Resources Every Vintage Collector Should Know About
Collecting old stuff is serious business. As more people lean into a relaxed, cozy vibe at home, the hunt for authentic vintage items is growing. Consumers are willing to spend their dollars on home decor that's had a former life. Character, history and imperfection steals the show every time.
Here at Rush Creek Vintage, we offer a selection of beautiful objects from the past to help you create a home that reflects your creative style and personal values. To be honest, we spend ALOT of time researching each and every vintage product we offer in our store.
We've composed a list of our favorite resources for anyone who collects vintage, antiques, and ephemera. Since information sources are constantly changing, this is not a comprehensive list - just a place to get you started. (And resources we actually use ourselves!)
Google Image Search - Most search engines offer a free image search, including Google, Bing, etc. Simply upload the actual image or URL, and you will receive a possible related search and visually similar images. You'll need to sift through the results, but it can be well worth the time.
Signature Finder - An artist name database, this site will help identify the name of an artist when only a part of the name is readable. You may input parts of an artists name, limit by countries, time period and see what artist names comes up.
Paint By Number Museum - Includes galleries, archives and a Help Desk. Search for specific paintings, catalogs and kits to find the name of the painting, manufacturer and year made.
Facebook Groups - There are many private groups on Facebook (this is one) that you can join to get help identifying artwork. Some groups are more general, while others are specific (such as modern art, Japanese art, outsider art, etc). You may be referred to another group that is better equipped to answer your questions. (see General Vintage Resources below)
AbeBooks - A marketplace of independent sellers that sell newer and older/rare books, plus art & ephemera. You can learn about an old book you may own, or buy used reference books about various vintage and antiques and a highly discounted price.
AddALL - A resource for researching used and out-of-print books.
Cast Iron Collector - Information for the vintage cookware enthusiast, this site is a comprehensive source to collecting cast iron, including identification, care and restoration.
Vintage Cast Iron Guide - A useful article from EstateSales.org, you will learn more about cast iron cookware and why vintage cast iron is worth collecting.
Early American Pattern Index - The EAPG Society maintains a database American patterns in glass. Search by pattern name, maker, motif and color.
Glass Bottle Marks - Helpful resource for identifying marks on glass bottles, insulators, fishing net floats, EAPG, depression glass and milk glass. Includes history of glass making and info on various manufacturers.
Glass Encyclopedia – A comprehensive reference guide and encyclopedia for vintage and antique glass of all types.
Pottery and Porcelain
Cajun Collection – Information about identifying American pottery, by maker, marks, and other identifiable features.
McCoy Pottery – McCoy Pottery Collectors website, includes articles and information regarding McCoy pottery.
Pottery & Porcelain Marks – Helpful information for identifying pottery and porcelain maker marks.
Roseville Pottery – This website has information about Roseville pottery history, marks, and patterns.
Shawnee Pottery – Identification and images for Shawnee pottery. Includes links to other resources.
Wisconsin Pottery Association - This organization shares information mainly about mid-west American Art Pottery, and lists a numbers of potteries and their history.
Silver925-1000 Forum – Information about silver marks, hallmarks, and makers’ marks and patterns. Includes photos and links to additional resources.
General Vintage Resources & Appraisals
Antique Marks - General reference for antique marks, including pottery marks, porcelain marks, and everything antique or collectible.
Antiques Roadshow - From the well-known TV show, search the appraisal archives to see if they have featured something you are researching. This PBS website also lists upcoming tours across the country.
Collectors Weekly – Tons of news and information about collectibles of all kinds. Categories including fashion, design, culture, home, machines and collectibles. Offers appraisal service.
Country Living - Antique Appraisals – Experts in antiques from the leading auction house determine the value of your favorite collectible or prized family heirloom for free. Look through past articles to see if something you own has already been appraised.
Dr. Lori Antiques Appraiser - Dr. Lori Verderame is an award-winning TV personality and TV talk show host with the Ph.D. in art history.The website has articles and information for antique appraisals and so much more. Be sure and check out the blog.
Estate Sale Blog - An abundance of useful articles about anything related to estate sale finds, including home goods, fashion, toys, holidays, jewelry, automobiles, and more.
Facebook Groups - Whether you are a fan of Facebook or not, there is a growing number of public and private groups that can help you identify just about any old thing. Some groups are general, and some are more specific. Just search for a specific term in the FB bar to see what's out there. For example, search 'Identify My Antiques' or 'Flow Blue Collectors' and you will get a list of groups. You will need to sort through them all to find the best fit, and maybe referred to another group that can better answer your question. Often, you will need to answer a few questions before you're admitted to the group. Some of these groups are full of experts willing to share, and have been a lifesaver for many vintage sellers.
Gallery of Graphic Design - A fun database of various magazine ads from 1930-1969.
Price4Antiques – A comprehensive database of antiques, collectibles and historic Americana sold at auction throughout the country.
Real or Repo? - This page from the Ruby Lane Group is billed as 'Your Online Source for Identifying Fakes and Reproductions'. Helpful information of many vintage and antique finds, all organized by category.
Tradmarkia - Provides free trademark search tools, and is the largest free trademark search platform, helping you identify vintage items and their dates.
Worthpoint Blog - Like many other antique sites, Worthpoint does require a paid subscription access all features. However, the blog is free and you'll find over 5k useful articles about vintage, antique and collectibles.
Thanks SO much for stopping by!
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Be well, Mary Lou 🌱