My last post discussed what was hot in antiques, and advertising was pretty much it. That's been true for a while, and probably will be for some time to come. Today I thought I'd write a little about the other end of the spectrum: what's NOT hot in the antiques and collectibles market. This is based on my own observations, as an antique dealer in Michigan. I've written about this topic before, and you can read my post about what wasn't hot in 2009 HERE.
Silverplate tea services, flatware, cutlery sets, and miscellaneous pieces aren't doing well in the market. Sterling silver is another story altogether, but that's not what I'm talking about. Silverplate pieces will be marked "quadruple plate" or "triple plate." They are standard fodder at estate sales and auctions. These require polishing because they tarnish, and grandma's set of nice silver isn't dishwasher safe so most modern households don't want to get it out anymore, even for Thanksgiving.
Speaking of metal, pewter items aren't very popular either. Aluminum items, although "mid-century" and somewhat more hip, aren't exactly hot sellers, and shiny brass home decor and fixtures are so toxic right now, you can't even give them away.
Any kind of collector plate, figurine, or doll that was manufactured specifically for the collector market is something to avoid. If something comes with a "certificate of authenticity," that's a red flag. Factories like the Franklin Mint, Hamilton Collection and Danbury Mint churn out this kind of stuff. The long-term value of these items is very questionable because so many are manufactured. Plus, they are extremely tacky.
I've said before that Victorian-era pump organs are dogs, but now I'm adding more modern organs and pianos to the list after working at a few estate sales. They are boat anchors......
Sewing machines, with the exception of the Singer Featherwieght, are dogs with fleas.
Although typewriters are enjoying some popularity right now, other office equipment is having a hard time finding the same appreciation. Who wants an old adding machine sitting around? Nobody I can think of.
Clunky looking Jacobean and Mediterranean furniture is a bad buy, even if you paint it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
Vintage ironing boards are kind of cool, but I've been terribly sorry every time I've ever bought one:
Trunks are not hot, especially turtle-back trunks, because they cannot be made into a coffee table. A trunk like the one below takes up valuable antique mall rental space, too. You can't put anything on top of it. I avoid trunks like the plague:
Foot warmers are curiosities from the past that aren't something you want to get stuck with, especially if you are an antique dealer.
Sad irons are dead weight. They make good doorstops, but if I want a doorstop, I'd rather buy a more decorative version.
Family bibles are always poor buys, I'm sorry to say. That's because every family had one, and usually kept it around. Therefore, they aren't rare or unusual. The same goes for sets of encyclopedias, which are even more difficult to unload than bibles.
So that's my list of "Not Hot" for 2014. If you have something to add to my list, please leave it in my comment section!