Institute Releases Top Selling Antiques And Vintage Data For 2023

February 9, 2024

The Asheford Institute's 15th annual survey of top decorative arts buying trends from the past 12 months is now available in print and digitally nationwide. The international poll of students and alumni by the institute serves as a guidepost for many in the industry, especially as it relates to the current state of today's decorative arts marketplace, and as a directional sales barometer for those working in the antique and vintage business. The school's unique position of having unfettered and direct access to a substantial number of industry respondents has made the survey a staple for many in the decorative arts community. Anthony Harper, the school's lead researcher, says the key to getting meaningful survey results that antique and vintage businesses can actually use to help plan their inventory and buying strategies for the upcoming year is based on receiving  actual  sales data, alongside item-specific requests from buyers, which can then be used to indicate interest within a particular collecting genre.  Harper says that while most other industries suffered from early supply-chain issues in 2023, it was actually a boon to many working in the decorative arts business, since supplies of used goods were already readily available. "People turned to antiques and vintage items when they couldn't source new," said Harper, "in large part because the items were right there in front of them and could be immediately taken home." This accessibility helped bolster sales of Victorian era and early American pieces, according to many of the dealers involved in the survey. Although supply-chain-buys from those originally looking to purchase new could have potentially affected the poll's stats, Harper says he's firmly convinced the numbers will hold. "Our survey has been showing a resurgence of interest related to brown furniture for a while now," he noted, "but this past year it really began to resonate in a much larger way with a variety of different buyers and collectors." Fan favorites like Mid-Century Modern and Art Deco also continued to run strong with many of the dealers who participated in the poll; however, Amber Shole,  who's been compiling school survey statistics for over 12 years now, says there were some newcomers to the scene as well. "The modern motif isn't over by a long-shot," said Shole, who admitted to witnessing a surprising comeback from a “look” that many had relegated to the oddities-pile of the 1980s. "It's definitely not a trend I was expecting to see," she said, "but I've learned over the years to never underestimate people's affinity for nostalgia." Shole went on to say that aside from the quirky 1980s style reboot, there was also another one from the 1950s which didn't involve MCM, but also made the list. "It's really interesting," she says, "just when you think you've seen everything from a particular period of time and collecting genre, something else pops up seemingly out of nowhere." All of which, Shole says, is why she thinks readers are likely to find a few unexpected surprises in this year's survey results." Readers seeking the complete 2023 listing of all the best-selling antique and vintage genres and categories contained within the school's yearly poll and survey can find the full results (including this year's winner) by visiting    To learn more about the antiques and appraisal study program being offered by the institute, call 877-444-4508 or email


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