Who is buying at auction now
April 22, 2011 | view archive
We’ve read comments from insiders in the antiques field who believe that attendance at auctions these days just isn’t what it used to be. It’s been said that dealers, especially, just aren’t buying at auction the way they used to.
From our point of view, the assertion that dealers aren’t buying these days just doesn’t ring true.
As a matter of fact, since introducing our Second and Fourth Tuesday Express Auctions last Fall, we have witnessed an increase in attendance in precisely the sort of auctions these folks are talking about.
We introduced the Express Auctions as an efficient rout for buying and selling antiques at auction. We figured if we offered good antiques in a short format auction, the buyers would come. And they have.
From day one, the audience has been diverse and enthusiastic. We see our share of decorators, homeowners, collectors, and of course, an abundance of dealers looking every item over with an expert eye.
And, with every auction, we see a handful of new faces. We see folks buying enthusiastically, and we see them coming back for more.
While prices on some tried and true antiques and collectibles have fluctuated a bit in recent months, we see other items rising up to take their places.
Take, for instance Depression glass. Once the darling of antiques dealers from coast to coast, items of this kind could fetch a pretty penny at auction, and bring an even higher price when presented in an antique shop or boutique. These days, it’s not uncommon for a large lot of Depression glass to sell for a fraction of what a single piece might have brought a decade ago.
The same goes for items like milk glass, graniteware, Art Deco furniture, primitives and the once highly sought-after Hummels. Tried and true items, every one of them, but they have seen their day on the auction block.
What, then, are the hot auction items these days?
It’s a mixed bag, but we have definitely detected some predictable superstars in our Express Auctions. We see very competitive bidding for a number of genres.
Mid Century Modern and Art Nouveau items are strong. The same goes for Art Deco decorative pieces. We see toys bringing solid prices, as well as silver and signed crystal. Antique quilts, recovering from a short slump, are now bringing solid prices.
Vintage Christmas is hot. The closer the calendar creeps toward the Holidays, the hotter Christmas stuff gets.
We’re also seeing a surge in interest for items like vintage handbags and men’s hats.
Antique and vintage advertising and point of purchase display pieces are bringing hefty prices, too.
We are very pleased with the results from our Express Auctions.
Bill has nothing but good things to say about the easy auction format. “These auctions are the perfect place for new dealers and collectors. They feature nice clean estate items that are fresh and new to the market.”
Whatever the case, we look forward to seeing more new faces at our Fourth Tuesday Express Auction on April 26.