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Antique furniture is usually a mainstay of the antiques trade. This year, décor has found its inspiration in French Neoclassical designs, with sweeping curves and voluptuous legs – only toned down a little more than usual. Despite the more understated look that buyers went for, gold scrolling and embellishments were still a feature. Space Age furniture was also popular and would make a striking statement juxtaposed with older pieces. Indeed, a number of interior designers have experimented in this way in 2012.

Guest Post: Top 10 Antique Trends of 2012

This year, Carnival glass has been snapped up in the auction rooms. With a vast array of stunning patterns, the glassware’s iridescence has proven very popular. Ironically, given its popularity this year, Carnival glass gets its name from being offered as prizes at carnival games when the style became less popular. Due to its striking look, it’s usually a good idea to team it with simpler pieces or against a plain backdrop.

Guest Post: Top 10 Antique Trends of 2012

Also known as china, the highly-prized ceramic includes some of the most sought-after items ever created, such as bowls and vases made in the time of the Qing and Ming Dynasties. More recently, Franz porcelain and porcelain dolls have sold very well. For a whimsical look, try arranging some French porcelain house numbers across your mantelpiece or in a frame.

Collectible items from this popular drink manufacturer aren’t set to disappear any time soon. With a collectors’ club set up in the mid-70s, the brand has appeared on a huge variety of goods. Particularly popular Coca Cola items in 2012 include trays and advertisements – the bigger, the better. Rare pieces include cigar bands and gum wrappers. Owners of Coca Cola pieces report that the brightly colored items bring an instant cheer into a room.

Big, chunky and colorful has inspired collectors this year, as has nature-inspired jewelry. For an unusual but up-to-the-minute look, try draping long and colorful beads from tall vases, mount brooches onto box frames or use oversized pins as curtain tiebacks.

Guest Post: Top 10 Antique Trends of 2012

Occupied Japan
A huge variety of items made during the Occupied Japan (OJ) period, 1945 to 1952, has sold well this year. So that Japan could recover after WW2, it was required to mark half of its exports with ‘occupied Japan’. The most OJ items popular today are vases and porcelain items. If you think you have an OJ antique, look after it – this trend is set to stay for a little while yet.

This year, the trend in lamps has become bolder and bigger. With a particular nod towards 1930s Art Deco bronze, lamps this year need to offer a ‘wow’ factor. If you’re lucky enough to find a lamp in a muted orange shade, try pairing it with eggshell blues and nutmegs.

Bottle collecting is usually a popular hobby in the States and 2012 was no exception. From household containers to bitter bottles and decorative offerings, collectors have been keen this year. If you’re checking bottles to buy, remember that the ‘ABM’ mark means the bottle was made on an automated machine in 1903 or later. Pyroglaze, if you come across the ‘Pyro’ marking, means the bottle was made after 1935. Bottles first became popular in ancient Rome and China too – unsurprisingly being used to store liquids, most of the time.

Antique toys represent some of the most fascinating insights into bygone childhood pastimes. Dolls and board games are particularly popular this year, as are teddy bears. If you have children – or even if you don’t – you could use anything from tin toys to puppets to inject some playfulness into a room.

Guest Post: Top 10 Antique Trends of 2012

Dolls represent some of the world’s most ancient playthings and have been used from before the history books began, when dolls were likely to be made from wood and clay. From Barbie to Eskimo dolls, 2012 has seen a wide variety of the popular toy pass by the auctioneer’s gavel. Doll clothes and accessories too have been very popular this year.

With 2012 almost wrapped up, it’ll be interesting to see what next year’s trends bring. Some are likely to stay firm favorites with collectors for years to come – which will they be? I put my money on pieces of antique furniture. They’re functional, stunning and change the very dynamic of a room. Antiques are always being reworked to represent some nod to the present day, such as the current trend to paint Roccoco-style furniture or upholster with more modern fabrics.

{Christian Davies is head of a self-named and family-run antiques firm based in the North West of England. He has over 25 years of experience in the antiques trade and has a particular passion for furniture from the Arts and Crafts period. For more information, visit www.christiandaviesantiques.co.uk.}