My wife and I have just returned from a week in Miami and the big anitque show there. This show has some of the best silver from all over the world for sale by some of the top dealers. We are not dealers, just private collectors. The prices are up. Way up. The weakness of the US dollar vs. other currencies is evident by the number of active buyers from outside the USA. The slow economy has resulted in a 20% reduction in vendors, down from the usual 1,000+ to some 800 this year. Most told me they did quite well, especially compared to last year, which was dismal.
One high end silver dealer told me “my customers are the acheivers of this world and they will be back”. Well put.
I was in the market for a nice 1900 era American sterling silver water pitcher and was somewhat stunned by how high the prices have risen. For example, Gorham pitchers from that time frame that were selling for under $2,000 two years ago were asking $3,800-4,600. Gulp…I passed on the hope of what goes up must come down…such has been the case with tea and coffee sets, they are way down currently and a nice value. Me buying another tea set might earn me a divorce after 43 years, so no thanks. I did buy a wonderful late 19th or early 20th century tall ornate vase by Theodore B. Starr of New York, one of my favorite silversmiths. It was too large to hand carry on the airplane home so its being shipped from the NYC dealer and I’ll try to post a picture of it when it arrives.
All in all, a very pleasant (and warm) encounter once again with some of the world’s best silver and silver people.