Tips by Dr. Lori

Predictions & the Antiques Market

by Dr. Lori Verderame
Predictions & the Antiques Market

Collect What's Coming!

When it comes to collecting works of art or antiques, my years of experience in museums and as an appraiser have taught me some important lessons. My first bit of advice is to collect what’s coming. What does that mean? Collect those objects that are sure to be part of the next art or antiques revival. Trends are temporary, but history and the objects that highlight history hold their value.

It’s Cyclical

Don’t you wish you bought up all that mid century modern, circa 1950s-1960s era, furniture that was so accessible and cheap in the 1990s-2000s? Today, those Eames chairs, Knoll tables, and Sunburst clocks are going for sky high prices.

A longtime topic of interest and research area for many collectors is American art of the post war period.  I suggested that collectors take a hard look at Abstract Expressionist painting and sculpture from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. The market for these objects shows that now is the time to buy for works by Jackson Pollock, Willem De Kooning, David Smith, Seymour Lipton, Richard Serra, Harry Bertoia, and others. This collecting category has enjoyed great movement, unexpected sales records, and market watchers expect this category to continue to forge ahead.

Avoid amassing a diverse assembly of unrelated works of art or antiques (also known as “eclectic collecting”) and  collect a few specific items. Collecting a lot of diverse objects isn't collecting, it's clutter.

On the occasion of Sculpturea famous person’s birthday or the celebration of a milestone anniversary, it is a good idea to consider collecting related art and antiques objects. For instance, in 1961 there was a great interest in all things surrounding the Civil War as the art world was embarking on the 100th anniversary of the Civil War. And in 2011, there was a renewed interest in the Civil War as we reached the 150th anniversary of the historical events surrounding the Civil War. The antiques market is about timing as much as it is about treasure hunting. As we collect contemporary and vintage objects, remember, history is the best teacher.

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