Antique Trends in 2020

The great thing about antiques is that with each passing year new items and collectible categories age into this coveted status. While that would suggest an ever-expanding and overflowing marketplace for the items from our past, the reality is that collectible interest waxes and wanes over time. New eras of interest emerge, such as Mid-century Modern, while once highly popular collectible categories such as glass are relegated to the back shelf.

What influences these collector trends of what’s hot and what’s not? Everything from the economy to fashion and design trends, marketplace inventory, nostalgia, and, as it turns out, age. Asheford Institute, the world’s largest Antiques, Collectibles & Appraising distance-learning school, conducts an annual survey of top buying trends within the antiques, vintage, and collectibles marketplace to determine just that.

Now in its 12th year, the survey is based on sales and requests for particular items/genres/periods from their respondents’ customers and clients. If that wasn’t enough good data, the survey breaks these buying trends down by customer/buyer age category. As you will see below from the results, it’s not only the age of the item but the age of the buyer that is driving interest in certain segments of the market.

This year’s survey was conducted from January 2020 to December 2020 by the research staff at the Asheford Institute. The survey consisted of a sampling of over 2,163 current students and past graduates that are actively employed or working within the antiques, collectibles, and vintage marketplaces within the United States and Canada (both urban and rural areas). All those who participated in the survey operate their own antiques and vintage, or estate sale/appraisal businesses.

The results show that while many of last year’s top-selling themes gave way to items from a different period, and purchases tended to be smaller in scale, the Mid-century motif continued to remain strong while rival sectors, including 1970s modular-pieces, and literally everything Art Deco, also rose to new heights on the chart. New this year? Early Americana/Canadiana, Lighting, Architectural Antiques, Western Collectibles, and “Golden Oak” furniture.

Here are the results. What do they say to you?

Age Grouping: 20 – 40

1. Art Deco
2. Mid-Century Modern
3. Costume Jewelry
4. Textiles
5. 1970’s Modular Furniture & Objects d’Art
6. Space-Related Collectibles
7. Toys
8. Art Nouveau
9. Lighting
10. Paintings/Sculptures
11. Memorabilia (Ephemera)
12. Early Americana/ Canadiana
13. Glass
14. Painted Furniture

Age Grouping: 40 – 60

1. Art Deco & Period Jewelry
2. Mid-Century Modern
3. Automobilia/Petroliana
4. Costume Jewelry
5. Folk Art
6. Textiles
7. Watches (Ant. & Vint.)
8. Industrial Lighting
9. Vinyl Records
10. Paintings
11. Kitchen & Barware
12. Early Americana/ Canadiana
13. Victorian – Early, Mid & Late
14. Architectural Antiques

Age Grouping: 60 – 80

1. Mid-Century Modern
2. Chinese Antiques
3. Art Deco & Period Jewelry
4. Victorian Paintings
5. Automobilia/Petroliana
6. Folk Art
7. “Golden Oak” Furniture
8. Georgian (Style) Furniture
9. Paintings
10. Vintage Outdoor Furniture
11. Lighting
12. Western Collectibles
13. Silver
14. Glass

For a more complete view of the survey, click here: