From the Editor: Collectors keep market vibrant

This week’s cover story on Quimper pottery illustrates what’s best about collectors.

Collectors are those people who, when they develop an affinity for a particular item, read and research everything there is on that topic. They stick with their appreciation no matter the obstacles. The hobby is more about personal enjoyment than it is about dollars and cents. So it is, evidently, with Quimper collectors. Chriss Swaney’s article shows demand is still strong for Quimper pieces even though skilled faience makers in France create new pieces every year. 

Dealers say they are experiencing this demand at shows as well. Noted Quimper expert Joan Datesman told me that she continues to make her strongest sales and meet the most engaged customers at shows. Although the market is more sophisticated than it was 30 years ago, the market is still vibrant with new people inquiring about the pottery every month. She said many of these inquiries are from those who are just now inheriting collections; it will truly be exciting during the course of the next few years to see these fantastic items come to market.

On page 14 we highlight a spectacular family collection coming to market. The Tom Gray collection has the makings of becoming a part of North Carolina history. Every object in the sale has a personal story directly connected to Gray, his mother, cousin, great-uncle or the Moravians who settled in Forsyth County, N.C. The 560-lot sale is a rare opportunity for North Carolinians to enjoy their heritage on a new level.

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Elsewhere in this issue, as seen on page 6, I was glad Anne Gilbert sent along a value on old barn cupolas. These structures are everywhere where we live and many are pretty additions. I have often wondered myself what the stately provincial additions would be worth on the open market. Now that everyone will know they can be worth up to $800 apiece, I wonder how many will stay on the tops of barns and how many will find a home inside an urban loft somewhere.

On page 18 we offer you a sneak preview of our newly-designed Antique Trader. The issue will offer more pages, more color photos and more coverage on online sales and auctions. We will be keeping many of our popular features and adding new ones, and I think you’ll really be pleased with the final result.

This week’s guest column by dealer/picker Doug Singleton is the last contribution to our coverage on The History Channel’s “American Pickers” show. Rumor has it that a second season has been ordered. Stay tuned.

Eric Bradley


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