Haven’t been able to sit outside on my stoop lately because it’s either been too windy, rainy or chilly. (I’ve gotten seduced by the earlier mild sunny days!!) There’s even been an uncommon dusting of snow on the mountains around us.
No snow where I live (just 30 feet above sea level by the SF Bay), still it is winter. So today, with the rain, damp and chill, it seemed the perfect day to stay home wrapped in sweaters taking care of a few things.
Alas, I needed to do a post office run to drop off a few orders and letters and once you’re out and about it makes sense to run other errands. Naturally I stopped into my neighborhood thrift store! And by golly I’m glad I did. I found one thing worth buying. Just one. A bit of sunshine in the form of mid-century modern alabaster grapes, likely Italian!!
Holy smokes, these are fabulous! Back in the day many a coffee table sported these. They would look perfect in this ’70s room!
A Google Lens search brought up a few similar ones that are for sale. Of course the ones listed on 1stdibs are the most expensive at $422 shown here though I found one on Chairish for over $600! Yowee!
With both listing and sold prices all over the place, I went for a more middle-of-the-road approach.
My youngest daughter thought I was crazy buying them, but she also said, “You seem to know what will sell.” And I think they will…maybe!! I have sold stone grapes before. But gosh, nothing is certain!
To be honest, I’ve had things that I thought would sell quickly and they’ve lingered for years, other things that unexpectedly sold in a heart beat and a few items that just wouldn’t sell.
The vintage biz is a difficult one to foretell, even if you follow the trends. While I mostly go by my gut instinct, I thought it would be fun to see what’s predicted to be HOT this year.
2023 Vintage Trend Predictions
Here are a few possible trends for this year…
This has been a favorite category of mine since forever–both as a collector and seller! Here are some of the interesting moody pieces I’ve picked up.
Handmade ceramic vases, sculptures, and other pieces are increasingly popular choices for collectors, as the natural material and unique shapes and textures add a warm and personal accent to tables, cabinets, counters, and shelves.Martha Stewart
Bonhams auction house is seeing a comeback in clay. “The international market for contemporary British ceramics is well established and has been growing in strength,” says Benjamin Walker, Bonhams’ global head of modern decorative art and design. “We’re seeing a growing trend now in American studio ceramics that is following this interest.Elle Decor
Intricate Antique Quilts
I always keep an eye out for old quilts, but they are hard to find in the wild and are slow sellers.
A cross between art and practicality, handmade quilts are lucky finds for customers with diverse interior design aesthetics, says Scherer. “Never really out-of-style quilts and coverlets will be even hotter in 2023—the geometry in them is what lends them so well to interiors,” he says. “I’ve noticed 19th-century coverlets popping up in minimalist to maximalist homes for some time now, and their popularity has been increasing.”Martha Stewart
Maybe this year this vintage scrap quilt will sell! It’s not antique or in one of those lovely intricate pieced patterns, but still it’s fun, bright and usable.
Here’s a sweet older quilt I bought at a yard sale for $20 that I haven’t been able to part with!
China Dinner Sets
I’ll be honest I’m dubious about this prediction. I still lots of china sets at thrift stores and estate sales and no one seems to be paying it much attention. I’m just not seeing younger generations (like my daughters) clamoring for formal dinner china…but maybe I’ll be wrong!
2023 will be the year of the dinner party, says Lily Barfield of Lily’s Vintage Finds. So this means it’s time to build your china collection. “I think we will see more people picking up beautiful sets at estate sales and thrift stores in 2023, especially since there was a period when fewer people were registering for china when they got married,” she says.The Spruce
I love buying, selling and collecting artwork so this prediction sits well with me. These days I’m trying to keep pieces on the small side. (Packing large pieces of artwork is too tiring and time consuming for me.)
You heard it from me: The days of vintage prints are fading! People are craving original works for their home, and the most affordable way to source such pieces is often by going the vintage route. It’s time to part ways with those vintage “replicas” and go out in search of the real thing. Vintage landscapes, portraits, and sketches will reign supreme.Vintage-Keepers, Sarah Lyon
A Subset: Self-Taught Artists
“Outsider art” or better yet “intuitive art”—that wide-ranging, difficult-to-nail-down category of work made by artists who are not classically trained—has always been a wellspring for inspiration and joy. How could it not be? These are artists making work generally without a canon or tradition in mind. It’s wildly unique and, for a budding collector, quite accessibly priced.Elle Decor
Here’s one of my favorite outsider painting finds. It was deliciously quirky. (I bought it at Goodwill for $9 and sold it on Chairish for $180. Profit after all fees and costs, $120.)
I’ll close for now wishing you happy hunting,
I might willingly part with my grandmother’s china set if the trend is true! It just takes up space. My grandmother used it on Thanksgiving and Christmas, when we visited. My mother used it at Thanksgiving. I rarely use it at all. The days of family living nearby and gathering for the holiday isn’t what mine is anymore. That’s fine! If I do have Thanksgiving company it’s just one extra over the usual two in the household, so I tend to buy some cute turkey paper plates at the Dollar Tree! I have my old Gurley candles, and a tablecloth, that’s as fancy as I get anymore. Demitasse cups? Soup bowls? Three sizes of plates? So, I do so hope they become the “in” thing! Syracuse China, Oriental pattern.
Did that painting have a signature of an artist you could identify? I wondered how you knew what to price it. Or, do you just recognize what will sell… eventually?
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Hi Lisa. That’s the case with so much beautiful china…it gathers dust and takes up space. We’re not fancy people and don’t even have a dining room. But I do like a nice wine goblet and have some pretty crystal glasses.
I could never find a signature on the painting, but it was beautifully double-matted and framed and so unique and quirky. Knew it would find a home. Priced it conservatively not knowing the artist and it didn’t take long to sell.
P.S. The Oriental pattern is quite pretty!
Regarding the China, I think it is making a comeback. I was watching a thrifting TikTok video the other day. A very young woman was showing her china cabinet. It had china in it!! I did a double take. My mother had me register for china, when I got married in 1999. I looked at that stuff for approx. 20 yrs. When I finally took it down and put it in a box, I breathed a sigh of relief!!
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Hi Becka. Wow that surprises me. My millennial-aged daughters are not interested at all.
Did you ever use your china? Growing up I remember ours being used about 4 times a year.
Once a year! Ridiculous!
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