Tips for buying antique books from long time stallholders, Windsor Rare Books. They started selling at the Festival of Antiques in October 2020, to which they thoroughly enjoyed and have kept it as a regular fair to sell at.
“We have a strong trade business at the Festival of Antiques, helping attract engaged and discerning private customers and collectors who are looking for decorative leather books, ephemera, good literature and antiquarian collectible books and a particularly strong following on Children’s books.
“Peterborough has followed the trend of the rest of our business with a buoyant recent demand for oil paintings and decorative art, particularly strong colour images, flower studies and portraits, ranging from the Victorian era right through to the 1970’s.
The last few years has been a bit more challenging for our overseas customers and Windsor Rare Books have gathered a strong following for their stock from the US, Europe and the Far East, and they are really looking forward to welcoming these customers back.
The pandemic has certainly resulted in new and younger UK customers entering the market which is fantastic, with an avid interest in interior design, we are seeing a growth in post 1900 and mid century decorative cloth books/ bindings to compliment people’s interiors and also a keen interest in antique prints of a variety of subjects but certainly on trend currently are botanical, ferns and grasses, natural history, astronomy and anatomy subject matters!
Antique and vintage maps are also really popular too.We are definitely seeing a real appreciation of recycling, upcycling and repurposing and a realisation that you can read, display and enjoy vintage and antique books but they can also play crucial part aesthetically in the home!
Other positives to come out of the last 18 months is pushing us to accept and encourage electronic payments which has really helped the business grow. Also hugely beneficial has been the use of social media and technology with follow up sales and long term contacts and relationships forged from meeting new customers at the IACF fairs.
Tips for buying Antique Books, Antique Art & other decorative items
When it comes to buying antique books…
- …condition is vitally important and can influence the value massively and is a big consideration when assessing relative value
- Age and scarcity are obviously major factors when considering a purchase
- First and early editions are often the most collectible but worth keeping an eye out for special editions or copies that are signed or have interesting ownership inscriptions
- Find relatively common titles in special or unusual bindings
When it comes to buying antique art and decorative items…
- It’s key to have an open mind and go with your gut feel for the item and things you really like, but obviously the artist or maker and their desirability/ following can affect the value a great deal.
- If you are on a budget look out for the artists that are up and coming or at the start of becoming fashionable or there are some great buys to be had for artists and movements that are slightly out of fashion currently but will have their time again as these trends are often cyclical…… so it goes back to buying what you like and think you’ll enjoy looking at every day!
You can find Steve and his antique books, art and other decorative antiques at upcoming iacf antiques fairs! Make sure to visit iacf antiques fairs calendar today and plan your antiques hunting with iacf antiques fairs!