Changing times, changing wants
Sorry for the delay....the holidays followed by the constant cold followed by snow has made me less interested in writing and more interested in moving. Alas, I remain in the far northern region of the US, buying and selling. Some days we struggle to reach 0 on the Fahrenheit scale, those are the best days to load your auctions I have found. As the market continues to change it becomes quite a struggle to decide what to buy for resale, the cyclical nature of this market allows those of us in it to feel temperature changes immediately, if we attend auctions and follow the online sales results.
I no longer buy furniture in quantity. This is a change that has occurred over the last 5 years. My current showroom is small, but the fact that most of the early oak, pine and other pieces I would formally buy are currently not moving. The “Millenials” seem to want clean, polished examples. I can say the mid-modern craze makes sense, as that is what we see from estates available, but location means an awful lot. The location I am in does not allow for the larger prices seen in metropolitan areas.
Milk glass??? I am offered milk glass seemingly weekly, but I dont buy it. The market is at an all time low, from what I see. Is it time to buy? I can say it is not time to sell, but again I can not fortell the future.
Stamps??? I recelty spent a day with a family in southern Maine as they poured through the collection of their Patriarch. He was a well known stamp dealer with a large catalog value of stamps from the US as well as the world. We looked at the current value on specific stamps (recent auction prices realized) compared with 5, 10 and 20 years ago. Hindsight made us sad, the prices were dramatically different. Why? Did the collectors leave? Who can we blame????
There is never one specific blame for a market change, usually it is detailed through the 2-5 year of trends, auction prices or anecdotal research. My opinion on stamps is a large percentage of the reason things have changed lies within the fact that we mail fewer letters, thus we no longer see the need to collect the stamps that got the letter there. Furniture is a sign of the times, newly bult homes no longer house hutches and credenzas, rather they have a minimal approach. Oak dressers seem to have made way to folding shelves and open designs.
The doomsayers continue the endless march toward the death of antiques, however I have not and will not join this march. In past blogs I have discussed the need for flexibility. Flexibility is a requirement in a small shop setting. Tying yourself to the past means untying yourself to past purchases and values. Changing often and checking the barometer is a business principle. For those of us in the field of antiques this may mean attending shows (keep attendance up), auctions and visiting other shops. A road trip may well be in order.......
Until next time my avid worldwide reader of the pontification from the back room of "the shop" find something cool, buy it, enjoy it and then sell the damn thing so the circle is
Stay collecting my friends. Come visit us downtown, at a live auction or
online. We offer online auctions, live auctions, estate clean-outs and
advice (sometimes it even is right) .
We are actively buying Maine paperweights with town scenes inside them.
A book is forthcoming, pictures in high resolution are great if you add the dimensions, if these are for sale please let us know.
HOULTON STAMP, COIN & PAWN