A Beginner's Mini Guide to Purchasing Antiques
The world of antiques has so much to offer, and it’s more available than you may think. If you’ve been contemplating adding a classic piece or two to your home but aren’t sure where to begin, this miniature guide covers the fundamentals, from what makes a classic an antique to the way to spot a great piece, the importance of provenance and much more.
Whether you’re interested in buying antiques or are a seasoned classic enthusiast, then jump in and join the conversation!
Why buy antiques? Even one or two antiques can infuse a home with heat and personal style. Here are a couple more reasons to welcome antiques in your home:
Unlike many new furniture, which decreases in value with time, your classic purchases will maintain their value — and even increase in value over the years.Antique furniture was built to last; expect to find better materials and higher-quality construction than in fresh mass-produced furniture.Antiques have character, patina and a sense of history.
Erica George Dines Photography
What is a classic? A product must be at least 100 years old to be officially called a classic. Vintage products are younger than this, normally at least 20 years old. Collectibles can be some favorite thing, whatever the era — some collectibles may be vintage and others classic.
ASID, Laurie S Woods
The best way to educate yourself about antiques. If you have an interest in antiques, you may want to get used to the styles of different time periods and areas from reading a fantastic book on the topic or perhaps registering for a course by means of a community centre or a continuing education program at a nearby college.
Another great way to acquire hands-on knowledge is to simply visit good antiques stores, auctions, and wineries. If you’re open about the fact that you’re there to learn more about antiques but aren’t ready to buy yet, many traders will be delighted to talk about their knowledge. Just be courteous and decide to ask your questions through a slow time at the shop, not when it’s swamped with visitors.
Where to shop for antiques. Hunting for antiques person will give you the maximum information — especially important when you’re just starting out. Look through antiques shops and “barns” (where multiple vendors sell together), fairs, flea markets, auctions and estate sales. You might even have fortune in the garage sales or on Craigslist — once you have your eyes open for antiques, you’ll be amazed at the sources you’ll find.
Kate Jackson Design
Things to know if you shop online. Many internet stores offer the convenience of antiquing from the comfort of your favourite chair — 1stdibs and eBay are two of the most popular. If you want to attempt antiquing online, here are a couple of things to remember:
Large furniture comes with hefty shipping fees, so it’s probably sensible to order little pieces online.
If you do want to supply a bigger piece online, try using the “shop by place” attribute available on many of websites, including eBay, 1stdibs and Etsy. Don’t be reluctant to ask for additional information and photographs from different angles, exact measurements etc.Always ask about the seller’s return policy.
Liz Williams Interiors
How to catch a glimpse of a great piece. First, follow your heart. This is something you’ll be living together and using everyday, not putting on display in a museum, so think of your own needs and style preferences first — and also consider any investment value a bonus.
Then take a closer look at the piece: Is it well constructed? Does this seem like it has been well cared for? Notice any rickety legs, broken pieces, cracks, stains etc.. Also be sure to ask the vendor about the background of the piece.
Studio William Hefner
What about provenance? Provenance is proof of where a specific piece came out. Proof could incorporate purchase receipts, files from auction houses, professional evaluations, photos and historic records.
Generally, provenance is supplied just for higher-value or rare antiques. With this documentation is important if you ever plan to resell the item and can also be helpful for insuring it.
Jessica Helgerson Interior Design
Consider before committing to revamp a worn piece. It is possible and can be wonderful to refresh a classic; simply be aware that reupholstering could be quite expensive. Additionally, really high quality antiques may lose value if you replace the original finishes or fabrics — even if they’re in bad form.
That said, if your budget allows and the piece warrants it, re-covering a classic chair or couch with a beautiful new fabric can be a very rewarding project.
ASID, Laurie S Woods
Inform us Should you buy antiques, where are your favorite antiquing haunts? What is your most astonishing? Share your stories!