Friday, August 27, 2010

Survey Uncovers Habits and Preferences of Antique and Art Buyers

Interesting article on buying behaviour of art and antique buyers
Results from a recent survey undertaken by antique show managers Melrose & Duddy and Urban Art and Antiques reveals that buyers of antiques and fine art shop often, consider themselves well-versed in what they are buying and seek across a spectrum of delivery channels.

“The survey revealed some of what we expected to find and uncovered a few surprises,” says Melrose & Duddy founding partner Jay Melrose. “If there’s one underlying theme, it’s that collectors of antiques and fine art are not at all casual about their affinity.”

Almost sixty percent of 100 respondents consider themselves informed buyers and more than 43 percent shop for art and antiques on a weekly basis. Another 19 percent go shopping once a month. Seventy of the 100 shop for art and antiques online, and almost as many have bought at auction in the past year. Eighty-four percent, more than those who shop online or at auction, have purchased from a shop or antique mall in the past year, yet only 27 percent have sought the advice of a dealer or decorator in the past two years.
Almost 60 percent of respondents say their entire home is filled with antiques, while slightly more than 27 percent say they use antiques as accent pieces. A little more than 15 percent say they are just starting to learn about antiques and fine art.

On demographics the largest group of respondents, 49 percent, are aged 31-50, followed by 44 percent who are 51 or older. Fifty-four percent have a college education and 32 percent a post-graduate degree. Forty-eight percent are self-employed and more than 34 percent considered themselves to be in a professional occupation.

The survey also had several questions about the categories of antiques and art respondents have interest in. The largest group, 22 percent, report they are interested in furniture, followed by 17 percent who have a primary interest in art. Pottery, jewelry, prints, glass and silver followed in that order.

More than 51 percent are interested in items from America, followed by Europe (31 percent) and Asia (12 percent). Twenty seven percent report their primary interest is in items made between 1900 and 1930, followed by 26 percent between 1851 and 1900, 18 percent between 1801 and 1950, 16 percent after 1931 and 14 percent before 1800. The largest group, 20 percent report they are most interested in antique shows followed by 15 percent antiques and art show, 11 percent art and antiques show, 8 percent folk art show, 7 percent art show, 7 percent Americana show, etc.

The survey link was distributed on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter, through email lists and linked from several online magazines including Antique Week and Urban Art and Antiques. The survey will remain active through 2010 at in order to attract an even larger sampling. Visitors to Melrose & Duddy shows in 2010 including Antiques in Charlottesville, Antiques and Gardening at Bryn Du and the All Saints’ Antiques Show will also be asked to complete paper versions of the survey so the responses from actual attendants to shows can be compared with online responses. Others interested in distributing the survey should contact Eric Miller at 412-499-3482

Jay Melrose, of Poland, Ohio, began selling antiques at shows in the mid 1980’s and, armed with that experience, has worked to rethink the formula of antiques show promotion. Today Melrose & Duddy shows feature an exciting array of knowledgeable dealers who are engaging generations of new buyers. More information on Melrose and Duddy is available at

Read the full survey at

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