The word antique is most commonly used to describe objects and items that are old. Typically, most dealers, like Dutch Time Pieces, require that the object is over 100 years old to be labeled an antique.
The term antique is also used interchangeably with collectible or vintage items. Various factors may impact an antique’s value. They include:
- Age of the item
- Current taste
- Historical significance
Where to Buy Antiques
Though you must focus on proper research while purchasing antiques, you should not just stick to theoretical research. The more you explore various places that sell antiques, the more experienced you will become. There are many different places where you can look for antiques, like:
Car Boot Sales: While you may not spot antiques easily in these sales, they can offer some rare gems sometimes. However, you must come earlier than most other people, bring cash, and in some cases, bargain to get a good price.
Flea Markets: Like car boot sales, you may have to go through several things before spotting a unique piece at flea markets. But they can offer you some of the rarest gems if you are lucky.
Auctions: Auction houses are some of the most common places to spot antiques. These auction houses often get most of their items from house clearances. Hence, they may be able to offer some rare gems during their auctions.
General Dealers: Once you have done your research and gained a little experience, then general dealers are an ideal source of antiques. Dealers will have many rare and unique pieces that you can choose from. You just have to be careful about phony dealers who may try to convince you that a piece is worth more than its real value.
Specialist Dealers: If you have a specific antique in mind, then a specialist shop can be the right place to check. Though the pieces may be a little more expensive than in other places, they will be rightly priced. Specialist dealers are the right place to start if you are looking to invest in antiques.
Online: Searching for antiques online can be a little tough as you cannot see the item before purchasing it. However, if you are OK to ignore that fact, you can find many unique pieces online. In addition, you will also have the option of returning the item if you feel the piece is not what you expected it to be.
What to Look For When Buying Antiques
Listed below are a few things that you must look out for when buying antiques:
Be Clear of What You Want
With so many different kinds of antiques available in the market, it can be tough to decide what items you want. Some antiques could be one-of-a-kind pieces, while some may have a lot of historical value. On the other hand, some antiques may just be cool to own. Walking into an antique store without thinking much about what you want can leave you confused and overwhelmed. That is why you must first determine why you want to buy the antique. This can help you find the right place and the right item easily.
Look for Quality
Quality craftsmanship will ensure that your antique item has been made with care. Any item that is of high quality will last long and be a good investment. Check the joinery to understand how each piece of the item has been put together. Most antiques are made from wood and there will be many ways in which you can determine if the piece is well put together or not. For instance, you can see if the nail holes are closed or open. Closed nail holes indicate that someone filled the hole after the nails were put in. Open nail holes, on the other hand, indicate that no one tried to cover the holes after the nails were drilled, indicating low craftsmanship.
Research the Antique Dealer
Some people may purchase antiques for their historical significance, while others may purchase them to just decorate their homes. Irrespective of the reason, you must research the antique dealer before making any purchases. Most estate sales professionals and antique dealers have immense knowledge about the items they deal with. They may have information about who made the piece, how it was made, and when. Speak to your dealer and learn about the piece you are interested in. Not only will this make you an informed buyer, but it will also help you assess your dealer and determine whether they are authentic or fake.
Ensure the Item is Authentic
Determining the object’s authenticity is one of the most important aspects of buying antiques. Ensure you know who is guaranteeing the authenticity of your item. Watch out for any markings or insignias on the item that indicate its authenticity. These markings often hold clues about when and where the item was made. This information can help you determine its authenticity, age, and potential worth.
Consider Your Budget
Antiques may vary greatly in terms of cost depending on their rarity, condition, and provenance. You must set aside enough money if you are interested in a specific item. You should also consider other expenses like packing fees and shipping charges. Once you consider all these cost factors, see if the item fits in your budget and only then go ahead with the purchase.
Most people are afraid to purchase antiques and keep them at home due to two primary reasons. They either think all antiques are very expensive, or they worry about any repairs that may come up in the future. But owning and maintaining antiques need not be very difficult. For instance, if you own antique clocks and timepieces, then Dutch Time Pieces can help you maintain them. They offer repairs and restorations of antique clocks and barometers.