The Century in Antiques

This article was published in the January/February 2000 issue of AntiquePrime Magazine & Journal.

The Century in Antiques

Consider this: one hundred years of change in the antiques field! Some things remained the same, but the changes are innumerable. Check the list below and see if you can come up with additions.

  • Emergence of antiques periodicals and publications, from Antiques in 1922, to AntiquePrime in 1998, and the proliferation of price guides.
  • Increases in discretionary income that make collecting possible to the masses.
  • The "disposable society's" throw-away mentality.
  •  New fields of collecting, including transportation (railroad, automobile, etc.); technology (phones, radios, phonographs, etc.); politics; ephemera (ticket stubs, postcards, cereal boxes, etc.); celebrity memorabilia (Elvis, Roy Rogers, Babe Ruth, etc.); holiday collectibles (Christmas, Halloween, Valentine's Day); costume jewelry; toys; 50s (Pez, cocktail shakers, hoola hoops, etc.); photography; sporting collectibles, and more.
  • Interest maintained in long-time fields of collecting, such as furniture, books, coins, stamps, jewelry, weapons, art, tapestries.
  • Decrease in collecting in the natural sciences (butterflies, shells, etc.) in favor of collecting man-made antiques.
  • Donations to museums and libraries inspired by the 1913 introduction of income tax, and by inheritance taxes.
  • Credit cards that simplify payment.
  • Antique shows.
  • Collector clubs.
  • Increases in fakes and reproductions, not only in furniture, but in quilts, art glass, pottery, etc.
  • Auction house buyouts and mergers.
  • Fads for the masses (Beanie Babies, Pet Rocks, Cabbage Patch Dolls, etc.)
  • The advent of multi-dealer group shops, antiques malls, and co-ops.
  • TV programs on antiques and collecting.
  • Bigger houses with more space to hold our collections.
  • The Internet.

Happy New Year! May your antiques and collectibles continue to increase in value for the next 100 years and beyond.