Old age, depending on the age spectrum, can be termed as either a disability or a merit. However, age also graces people with experience and wisdom. It is not different with material things. Antiques are predominantly items which have been around for 100 years or more. Finding them and affording them is a different matter altogether. The second-hand market is full of reproductions that many sellers are not ashamed of passing off as antiques. Thus, you should be able to tell the quality antiques from items which are just old. Here are five tips for identifying quality antiques.
Know what you need
Before heading out to market, spend time researching on the item you want. Make a list of the size, style, purpose, and character of the antique you are trying to find. Walking around waiting for the piece to draw your attention will only waste your time, and you might never find it.
Ask about the history of the antique
Regardless of what you are buying, the history is important. “How did you acquire the item? How long have you had it? Has it been in your family? Who sold it to you?” These are some of the questions you should ask. If the seller hesitates when answering, you have cause to worry. Lies take time to formulate which requires extended thoughts, but an honest answer always flows. Mumbling and jumbled words are tell-tale signs of a lie.
Let the seller tell you about the piece. It gives you an opportunity to gauge how much they know. Also, play dumb. Volunteering information may make the seller withdraw the offer or raise the price. Being quiet and mindful allows you to investigate the item and the genuineness of the seller without raising suspicion.
Examine the piece fully
You expect some damage with age, but it should not be excessive. The piece should be useful to you if you are spending your money on it. Perform a comprehensive examination of the piece noting any serious damage. Besides determining the usefulness of the item, you can use the findings to bargain for a lower price.
There are some damages you can ignore, as long as you can fix the item. However, do not insist on buying the antique if the damage has seriously affected the item. You will only end up with an antique that is not worth the money wasted on it.
Establish the physical attributes
The design, materials, and assembly can help you predict the age of the antique. To determine the quality of the piece, you need this information. Also, consider the natural aging of wooden and the metallic parts. Less bolts, nails, and screws mean a superior quality and finish. You can avoid choosing a poorly crafted piece that is being passed as a quality antique by been keen on the minute details.
Nonetheless, don’t jump to conclusions based on the physical attributes. For example, a furniture piece with bent legs does not automatically make it a Queen Anne antique. Look for more attributes to support the age.
Look for replaced pieces
Use of poor quality materials in repairing the antiques is a bad idea. Some sellers will come clean about this, but there are those who won’t. Note the odd parts or pieces. If it looks strange, you have a reason to doubt it.
It takes time to develop great buying skills when dealing with antiques. Nevertheless, taking time in making buying decisions helps. Aim for pieces which match your theme too. However, no matter what you are buying, ensure it makes you happy. It is the joy of collecting.