Worthwise Art & Antique Appraisers, Denver, which includes experts and sources like Terry Kovel, GoAntiques.com and Antique Trader.com., list their top five antique trends for 2019: "Mid-Century Modern furniture (1960s), Art Deco furnishings (1920s & 1930s), Newer Asian Antiques (Examples: porcelain, bronze, jade, enamel and lacquer decorative objects, furniture, silk textiles and works on paper and even antique Chinese snuff bottles), Vintage Natural Ethnic Textiles (Persian rugs to Folk Art and Native American weaving of all sorts), Old Metal, Rustic and Farmhouse Items (Cast iron pans, advertising signs, knives, duck decoys, antlers, fishing lures, lanterns, buckets, troughs and stoves are all hot right now."
Does it really matter what is trending? If you love or collect it, you buy it! This year, I am doing a two-part column since I have included not just antique malls, but gift shops, vendors and decorators, too. If you have something trending in your shop, let me know about it!
Joan Thilges, Generations of Harmony: "2018, the strongest look all year was anything ‘farmhouse.’ In 2019, again we saw anything ‘farmhouse,’ especially signs or trendy items seen on Instagram or Pinterest, selling very well. We gained several new vendors in 2019 who specialize in signs, painted furniture and accessories, so we expect the style to stay very strong in 2020. Many of our farmhouse-style customers are in their 20s to 40s, so farmhouse is a great way to gain another generation of shoppers in addition to our traditional antique and vintage customers."
Chris Rand Kujath, Old River Valley Antique Mall, Stewartville: "A few things that have been hot in our shop in 2019: vintage clothes, garden décor, things that are unusual, with everything pretty much the same as 2018, from hunting, fishing, cast iron, toys, stoneware, advertising items such as the tin, porcelain, neon and cardboard, and the best-sellers Hamm's Beer signs. I do think most of these items will be hot again in 2020."
In 2017, Sarah Kieffer, Sarah's Uniques & Jim's "Man"tiques Antique Mall, St. Charles, told us: "Gas and oil signs, gas pumps and advertising collectibles will remain hot items, and women still love the primitive furniture but searching for practical pieces with a purpose, and I think they will remain for 2018."
Then in 2018, Sarah came back and said: "2018 was the year for gas porcelain signs, gas pumps adding gas station memorabilia, since we sold a lot of these items. As this year comes to a close, it seems the new trend for 2019 will still be advertising, but on a much larger scale. Pop, feed and gas signs will still be very popular; however, the advertising seems to have expanded to many different areas. People are very interested in general-store items, such as old pop coolers, old calendars and utensils with advertising on them."
Now in 2019, Sarah tells us: "All the above items mentioned were what was hot for us this last year again. I certainly do expect the year 2020 to be an exciting year for collecting! Both Jim and I agree that the hot sellers and top items would still be anything gas and oil, and advertising pieces. People are looking for the original pieces, not reproductions. Anything from wooden boxes, old tins, general-store items, original furniture pieces, and much more in advertising. Also noticed is the spiked interest in collecting ‘smalls.’ Smalls include antique and old marbles, old original Pinback buttons, pixie elves and old gnomes, original original original! With so many reproductions being made, people have to be so careful and seem to be searching out the original pieces over new ones. Antique items seem to be making a huge comeback!"
Brenda Jannsen,Treasures Under Sugar Loaf, Winona: "I've been thinking about what's been hot in 2019, but having trouble narrowing it down to one thing. I feel like ‘primitives’ in general have been a top seller. This includes items made of wood, like boxes, rolling pins and stompers, and items made of metal, like copper boilers, tools, knives and cast-iron pans. I think these will continue to be hot in 2020 as people will still desire useful items that double as rustic decor."
Ann Collins, Churn Dash, Rochester: "Advertising, rusty, primitive stuff, and anything high-end and unusual was good for us. Expect it to stay the same for 2020."
Carol Christopherson, Oslo Antiques & Collectibles, Kasson: "We continue to see younger customers buying antique, vintage or handmade furniture. Antique oak dressers and bookcases, tables, benches and new handmade sideboards were all very good. Old street signs, galvanized farmtiques like wash tubs continue to do well too and should do well into 2020."