Are Collectibles the Next Cool Home Decor Piece?

Words by Candace Longfellow | 12.17.16
From frilly high collars to leg of mutton sleeves, 19th-century trends have had a strong presence on the runways this year as seen in recent collections from the likes of Alexander McQueen and J.W. Anderson, as well as on the backs of all your favorite street style stars. But why stop at corsets? In keeping with the theme, more and more designphiles are incorporating Victorian era collectibles into their home decor. While the posh minimalism of midcentury modern design remains a strong trend, decorators everywhere are mixing up their interiors with unexpected pops of color and (a little whimsy) in the form of porcelain figurines from time-honored brands like Herend and renowned regions like Limoges.

Herend Fawn, 195; Herend Starfish, $125; Herend Elephant, $195

“In a way, Limoges boxes remind me of visits to my grandma’s house as a kid,” says Senior Visual Designer Ekin Kalayci. “She had many porcelain containers, each filled with pieces of jewelry. As a ritual, I would open all these little boxes and take out the contents and try them on. Even though what was in the boxes didn’t change frequently, I was always captivated by the mystery of the treasures hidden in them.”

Whether it’s nostalgia or a renewed interest in a heritage aesthetic, these delightful collectibles have become some of the fastest selling items on The RealReal. “They typically sell out the day we launch them to the site,” says Senior Art & Home Director Kim Brown. “It’s likely we have collectors checking in daily to see what’s been added, and a consignor will often sell their entire collection within a single consignment, so our customer is able to purchase multiple pieces at one time, creating an instant collection. Sometimes they even buy the entire collection all at once, which is really cool to think that someone’s lifelong collection might help to start a new one.”

Though the designs have roots in the 1800s, they can translate seamlessly into modern day decor. “I am a big proponent of decorating with things that have meaning to you — that’s what makes a space special and unique,” muses Senior Art & Home Curator Brittany Gersh. “Regardless of your taste (whether you’re a minimalist, or prefer more opulent decor) there is always room for antiques or figurines that help balance out your space.” Books and colorful pedestals can act as perches for collectibles, adding height and dimension to your tabletop, while chic trays of like items can keep a coffee table from looking too cluttered.

Limoges Toaster Box, $95; Limoges Box, $50; Limoges Typewriter Box, $95

If you’re considering consigning pieces from your own collection to cash in on the demand, unusual animals in on-trend colors are the most coveted. For Herend specifically, anything in the iconic fish scale pattern is sure to be snapped up fast. “Our best selling color is blue, which doesn’t surprise me since blue is such a popular color for 2017, ” says Brown. “We also sell quite a bit of orange, which is always a nice complement to blue and I’m sure we will see more and more green with it being Pantone’s color of the year.”
Ready to start your own collection? Shop our edit of authentic Herend & Limoges collectibles here
Honoring heritage brands and extending the lifecycle of luxury items.