The best places to buy antiques online

As LAPADA launches its new marketplace today, we hunt down the best places to buy antiques on the internet

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The online world of antiques has boomed in the last year with the addition today of the new LAPADA (The Association of Art & Antique Dealers) online marketplace. With more dealers are turning to Instagram and more auctions than ever online, we round up the best places to start your cyber antiques hunt.

An image of a tablet with Lapada's webpage open

LAPADA’s online marketplace

Rare and beautiful pieces are the order of the day on LAPADA’s new online marketplace. Including stock from all the members of The Association of Art and Antique Dealers, it’s an eclectic mix and eminently tempting for very special Christmas presents.

Another fun way to get a hit of antiques is to sign up for LAPADA’s ‘Object of the Week’ e-newsletter, which showcases some of the antiques worlds most interesting finds.

Auctionata and AuctionMe

Auctionata is a Berlin-based auction house that hosts live auctions filmed in its own studio, giving you the buzz of the event without any of the travelling. AuctionMe is a similar, newer launch in the UK. For both, the auctions are overseen by licensed auctioneers and operate a policy of low starting prices.

If you prefer to simply surf, Auctionata also has an online store where you can pick up a plethora of treasures from pocket watches to classic cars.

An image of one of auctionata's live sales

We Are Elsewhere

Mixing contemporary design with beautiful antiques is a combination close to H&A’s hearts so we were delighted to discover this site.

We Are Elsewhere features new and established designers (including award winning designer-maker Daniel Heath who currently has an abstract coffee table on sale for £990), with a focus on the story behind each piece.

The Old Cinema

Better known for its real life shop in a 19th-century picture palace in west London, The Old Cinema also has an easily accessible website.

Helpfully categorised into antique, vintage and retro, The Old Cinema makes it rather too easy to splurge on an Art Deco cocktail cabinet or a pair of Parisian traffic lights. They also have an envy-inducing Instagram account that is well worth following.

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1stdibs’ tagline ‘the world’s leading online marketplace for the most beautiful things on earth’ isn’t far from the truth. Originally a resource for interior decorators to find unique pieces, 1stdibs has since turned into a one-step design and antiques marketplace, bringing together a host of international dealers.

Including fine jewellery, rare pieces of furniture and vintage ball gowns, 1stdibs is an online antique-hunters’ dream. They’ve also just launched an app for smartphones, making it even easier to browse the stock.

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It wasn’t long ago that you would have to spend hours trawling auction house catalogues and checking calenders to make sure you didn’t miss a star lot. Barneby’s is now one of the best sites where auctions from auction houses all over the world are featured, open to bidding and easily searchable by the type of piece or by sale name.

It was founded by auction enthusiasts in Sweden who clearly know what they are about. The user interface is wonderfully easy to use.


LiveAuctioneers brings the buzz of the auction room right to your screen. You can find a whole range of objects for sale across 47 countries and bid at thousands of live auctions every day.

Not only do they have a huge database of antiques, art, jewellery and collectables, but they also automatically translate all of the auctions into your native language and currency.

Circa Vintage

It’s a more specific market but for luxurious vintage jewellery look no further than Circa Vintage. Based in London, this boutique sources its diverse range of wearable antiques from across the globe.

Model Lizzie Jagger is a fan so you’ll be in good company on your online jaunts. They have a handy delivery and returns service too.


Founded in 1989 in Boston, now has an office in the UK and allows bidders to search and buy from over 160,000 auctions annually. With a whole section dedicated to Asian art and a special category for collectable pens, is a trustworthy source for antiques enthusiasts.

Take a look at their auctioneer directory to find out about who you’re buying from.

An image of the pictures shown on instagram when the hashtag antiques is searched

And finally… Instagram

Odd though it may sound, the social media site du jour has also begun to provide a platform for antiques dealers to sell their stock. Many post new finds on Instagram with prices and one recently told us that a piece was snapped up within hours of his post. Thanks to its new messaging system, its easier than ever to see a piece you like and put an offer in for it within minutes.


Are any of your favourites missing from our list? Post your comments below.