The Changing and Cycling Markets in Antique & Fine Art

Daryle Lambert’s 31 Club Blog


European Pottery – Early Amphora Stellmacher Teplitz Floral Pottery Vase. Priced at $450 through

A few years back, if you paid too much for a good piece of Rookwood, Grueby, Newcomb or even Roseville pottery, all you had to do was wait a week or so and it would prove to have been a bargain. Noting the results showing at auctions, as well as on eBay, I think those times have changed. In fact after discussing this with a very good friend of mine in the business, he agreed. Good pottery will always be good, but as I checked some of my price guides I found that the pieces were bringing only 50% or less of what they did two years ago. The top spot in the market has gone into other areas such as Paintings, Folk Art (Decoys), Antique Guns and so many other items that today, are commanding record prices.

This isn’t to discourage you from buying pottery but only a suggestion that before you do check current prices, and don’t depend on the price guide. If you have become adjusted to the old prices on pottery, it may take a while for you to get accustomed to offering the lower prices, but after a while it will seem normal again. One reason for this market adjustment is that American Art Pottery has primarily been for the American Market, and as the economy has softened, so have the desire of collectors.

For some reason the Art Glass Market doesn’t seem to have had this same result. I haven’t noticed the same decline in glass as I have in pottery. But still keep your eyes open to see if this trend will begin in glass as well. Over the last forty years, I have seen this type of cycling in the marketplace. Twenty some years ago, you couldn’t give paintings away, but today, they are setting records at every auction.

Years ago, in the basement of a home I was called to, were 500 or more pieces of Roseville pottery in all the valuable patterns. I did buy some of them, but if I wanted to, I could have filled my pickup for less than $1,000. At the peak of the Roseville market, I might have been able to reture on what that collection would have sold for, but today, that purchase might have been just an average day’s work.
It’s important to keep your eyes on the next great thing collectors are searching for. While many items have decreased over the last year, Lotton Glass, for example has more than doubled on the secondary market, and might just be getting started its rise.

Political Memorabilia is one collecting area that I’ve been sharing with you recently, and the next several years should be great area of focus. If you are a member of the 31 Club, (and if you’re not, why not?) you’ll notice that the same old standard items didn’t make my “What’s Hot List”. In fact, I’ll guess that there are even a few items on this list you’re not familiar with. . I do have a confession to make, however. I included Roseville on this list because I thought it might recover from the beating it’s taken over the last few years due to reproductions coming onto the market. I might have been a little early in my prediction.

You may want to widen your horizon and begin including Asian and European items in your search list. With the dollar so weak, it wouldn’t hurt to court the overseas market as part of your plan. Remember, the plan is to buy right. To do this, staying current with the markets is of the upmost importance.

Don’t just follow the daily Blog. Join with like-minded 31 Club Members. Turbo charge your treasure hunting. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to build a bank account to last a lifetime, buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

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2 Responses

  1. I believe there is some cyclical nature to the market as things go in and out of vogue. But you should never just collect for profit… collect for the love of the art as well..Roseville will come back.. and in the meantime, there’s bargains to be had.

  2. Thanks for you comment. I agree one should collect for the love of it not for profit. However, we are teaching our members buying and selling for profit, not collecting for profit. Buying and selling antiques, collectibles and art is a strategy we use for building lasting wealth — much like someone would try to grow their funds in stocks, bonds, 401K, etc. Our stragegy is more profitable than these. However, if there are items they want to collect, the sale of an item they’ve purchased simply to turn a profit on will often leave plenty of cash to enable them to add something to their personal collection for “free.” — Daryle

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