Guide To Selling Collectibles On Etsy For Rural Income

Selling Collectibles On Etsy
Guide To Selling Collectibles On Etsy For Rural Income

Granny’s Curio Cabinet May Hold Interesting Objects That Invoke Curio$ity On Etsy!

Selling collectibles on Etsy is not just for common people or common objects, but for presenting interesting items of value and curiosity.

Disclaimer: I am an Amazon Associate; therefore, this post may contain affiliate links for me to earn a commission. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

As a collector and certified appraiser of antiques and collectibles, I can tell you that Etsy is an enormous market for precious and beautiful art objects, and common curios.

More than that, selling collectibles on Etsy is probably one of the least-known secrets in the the world of antiques and collectibles.

Focus on the following three categories to help you identify what discerning collectors are looking for and willing to pay a pretty penny.

Selling Collectibles On Etsy Is Not Confined To Common Art Objects

Objets d’art

This is a French term that literally means “art object” or work of art.

Practically speaking, the term has long been reserved in English to describe works of art that are not paintings, large or medium-sized sculptures, prints, or drawings.

It, therefore, covers a wide range of works, usually small (commonly known as “smalls”) and three-dimensional, of high quality and finish in areas of the decorative arts, such as:

  • Metalwork items, with or without enamel
  • Small carvings, statuettes and plaquettes in any material, including engraved gems, hardstone carvings, ivory carvings and similar items
  • Non-utilitarian porcelain and glass, and a vast range of objects that would also be classed as antiques (or indeed antiquities), such as small clocks, watches, gold boxes
  • Textiles, especially tapestries, books with fine book bindings

Objets d’art is somewhat flexible, and is often used as a broad term for “everything else” after major categories have been dealt with.

Thus, the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London describes its collection as follows:

The National Maritime Museum’s collection of object d’art comprises over 800 objects. These are mostly small decorative art items that fall outside the scope of the Museum’s ceramic, plate, textiles and glass collections.”

The National Maritime Museum

The items illustrated on their website all with maritime associations include:

  • Metal curtain ties
  • Lacquered papier-mâché tray
  • Tapestries
  • Small boxes for tobacco, snuff, cosmetics, and other purposes
  • Cut-paper pictures (découpage)
  • Small silver items
  • Miniature paintings
  • Gilt-brass clock finial
  • Ceramic plaques
  • Statuettes
  • Cigarette boxes
  • Plaquettes
  • Painted tray
  • Horse brass
  • Metal pipe tamper
  • Small glass painting
  • Fan
  • Handle plate from furniture

Also, these are examples of small objects you can sell on Etsy.

Objet d’vertu

An arguably more precious variant is objet de vertu in which vertu is intended to suggest rich materials and a higher standard of refined facture and finish.

The objects would typically exclude objects with a practical function (listed above), being restricted to “collector’s pieces” that are purely decorative.

Objets de vertu reflect the rarified aesthetic and conspicuous consumption characteristic of court art, whether of the late-medieval Burgundian dukes, the Mughal emperors, or Ming and later imperial China.

Examples could be adduced from Antiquity as well, whilst the pre-World War I production of Peter Carl Fabergé, epitomized by the famous Fabergé eggs, made in the style of genuine Easter eggs, but using precious metals and gemstones rather than more mundane materials, are late examples of objets de vertu.

Objets de Curiosité

A comparable term that appears in 18th- and 19th-century French sale catalogs, though now less used, is objets de curiosité.

Objects of curiosity is now devolved into the less-valued curio.

Elaborate late Renaissance display pieces in silver that incorporate organic elements such as ostrich eggs, nuts of the coco de mer and sea-shells are grouped in a volume, published in 1991, as “The Curiousities” in the catalogues of the Waddesdon Bequest at the British Museum.

Japanese ivory Netsuke, 18th or 19th century, with black ink is a type of object that is often classified among objets d’art.

The term is used with the same meaning in French, but in that language, it may sometimes be a synonym for “work of art”.

This genre has retained more respectability in the worlds of art history and museums than in English, where in recent decades, it is often avoided (even more in archaeology), but remains in use in the world of collecting and the art and antique markets.

There may be a few such valuable curiosities in your grandmother’s “curio” cabinet.

These three classifications of precious objects of art can only be reproduced, which is why you should be selling collectibles on Etsy.

Don’t be surprised when collectors visit your shop to purchase original objets d’art, objets d’vertu, and objets de curiosite on Etsy — outside of rarified auction houses.

Image Source