The Basics Of Collecting Antiques

Before you begin your search, know a few basics about collecting antiques.

Antique collecting is a passion for many people. Each person that is drawn to collecting has his or her own reason for doing so. And each style, object or product that is collected has its own set of guidelines and knowledge that permeates the collector and their collection. There are, however some basics to collecting that will benefit all collectors. Consider these guidelines when you are purchasing.

1. Know what you want to collect. Collecting antiques requires knowledge and focus. Collecting a topic, however, may not require such knowledge. For instance, if you are collecting owls you are not necessarily collecting antiques. You will probably receive all kinds owl ceramics and such from relatives and friends, none of which will probably be an antique. On the other hand if you take your owl collection into the area of antiques then you will be looking for a special bird indeed. Know what you are looking for.

2. Educate yourself. If you are collecting antiques you will want to know everything you can about your particular subject. It is, in fact, imperative that you do because without this knowledge you will not know what to purchase, when to purchase or how much the purchase is really worth. Not knowing can lead to being deceived and the possible purchase of bogus antiques.



Knowing your eras and styles along with who's who and the tools, materials and finishes that might have been used adds to your knowledge base. The craftsmen of the antiques are just as important sometimes as the objects themselves. You can learn to identify special pieces or unidentified pieces if you know how they were originally made, what marks were used, and what materials might have been incorporated.

3. Know what pricing is appropriate. Understanding what the market can bear is important before you make a purchase. It is very easy for you to get swayed one way or the other if you desire a piece but have no knowledge of what it is truly worth. Sometimes we begin our antiques purchases purely out of a moment of spontaneity. We see something that interests us and we purchase it according to what is in our pocket at the time. Many people have started this way. If you intend to collect you will want to make sure that you are getting a decent price for what you are purchasing unless your pockets are endless and money is not a concern.

4. Consider an occasional appraisal and insurance. Collections can grow quite big in some instances and their value can grow as well. Getting an appraisal will help you obtain accurate insurance for what you own. People are sometimes oblivious to the value of what they collect and this can lead to heartache if there is damage or complete loss to a collection. Cover your bases and purchase adequate insurance for your treasures.

5. Do not touch up or change your objects in any way. Allow a certified appraiser to fill you in on what is best for your pieces. Altering the original can drop the value dramatically. Altering a piece that may have been touched up seventy-five years ago can alter the price. Often an antique that was altered a century ago may be so valued, regardless of the alteration, it still brings high dollar but to change it now with a cleaning or repair could destroy its value significantly.

6. Investigate your treasures. Know all you can about them. Their value may grow upon learning a thing or two about them.

Collecting antiques can lead to a fascinating journey into history and human interaction. Enjoy your adventure.

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