into 2023—and they have that nostalgia element going for them too. They need not sit on a rooftop. Apparently it’s enough if they’re propped on walls or held upright to act as tabletop décor.

Tapestries

In a shift away from folk to luxury, there’s also a desire to fill the home with tapestries or, at the very least, portions of tapestry. Aside from wall tapestries, there’s interest in tapestry pillows and tapestry upholstery. Tapestries were signs of wealth back in the day, but nowadays it’s hard to believe anyone would advertise their affluence with something they rescued from the dark ages. Correct us if we’re wrong—but people are romanticizing the past again, aren’t they? 

Costume Jewellery

Costume jewellery has always had its loyal fans, but it seems like the ranks of loyal fans are rising this year. People are on a hunt for costume jewellery. Maybe because most costume jewellery is a one-and-done deal and usually very…well, theatrical. These pieces are perfect for the many people who seem to be leaning toward honest self-expression and embracing what makes them happy, even if it’s not mainstream and high-class.

Perfume Bottles

You know what they say, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” It might seem strange that any person would want an old perfume bottle, which are usually empty when they’re put on sale, but you’d be surprised how ornate old perfume bottles could get. Vintage perfume bottles were made with a care and artistry not usually seen today. Not only that, they’re also captivating representations of the historical periods when their perfumes were conceptualized.  

Luke Miles | Staff Writer

Winter 2023

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