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The 19th century was a time of great change and innovation in many areas, including art and antiques collecting. During this period, the market for antique items grew rapidly, with a corresponding increase in the number of collectors and sellers. In this blog, we will explore some of the key resources for antique collecting and selling in the 19th century.

One of the primary resources for antique collectors in the 19th century was auction houses. The major auction houses of the time, such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s, were already well established by the beginning of the century, and they continued to grow and expand throughout the period. These auction houses held regular sales of antique items, ranging from fine art and furniture to more everyday objects such as ceramics and glassware. Collectors would attend these sales to bid on items that caught their interest, often competing with each other to secure the most desirable pieces.

In addition to auction houses, antique dealers played an important role in the 19th century market. These dealers would typically operate out of shops or galleries in major cities such as London, Paris, and New York. They would acquire antique items from a variety of sources, including auctions, private collections, and overseas markets. Dealers would then sell these items to collectors, often marking them up significantly from their original purchase price. Some of the most famous antique dealers of the 19th century included Martin Brothers in London and Charles Durand in Paris.

Catalogues were another key resource for collectors in the 19th century. Auction houses and dealers would produce printed catalogues of their available items, which collectors could peruse and use to plan their purchases. These catalogues often included detailed descriptions of the items on offer, along with photographs or illustrations. Catalogues were particularly useful for collectors who were unable to attend auctions or visit dealers in person, as they provided a way to view and assess items from a distance.

Finally, trade publications were an important resource for both collectors and sellers in the 19th century. These publications, which included magazines such as The Connoisseur and The Antiquary, provided news and analysis of the antique market, as well as information on upcoming sales and new items for sale. They also included articles on the history and provenance of antique items, which could be useful for collectors looking to deepen their knowledge of particular areas of interest.  Today we rely on the importers, exporters, dealers and retailers for this advice as the “antique shop” becomes the modern showcase of these beautiful pieces.

The 19th century was a period of significant growth and change in the antique market, with the rise of auction houses, dealers, catalogues, and trade publications all contributing to the development of a thriving industry. Today, many of these resources continue to play a role in the antique market, although they have been joined by a range of new digital tools and platforms that have further transformed the way that collectors and sellers connect and do business.  You really should comedown to see what makes Tod Carson Antiques so special!  call or visit us today at todcarson.com