The 1950s brought with it a unique new look and style that collectors seem to crave.
Most items from this era are clean lined and often made of plastic and formica. Others are laminated woods and ceramic. Chrome was also used. Most of it was made inexpensively and cheap by today’s standards.
Images were usually basic using people, fruits, lines and what was considered modern technology of the time. For instance, salt and pepper shakers were mostly plastic and featured such things as stoves and toasters. Canisters were plastic or chrome style.
Ladies with poodles were big (poodle skirts), polka dots and erotica. Erotica, which at that time was really just a tease, featured such things as women in bathing suits.
Vases looked very art deco with lines and curves, but usually they were plastic or ceramic or even cast acrylic.
Some high end designers included Beswick and Ridgways.
As with any collectible it is all about condition. Damage or color wear reduces the value dramatically. As does chips, cracks or missing pieces.
Learning is important as I recommend the book “Miller’s Collecting the 1950s (Miller’s Collector’s Guides)” by Madeleine Marsh. It is important before buying to understand the values of items.
I believe there is a large quantity of items from the 1950s out there. You should have no problem finding items at tag sales, flea markets, auctions, antique malls and of course on eBay. I would start off spending small and buying anything you enjoy. You can always get into the bigger items in time, but there is such nice stuff for cheap it is best to buy it as you see it.
A quick look on eBay showed there were over 124,000 items tagged 1950s. That’s a lot of stuff to go through. Many were dresses, which if it is a category you enjoy, is a great place to buy.
Other categories in the 1950s era includes advertising, photographic images, jewelry, toys and pottery or china.
Some sellers were asking the highest prices for chairs and lamps. These were $5,000 and up for high quality rare items. A refrigerator, luggage, clock and jars were also being sold for over $1,000.
On the cheaper range, I found tin cans, baskets, shakers and cups going for under $3. It really depends what you are looking for in the category.
Many people decorate their kitchens in the 1950s era. It has become popular and can be very enjoyable. It’s kind of a “Leave it to Beaver” look.
If the 1950s era is something you crave to collect, it is something that you will enjoy for years to come. Good luck!