Television programs like “Antiques Roadshow” and "American Pickers" have trained people to think their basements and attics contain valuable treasures. In reality, they don’t. Those Hummel figurines that grandma so lovingly collected? They’re not worth much these days as result of changing tastes and a saturation of the market. At the height of their popularity from the 1970s - 1990s, Hummels sold for between $100 and $450, but in 2020 all but the most coveted examples might sell for just $5 or $10. The furniture market has more sellers than buyers and downsizing boomers are often appalled that their classic, sturdy pieces fetch a fraction of what they paid for them.
We understand the emotions, and the frustrations, to be told your life-long possessions and family heirlooms have little value and are not sought after. The reality is collectors and re-sellers drive market demand of what's collectible and what's not, and in turn they determine market values. We have seen item trends and values change decade-to-decade, month-to-month and even week-by-week spurred by the never-ending behaviors of collectors. The key to understanding market demand and market value is to call a professional. Call us 303.906.5133 or 303.506.7268 for a free onsite consultation.
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Textiles - Sites like Etsy and Poshmark has almost single-handedly brought this category to the forefront. Sales of vintage clothing have taken off substantially over the last few years. 1940s - 1980s clothing are leading the pack of collectability.
Folk Art & Native American - Both have been steadily increasing in demand, as interest once again returns to pieces from a simpler time. Mixing and matching smaller items with modern or Mid-century décor seems to be on trend with decorators.
Vinyl Records & Vintage Stereos - Vinyl records continue to find new collectors. Albums in good condition from the 1960s and 1970s bill top sale, but less revered musical artists from the 1980s are gaining ground. Stereos and receivers are selling well in a growing market.
Kitchen & Barware - Kitchen and barware items have literally been flying off the shelves. The most desirable decades for collectors include 40s, 50s, 60s and now the 1970s era. Condition is key! Worn, faded or chipped items are best for donation.
Toys - Vintage and antique toys have been selling like hotcakes - especially online. Prices have climbed for many childhood favorites - but particularly in demand have been vintage board games - virtually anything from Milton Bradley. Classics, such as wind-up toys, tin trains, along with diecast cap guns and cars are all making the grade. Our outlook for 2021, look for action figures and franchise-driven toys from the 1970s like Stretch Armstrong and Evel Knievel's “Stunt Cycle" to become the in-demand items.
Early Primitive & Americana Furniture - While large antiques as dining tables, hutches, and other large case pieces have all experienced a downturn in sales, an overall sense of primitive and barn-like furniture is getting a renewed interest. As chalk-paint fatigue appears to be setting in, traditional favorites such as two-board pine harvest tables, dry-sinks, chests-of-drawers and simple pine blanket-boxes are leading the charge.
Jewelry & Watches - Remaining constant, costume jewelry maintains its place as a perennial favorite, however finding good quality stock remains a challenge as gold and sterling values have hit all time highs and owners may be hesitant to sell. Even 1980s era are now commanding hefty sums. Classic wristwear seems to have taken the market by storm - especially in the men's department. Gallet Chrongoraphs from the 1940s, to 1960s Rolex Submariners, Seiko Sport Watches from the 70s, and Omega Speedmasters from the 80's. Prices have almost tripled on some models over the past two years alone.
The following represents the top selling categories in the Denver market from January 2020 to December 2020, and our projections for 2021. This from compiled sales from antique dealers, collectors and vintage resellers who purchased from our estate sales and then re-sell in antique and vintage shops, and online like Etsy and eBay and Facebook Marketplace.
Art Deco & Art Nouveau - There has been a strong uptick of interest related to this area of collecting. Quality furniture, art, glass and jewelry from these decades (1900s - 1930s) are becoming more scarce, driving up demand and values.
Mid Century Modern (MCM) - The MCM range and appeal with younger buyers and collectors continues to remain strong across the board. Of particular interest to buyers seemed to be kitchen collectibles, jewelry, wall-art, paintings, sculptures and general objects d'art. Kitschy wall-art designers such as Erwin Walter Burger, and sculptors like Aldo Londi have seen dramatic price increases for their work in recent years. Furniture prices, while still high, remained mostly stable especially for classic designers such as Gehry, Jacobsen and Eames.
Automobilia/Petrolina - Sales of signage, oil cans, auto posters, chrome grills, emblems and literally anything related to the automotive world have become very collectible. Classic car shows continue to drive the popularity of this category.
Vintage Lighting - Industrial and to a lesser extent "Steampunk" lighting are becoming popular due to HGTV house flipping shows. The blend of new and old lighting is becoming on trend and in demand. Finding such coveted lighting is challenging and most require substantial re-wiring or repairs.
Art - While abstract Expressionist paintings and sculptures from the late 1940s to the early 1960s have continued to fare well over the past year, Victorian oils and watercolors are sparking interest in a wider demographic that may be looking to blend their collections with the modern motif.
Space-Related Collectibles - Contrary to conventional wisdom, sales of space items have remained strong with younger buyers in the collectible community, which many attribute to the ongoing popularity of Elon Musk's SpaceX, and NASA's new Artemis Project. The popular Star Wars spin-off show The Mandalorian hasn't hurt interest either, at least according to byers specializing in this area of collecting.
1970's Modular Furniture & Objects d'Art - Another rising star is 1970s plastic modular furniture. In the lead are "Tulip" chairs, rounded and curved wall-units, and the ubiquitous Lucite and mirrored waterfall tables so common to suburban households during this period. Condition is key when it comes to plastic, but prices are climbing quickly, even for so-so examples.