Antiques and Collectables

Antiques and collectables from all walks of life have seen a resurgence in recent years as antique hunters search far and wide to uncover that perfect piece for their collection. It’s hard to put a finger on why, but there is something exceptional about an antique sign that fills a room with timeless charm and delivers flavours of times long past.

Enamel signs and other collectable advertisement items of yesteryear are sought out as conversation pieces for the home thanks to their eye-popping lettering and vivid colours. Whether you’re an expert antiquer who specialises in a specific category or completely new to the scene and willing to grasp whatever catches your eye, Elsie Wolfe is here to help.

We have collected antique and collectable signs from across New Zealand and further afield to bring you the best collection of vintage items possible. Our collection is constantly updating, so have a browse online or give us a ring to enquire about our products.


Enamel Signs

When you think of vintage signs, you'll most likely picture the enamel/porcelain signs of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As early as the 1880s, companies saw the advantages of enamel as durable and weather-resistant material. Although these signs were first made in Germany, the manufacturing technique soon spread around the world, where their bold colours and eye-catching graphics were put to good use advertising cigarettes, motor oil, kitchen ingredients, and soaps, to name a few. With the onset of World War II, however, many of these signs were destroyed for the base metal they contained. Their resulting rarity makes them attractive to collectors.

Collectable tin Signs

Tin signs have also been used since the late 19th century; they became more popular after the war and were often produced as a cheap alternative to enamel signs. Unlike their enamel companions, tin signs are prone to rust and degradation, making good ones harder to find.

Beware Fake Collectables

Early advertising is very collectable these days, with some rare signs selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars. With this increased interest in vintage collectables, the market has been swamped with fakes recently. When starting to collect antique collectables, it is best to check with an expert when making a purchase; as your collection grows, so will your knowledge of the signs of fraud. Here at Elsie Wolfe, we support aspiring antiquers and will help you validate any antique items you may have acquired; give us a ring or send through a photo of the item, and we will help in any way we can.

Get lost in a World of Forgotten Antiques with Elsie Wolfe

Advertising antiques and collectables are a fantastic way to add a little timeless charm to your home. However, finding authentic pieces is harder than ever before; you may be lucky enough to uncover a hidden treasure at your local garage sale, but the chances are low. Your best source of collector items will always be antique stores like Elsie Wolfe; we have an extensive range that's constantly changing; give us a ring today to find out more about our unique collection.