Updated: Mar 26
There are quite a few specialized collectible subcultures out there. Many obscure, some hard to find and others, down right strange. But if you’re in the resale business or a picker by trade, you probably know about this one. Sewing Collectibles. They have been sought after for just about as long as people have been collecting. But if you did not, I am here to tell you, there is a hidden world that wants your vintage sewing accessories and implements. I love sharing these kind of goodies with you and I hope you find some of these treasures lurking in your collection.
This is the Top 10 Sewing Collectibles Collectors are looking for in 2021.
Don’t get too excited. It has to be the right ones. The period antiques, typically of the Georgian or Victorian Eras being best. They can be found in Sterling, Gold, Porcelain and Bronze.
Again, the collectors can be particular. The figurals of the Victorian Era are always a hit. Some featured Sterling Bases, Cast Filigree or Carved Wood. Many were topped with the finest of velvet. Values can vary quite a bit however recent auctions have shown, collectors are willing to step up.
8 Sewing Baskets
A tisket a tasket, big money for some baskets? These can have quite the resale range and you have to know what you are looking for. Honestly, there are so many styles of these out there, they could have their own book. They probably do, but do a little research and use your gut.
This should give you an idea why!
7 Needle Cases
As with the Pin Cushions, you are looking for the pre-20th century for the most part. The Victorian Era examples are typically the most elaborate. These beautiful works of art had a very important job. Remember, prior to the 20th Century, a needle was a rare instrument and quite expensive. So, think of it today like a iPhone and you wanted a very expensive case to protect your instrument. And period examples can be found comprised of almost anything. I have seen Sterling, bone, gold and tortoise shell, just to name a few.
6 Dress Forms
The first time I saw an old Dress Form sell at an auction for over $300, I took note. An antique dress seems to always be in demand. You’ll see them in used in online marketing, decorating and actually, still fulfilling their original purpose.
5 Sewing Scissors
Just as needles were a rare instrument of the period, even more so were the scissors. In fact, they were quite the luxury. One’s wealth could be determined by the ornate sewing scissors of the women of stature.
Look for the more intricate and delicate implements. Often gilded or figural, antique sewing scissors can fetch several hundred dollars at today’s auction market. Some of the finest examples might truly surprise you.
4 The Spools
More common in estates and collections are the spools. They tend to be collectible as collections and more so for their decorative purposes or displaying with other miniatures and the like. You will find lots online, selling between $10 and $100, so whatever the collector’s motivation, it might be a few more dollars than you had when did not know.
3 Signs & Advertising
These have a large following as they are a cross collectible. Meaning more than just the sewing collectors have interest and therefor more demand. From old drugstore display cases to tin lithographed signs, old advertising die cuts, and so one, there is a lot out there. As well as reproductions which is always a tell-tale sign to demand for the real deal.
2 Spool or Thread Cabinets
With the “newfound” popularity of the sewing machine, invented in 1844, a whole new market was created. And no one wanted to spin their own threads anymore…who has got time for that, so women began to purchase ready-made thread on wooden spools. So of course, you have to have a place to store it, right? Hence, the Spool cabinets was born, and while the later 20th century cabinets typically sell for $50 or less, the antique thread cabinets can really surprise you.
1 Singer Sewing Machines
Again, you must know what they are looking for. Singer made a ton of machines so there are a lot of boat anchors, however, there are 2 you should be on the lookout for. The Featherweight and The Red Eye. Singer in general tends to be the brand more in demand in the antique market. A good featherweight is an easy $200+ but a rare color (other than the standard black) can fetch a premium.
I hope this post helps and if you like this kind of thing, be sure to sign up for my mailing list.
Until next post….
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