What to buy in 2020; HOT + NOT
Happy New Year! To celebrate the new decade, are you planning….
…A new addition to your wardrobe or accessory?
…A new work of art?
…Maybe even a whole new look for your home?
If you’ve yet to choose, here are a few of our HOT and NOT picks for 2020. Stay ahead of the curve and keep your home (and your collections) looking as chic as a globetrotting tastemaker!
HOT: French Furniture
The market for antique French furniture is experiencing a steady rise, but condition is so very key here. Many of the more exquisite French forms from 1650 to 1850 often bear missing or damaged inlays, marquetry, gilding, and applied brass or bronze elements. Before you go and splurge on your new piece de resistance, make sure that these features are all present, preferably original, and in good condition. Older pieces generally present more condition issues, but those in very good condition can bring significant prices. Keep on the lookout for especially extravagant examples from, or in the style of noted makers like Boulle, Leleu, Meissonnier, Lannuier.
Fun Fact: Many of France’s leading furniture makers bankrupted themselves in the aftermath of the French Revolution, buying back large quantities of their own furniture from clearing-house auctions held by the new Republican government.
NOT: Mid-century Modern Furniture
For the past decade, pieces of a mid-century modern origin (or aesthetic) have been exploding in popularity and price point. Many dealers and tastemakers have presumed that this bubble would pop sometime soon, and they’ve been at least half-correct. The truth is, the bubble has experienced more of a deflation than anything else. Examples from prominent designers in good condition are still a sure bet like Nakashima, Finn Juhl, Eames, Platner, Tempestini, and Jensen. While the MCM aesthetic can still offer a unique touch to your home decor, be careful not to overspend on a 50-70 year old piece held together by laminate or vinyl just because it has a unique shape or color. Many contemporary furniture producers produce copies in the same style at reasonable price points. So, if you’re not buying a vintage MCM piece in very presentable condition OR by a noted maker, just skip the hassle and buy a contemporary copy.
HOT: Fine Art Glass
Glass has always fascinated humans; particularly for the myriad ways in which it captures, refracts, transmutes, and distorts light and color. Art glass takes that property and shifts it into a whole new dimension. Richly-applied textures, motifs, and colors imbued in the glass itself allow for presentation of works exceeding sculptural aptitude. In 2020, we hedge that art glass from the finest names are likely to rise in collectability, and hopefully, value. Examples from top producers such as Galle, Daum, Tiffany, Rene Lalique, some Danish makers, and the Murano families of Seguso and Cenedese should be in demand as tastemakers and designers clamber to add transparency and rich color into their projects, where leaded colorless crystal once stood. Like always, be careful of condition; scratches, bubbles, and “sweating” can all greatly impact the presentation and desirability of an antique or vintage piece of art glass.
HOT: Vintage Records
We don’t think the vintage records train is slowing down anytime soon. In fact, the trend is so strong it has produced market changes on current music. We see more and more contemporary artists releasing their new music both digitally and on vinyl. Whenever we have sizable collections of vinyl at our estate sales, you can bet that some of the first customers will be sprinting right past the gold jewelry or priceless art to sort through stacks of records. Because vintage vinyl is desirable for its musical content as much, if not more for, its cover art, many collectors elect to display their vintage vinyl in specially crafted wall displays. It’s a great way to add personality and color to your abode.
NOT: Antique Landscapes
If you’re looking for a new work of art to hang and enjoy, you won’t struggle to find interesting and unique pieces. If you want a “really good deal,” look for landscapes of the antique variety (and especially European). They are NOT in high demand and have, in this century, plummeted in value. Many generations of artists have painted the same hills, the same trees, the same medieval cities, with little variation. But, there was a time, not so long ago, that they were fashionable. The price entry point to this sub-genre of paintings is quite low and is likely to stay there for the foreseeable future. If you are inclined to make 2020 your year to purchase an antique landscape painting, at least make sure to look for good opportunities to acquire nice images by notable, well-listed artists.
Whatever your style, 2020 is bound to be an exciting year. While we’ve only scratched the surface of emerging design and antique trends, we think that the five items named above are slated to be some of the most popular and resurgent styles in the new year. As always, good luck hunting for your next treasure!
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