Old Antiques And New Antiques???

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February 19, 2018
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I heard a radio ad recently for an antique store in Barrie.  They seem to be vintage and “mantiques”, and their tagline was “not your grandmother’s antique store”.

Well, I think that sums up the current antique market very nicely.  There are what I call “old style antiques”, and “new style antiques”.

Older baby boomers, and their parents, (which would be the grandparents of the millennials), usually had very different tastes, from what many younger buyers now want.  To me “old style antiques” would be spinning wheels, Victorian parlour furniture, pressback chairs, round oak tables, dining and bedroom suites, biscuit barrels, epergnes, washstands, jug and basin sets, gingerbread clocks, coal oil lamps, pressed glass, crystal, hand painted china, etc.  When I had my antique store from the mid-eighties to mid-nineties, these were the staple items of my business.

“New style antiques” are primitives, signed boxes, cast iron, advertising, toys, signs, industrial style lighting, mid-century modern furniture, almost anything weird and wonderful!  Recently, in Ontario, a pair of 1916 temporary issue license plates sold for approx.. $16,000!  They are rare items, but the pre-auction estimate was $1200-$1500.  Needless to say, they sold better than expected!

If you have been to my auctions, you may be somewhat surprised how well most items sell in the first two hours of the auction.  That is our “primitives section”.  A large part of our auction is now primitives, but the first two hours generally reserved for the “as found” pieces…the dusty, rusty and dirty items…and they do sell!

When I go out to homes now, I still want to look through the china cabinets, but I especially want to look through the basements, attics, garages…that’s where I am likely to find the most interesting items! This past summer I was looking through a garage, spotted a vintage 1950’s motion lamp in the garbage, and we sold it for $100.

So the interest in antiques is still there, but it has changed .  Pictured above, is an International tractor grill,which will go into our March 10 auction. To me, this is “new style antiques”!

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