Great traditional gift ideas for antique-loving friends

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Do you have an antique lover on your gift list? Unless you’re an antiques aficionado yourself, it can be difficult to shop for someone who cherishes all things old and even more difficult to foot the bill for pricey antiques. However, there are a few traditional gifts that are sure to please almost any antiques fan. If you don’t want to lug around a 100-year-old chest of drawers or haggle over a set of Hummels, try one of these four ideas instead.

Display Cases

Every antique lover needs something for displaying all their treasures. A display case, shadow box or stand makes a great practical gift that any collector will get lots of use from. When you visit your friend’s home, take note of the general size and shape of the items they own so that you can make an informed decision when choosing the perfect display to give them. To match their antiques, aim for a case that has an aged aesthetic with decorative feet and curved embellishments.

Small Antiques

You don’t have to spend a fortune if you want to give your friend a new antique for their collection. Small, affordable antiques also make great gifts and are easy to find at your local antique mall or thrift store. Doll collectors may enjoy a Victorian porcelain miniature or a set of stacking Russian Matryoshka dolls, while fans of antique dishes might love a teacup or saucer to complete their set. You can often find antique figurines at antique shops for five dollars and under if you’re not looking for major collectibles.


Are you not up to the task of navigating your local antiques market? If browsing antiques makes you sneeze or puts you to sleep, hit up the bookstore instead. Every antiques aficionado can use guidebooks for their favorite collectibles to help them get the best prices for new acquisitions and value the treasures they already own. Even if the book itself is worn and not worth a lot, the age of the book is often what matters more to an antique lover, especially if it is a copy of a classic novel.

Antique Ephemera

Ephemera may sound funny, but odds are that you already have a lot of it lying around. Things like packaging and note cards that are meant to be used for a short time and discarded are called ephemera, and the pieces that manage to survive a few decades become hot collector’s items. Trading cards, cereal boxes, toy prizes, newspapers and magazines are just a few of the ephemera items you can find at antiques stores for a few dollars or in your own closet for free.

Are you still at a loss for what to give your antique-loving friend? See if any of their favorite antique stores or online retailers offer gift cards, or give them a prepaid debit card or cash tucked inside a pretty vintage greeting card. Also, take the time to listen to your friend when they talk about their antique interests, as it will better inform you what type of antiques they’re interested in and what aspects of antiques give them the greatest value as a gift.

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