Spotting valuable antiques
Whether you are starting a new collection or looking to sell vintage items, the world of antiques can be overwhelming to a beginner. Once you get the hang of antique stores, you’ll be able to shop with ease. At Antique Allure in Southampton, we want you to know how to shop for antiques because we believe knowledge is key. It will help you make informed choices, will save you time, money and energy in the long run. Soon enough you will be able to feel the thrill of finding high-valued items in unexpected places.
It’s very important to know the difference between mint, excellent and good condition. If a vendor uses these terms you should have a good idea of what quality to expect.
- Mint condition means that the piece is not cracked, chipped or broken. In other words, this particular antique is in perfect condition.
- Excellent condition means that the piece has some minor flaws like small chips or may have been repaired over time.
- Good condition means that the piece is in a presentable state. Antiques in good condition may have noticeable cracks or chips or may be in need of repair.
It is important to research an item’s rarity. The less common an antique is, the more likely it has a value. Rare items may have been made in limited amounts or the number of items has decreased over time. Items that are difficult to reproduce in today’s market are especially sought out by collectors. Items like these may be hard to reproduce because they were made of limited materials that can no longer be found today.
The rarity of an item can also be determined by a manufacturing abnormality such as unusual glass color. In art, it could be an uncommon subject matter by a certain artist. Rarity raises the value of an item along with desirability. Some antiques such as a certain edition of a book were initially normal to find. Decades or centuries later, their desirability increases because of their historical significance or scarcity over time.
Determining an item’s authenticity is extremely important when looking for antiques. Research the antique and check for signs of its authenticity. Look for artist signatures, materials used, and era markets. Even if an antique looks old, it may not be. Really good fakes are made using old materials. When in doubt, enlist the help of an antique specialist.
Even small chips on an item can lower your antique’s value from mint to excellent or excellent to good. Examine the item thoroughly and look for cracks, chips, dents, or other signs of significant wear.
Lastly, have your item appraised. After you have bought an item, bring it to an antique dealer who can tell you how much it’s worth. Prepare for the appraisal by knowing where you found it, how much you paid and any important information you may have about it. This will help the appraiser assess its worth accurately.