The American antiques market has recently seen a strong comeback from previous seasons. While collecting trends come and go, some objects always find favor with bidders and consistently hold their value. It’s good to know what’s hot at auction right now; it’s better to know what remains popular year after year. That’s your best bet for selling auction-ready property and netting the highest price possible, no matter what the collecting climate. Here are 3 top audience favorites at Skinner American antique auctions:
#1 Marine Paintings
Handsome ship portraits and luminous seascapes are crowd pleasers that spur bidding frenzies among American art and antiques collectors.
Works by Antonio Jacobsen, James Butterworth, and William Bradford are especially sought after, often achieving world record prices. These celebrated classics are popular because they work on many levels—they’re historical, highly decorative, and most importantly, fine works of art. Who wouldn’t want a view of the ocean every day?
#2 Painted Antique American Furniture
Whether formal, fancy, or country, the bright colors, cheerful decoration and classic profile of painted antique American furniture attracts a wide range of bidders. Lots of bidding translates to strong prices at auction. Don’t overlook painted antique American furniture—it may seem humble, but buyers love it because it mixes well with classic, primitive, and even contemporary decorating styles. Its bright hues—vibrant reds, cheerful yellows, and pleasing blues—never go out of fashion. Painted furniture can be the quiet sleeper of the auction that makes big headlines and nets high prices.
#3 American Folk Art
Like painted furniture, American folk art is equally at home in both traditional and modern settings – that’s what makes it an auction favorite. Game boards, weather vanes, whirligigs, school girl samplers, outsider art, naïve portraits, and early advertising—they’re all folk art and highly sought after. At its best, American folk art is wildly personal, always eclectic, graphically interesting, and sculpturally beautiful. Something this visually impactful should be auctioned off in front of an audience to realize its full value.