Guide to Antique Advertising Signs
Antique advertising signs have become one of the most popular collectible items on the market, with both professional collectors and amateurs enjoying the thrill of bringing vintage signs into their homes or workplaces. But what are vintage advertising signs all about and why have they become one of the most popular collectibles in the UK and beyond?
A Brief History of Antique Signs
Signs that are recognised as antique advertising signs now had an important purpose when they were first designed. While we’re used to printed or digital signage today, advertisements had to be durable and bold, able to catch the attention of passers-by and maintain their appearance over time. That’s why metal industrial advertising signs and enamel signs became so popular, as they had a longevity that made them worth the outlay for shops, travellers and revellers at fairgrounds and the like. The very fact that we’re still collecting them today is evidence of how much of a legacy vintage signs have to people around the world.
What Types of Advertising Signs Can You Buy?
Some antique sign collectors prefer to specialise in an area that’s already of interest to them. For instance, a railway enthusiast might well focus on vintage signs related to trains and railway stations or a pub owner may focus on vintage pub signage. There are plenty of different categories of antique advertising signs available including shop signs from long-defunct businesses, French signage, merchandise signage and petrol station signs. Along with this, the style of the vintage signs available for collectors varies. It’s not uncommon to find industrial antique signs with famous logos or lettered enamel signs that are a real slice of history.
Why Do People Collect Antique Signs?
For some, collecting vintage signs is part of an overarching passion for a particular subject, while others simply see them as an attractive investment opportunity. Other collectors might use them specifically to bring a sense of nostalgia to a room within a home or business. For instance, pubs which trade on their traditional style can make use of traditional signage to highlight that further. In addition, there’s no denying that many antique advertising signs are just simply gorgeous to display on walls, bringing a sense of history as well as being attractive.
Why Has Collecting Vintage Signs Become So Popular?
As well as bringing that nostalgia with them, antique advertising signs also work brilliantly alongside some modern interior or exterior design styles in both homes and businesses. We’ve already mentioned the possibility of bringing vintage signs into a business to draw attention, and this isn’t only possible for hospitality locations either. A florist could make use of vintage signs featuring flowers or a garage could display oil signs from yesteryear – the possibilities for different companies are as varied as the signs themselves.
Can Vintage Advertising Signs Be Valuable?
Some industrial advertising signs are certainly valuable, especially when they’re representing iconic brands like drinks companies, car manufacturers or tobacconists. As you might imagine, there isn't a definitive vintage sign price guide. As with all collectible items, the actual value depends on the history of the item and what condition it’s in, so keep an eye out for vintage signs which have been well preserved. Plus, beware of fake signs masquerading as real ones.
Tips to Spotting Fake Antique Advertising Signs
The more popular vintage signs become, the more fakes have appeared on the market. Apart from collectors wanting to spend their money on genuine antique advertising signs, the excessive cost of some signs purporting to be real can be a painful blow if you later find out the sign is fake. So, one of the key things to ask before purchasing enamel signs or other types of vintage signage is does the seller know anything about the history of the item. Along with this, the older a sign is, the more likely it’ll have signs of wear and tear – a perfect sign in this case is a bad sign! Finally, if you think you’re getting too much of a bargain, there might be a reason for that. Check online to see how much you would expect to pay and, if it’s too cheap, there might be a reason for that!
Where to Find/Buy Vintage Signs for Sale
One of the best places to find antique advertising signs for sale online is The Hoarde, a marketplace with trusted dealers selling vintage signs direct to collectors. If you’re searching offline, flea markets and car boot sales are great locations to grab a vintage bargain. Exceptionally lucky collectors might even know someone who has old signage locked away in their attic or shed – be open to finding industrial advertising signs everywhere.
About The Hoarde
The Hoarde is an online marketplace with trusted antique dealers selling vintage signs from a range of areas such as pubs, shops, fairgrounds and railways. With vintage metal, enamel and wooden signs available and new items listed every day, visit The Hoarde for vintage signs of all shapes and sizes.