Adding antiques to your home decor can be a beautiful way to instill an old-world charm in your home. As you shop for these one-of-a-kind items, you may not know what to look for in various pieces. Before you make any purchases, learn about these relics so you can find bargains and avoid possible reproductions.
To be considered an antique, an item must be a minimum of 100 years old. Pieces that are younger than this often have great character, but they don’t meet the criteria to be called an antique. Anything older than 20 years is known as a “vintage” piece. Collectibles might be virtually anything that is popular with consumers.
It’s wise to learn about various facets of this subject to begin dabbling in the world of antiques. Learn about time periods and the various styles that are representative of these periods. Begin frequenting shops, fairs, and auctions to explore the wares sold in these venues. It’s fine to browse without shopping. In fact, the more you look and the more questions you ask, the greater your understanding will be of old pieces. Dealers usually love to share their knowledge with others.
Shopping in Person
While the Internet has plenty of items for sale, it’s often safer for a novice to browse and shop in person. Visiting brick and mortar venues will enable you to touch and see items for yourself. You can ask questions about pieces before purchasing.
Discerning a Good Buy
When you find something you want to purchase, look at it closely. Notice the construction to determine how well it was maintained. For example, broken pieces, cracks, or stains can detract from the overall value and appeal of a piece. Ask the seller for any known information about the history of the item.
Some high-value antiques come with proof of origin, otherwise known as “provenance.” This proof might come in the form of a receipt, auction house documentation, historical records or photographs, or a professional appraisal. Provenance will be necessary for future resale of an item or to insure something that you purchase.
Consider Personal Appeal
While part of the hunt for antiques is about finding bargains and diamonds in the rough, there’s also another element to consider. Sometimes you will come across something so unique or special that it speaks to your heart. In this case, perhaps the value of the item is not the deciding factor, but rather a special connection that fuels the need to own it. Give yourself permission to acquire the unusual pieces that you love. That’s part of what makes the hunt for old heirlooms and artifacts enjoyable.
If you’re serious about exploring this vintage world, take the time to get to know people. Frequenting dealers located near you can be a great way to forge new connections. If you share the types of items you are interested in, you might even receive tips for finding them.
Although antiques may seem confusing, it’s possible to venture into this realm to learn and furnish your home.