Antiques & Appraising School Gives Data on 2016 Top Selling Items

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Antiques & Appraising School Gives Data on 2016 Top Selling Items

The latest results from the Asheford Institute Of Antiques’ survey of buying trends within the antiques and collectibles community were recently published online by the school’s Research & Polling Department.

After conducting similar surveys over the past five years, the internationally recognized home-study school on antiques, collectibles and appraising released its latest trending data from the antiques marketplace for 2016.

“The survey, which concentrated on compiling and grouping information related to customers buying habits over a twelve month period, was brought back this year after a strong response on the school’s website from readers requesting updates from previous surveys,” said Institute Director Charles Green.

He went on to note that there were some interesting differences between the results from this poll and those from previous years. Green explained, “We’ve made our questionnaire sharper and more specific as well as bringing the participant base up to over 1,200 respondents. But the questions are still essentially the same even though the answers are quite different.”

The school’s Public Relations Director Carlee Jackson agreed with Green’s assessment. She said that the main goal of this year’s survey was to once again measure the interest in current trends of antiques and collectibles based on actual sales results and requests for specific items. While the survey was informal in nature and not predicated on scientific formulas, Jackson noted that the results were still quite compelling when viewed in their entirety.

“What we’re seeing is a strong change in direction when it comes to certain areas of the decorative arts. It’s not just mid-century modern that’s moving, but a number of other areas that are also making up ground,” Jackson said. She went on to note that interest in 1960s and 70s collectibles, particularly space and Star Wars related items, had also risen sharply as well. “There’s no doubt in my mind that these are the new younger collectors that we’re seeing today. They’re the one’s who are really beginning to drive the industry forward.”

Aside from the popularity of mid-century modern furniture, many younger dealers from the survey also noted that literally anything twentieth-century—from brutalist metal sculptures to lesser-known painters—had also become increasingly sought after by both dealers and collectors. “We’re in a virtual bidding war every time something from this era comes up,” said Shannon Smith, a young East Coast dealer. She added, “Honestly, sometimes I wonder if it’s worth all the fuss!”

Older dealers seemed to echo a similar sentiment but indicated that there were other areas of the market that were beginning to show signs of renewed interest, particularly in the area of Greek and Egyptian revival styles—especially when done in stone and marble. Claude Paquin, a longtime dealer from Quebec, said some of his Victorian marble-top side tables, which hadn’t moved in years, were suddenly flying out the door. “Who knows,” Paquin said, “maybe it’s the beginning of something old!”

Readers wanting to view the full results of the Institute’s survey can find them online at the school’s Student News page at

For more information about the school’s antiques and appraisal course, visit, call 877-444-4508 or write to the Asheford Institute of Antiques, 981 Harbor Blvd., Suite 3, Dept. 275PX12, Destin, FL 32541-2525 or in Canada at 131 Bloor Street West, Suite 200, Dept. 124PX12, Toronto, ON M5S 1R8.

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