Antique Guide

October 3, 2017 | Author: Andrew Rodes | Category: Auction, Collecting, Antique, E Bay, Sales
Share Embed Donate


Short Description

Download Antique Guide...

Description

Your Complete Antique Guide:

Everything You Need to Know About Buying, Selling and Enjoying Your Antiques

Copyright to The Power of YOU 

? @

Contents Chapter 1 – What Makes an Antique? . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 4 Chapter 2 - Interview with Nicole Neville. .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 10 Chapter 3 – The Basics of Antiques. .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 13 Chapter 4 – Shopping for Antiques . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 21 Chapter 5 – Furniture. .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 35 Chapter 6 – Fine Art and Antique Prints . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 50 Chapter 7 – Antique Jewelry . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 56 Chapter 8 – Antique Appliances . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 63 Chapter 9 – Glassware, Porcelain and Pottery. .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 68 Chapter 10 – Other Antiques . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . . 79 Chapter 11 – Selling Your Antiques. .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . . 89 Chapter 12 – Resources . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 99

Chapter 1 – What Makes an Antique? Kindling a Passion

I

t always starts somewhere.

Maybe it was a necklace handed down through the generations, or your great-grandmother’s bone china. It could have been an antique desk at a neighbor’s house or 10-gauge southern arms gun from your grandfather. In every antique lover’s life there is that first object, the first thing that made you appreciate the unique beauty of items that are steeped in history. In antique lover’s life, there is an object that made them want more.

F

or me, it was the empty, but beautiful antique French perfume bottles that my great-

great aunt kept on her vanity as decorations. They were amazing, some covered in tiny gemstones, and others in elaborately shaped glass. My sister and I would argue over which was the prettiest and pretend that we were applying the perfume. That was where it started for me.

W

hether it is a recent interest, or a lifelong passion, there is certainly plenty to learn

about antiques. It is a huge field that covers an enormous variety of things. With so much information available, it can be difficult to know where to begin. This book will offer you a basic primer for how to begin antiquing - from where to find them and how to judge the value of an object – to appraisals, care and selling.

B

eing an educated, informed antique collector will help you find the items you are looking

for and help you establish a valuable investment. Learning about antiques as you collect is one of the most enjoyable aspects of this activity.

I

f you are new to antiques, then welcome.

You are embarking on a great adventure that will bring beauty and history into your life. If you have been collecting for years and are just looking for some fresh perspective, thank you for joining us. Regardless of your experience with antiquing, the following pages will be able to help you on your journey.



? @

Antiques Defined

T

he word “antique” comes from the Latin “ante,” meaning “before” and “anticus” mean-

ing “former” or “ancient.” When the word antique was first used in the 15th century, it referred to artifacts from the days of the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians. Those rare relics were many hundreds of years old and could only be afforded by the very wealthy and the nobility. Today, these types of artifacts are referred to as “antiquities.”

W

hat is meant by the term “antique” is not without debate.

There are several standards, and a well-informed antique collector should be aware of each of them.

T

he word “antique” is simply defined as “a collectible decorative or household object,

T

he first specific definition of the term is known as the “purist” definition.

B

eyond the expense of antiques that fall into the purist definition, there is also the prob-

T

he U.S. government has created a less strict definition of the word “antique” that has been

often a piece of furniture, which is valued because of its age.” This definition, while descriptive, does not actually provide much of a true reference for determining whether or not something can actually be called an antique. This definition came about in the 1880s. At that time it was decided that any object from before the 1820 was an antique. The reason for this was simple. The 1820s marked the beginning of the industrial revolution in Europe and America. That meant that many of the objects once made by hand were now made by machines. This purist definition is considered the highest standard because now, objects from before the 1820’s are very expensive because of their rarity.

lem that this definition takes for granted that something that is made by hand is of higher quality than one made by a machine. Many collectors would argue that this is not always the case.

widely adopted. They have determined that any item over 100 years old can be called an antique. The definition became necessary because the U.S. customs department allows antique items to be brought into the country duty-free. In order to do that, they needed to have a flexible standard that would define antiques.



? @

G

enerally speaking, the 100-year rule is accepted by most in the antiquing world, though

many have actually broadened the term to refer to anything dating before 1920. Objects that are not yet that old are often called “collectables.”

A

n object does not have to be antique to be of value.

Many collectables already hold significant value that is likely to rise as they age. You need not dismiss a beautiful item simply because it does not meet the 100-year rule. We will discuss a number of things in this book that do not meet the 100-year rule, and yet antique collectors prize them. However, don’t forget about the 100-year rule entirely, understanding the difference between an antique and a collectable will make you a more educated buyer.

How Old is It?

N

ow that you understand the general definition of an antique, you may begin to wonder

how you can look at an object and be able to have a rough idea of it’s age. At first it may seem overwhelming, but the more antiques you look at, the easier it will become for you to identify the period it comes from. Eventually, you will be able to spot certain key characteristics and recognize what period an item comes from without much difficulty. For specific details on dating different types of antiques, refer to the specific chapters. Here we will just introduce the basic style periods that you will be hearing about. Please note that the list contains periods in which items are not yet considered antiques. Also, this list certainly does not cover all of the movements that have occurred in the last 400 years. However, it does address the most important ones.

Period

Jacobean Early American William and Mary Queen Anne Chippendale Federal Empire Victorian Arts and Crafts Art Nouveau Art Deco Mid Century

Years

1600-1690 1640-1700 1690-1745 1720s-1760s 1750-1780s 1780s-1820s 1800s-1850 1840-1910 1880-1910 1890s-1910 1920s-1930s 1950s and 1960s



? @

Does it Matter if it is Antique?

W

hen confronted by the problem of learning that an object cannot yet be called an an-

tique, many begin to wonder if it truly matters at all. After all, isn’t beauty in the eye of the beholder? And what about reproductions and fakes?

T

he answer to this question really depends on an individual’s reason behind collecting

T

he other concern, beyond personal preference, is the investment potential. Antique items

antiques. If you are collecting them for the personal enjoyment of the objects, it may not matter to you what year it was made and if it is more than 100 years old. Reproductions, although not as valuable as originals, satisfy many people’s desire to have an object that represents a specific period. However, for many people, the distinction between antique and collectable is an important one, and they only wish to collect items that are truly considered antiques. Others may enjoy collecting both true antiques and collectables, but stay away from reproductions. People have different reasons for collecting antiques. The important thing is to figure out what works best for you.

are, generally speaking, more valuable than collectables. However, there are a number of instances in which this is not true. Another consideration is that all collectables will eventually become antiques.

P

ersonal preference and investment potential also come into play with regards to repro-

ductions of antique items. In some cases, it can be quite difficult to tell if an item is a reproduction or not. For a casual collector, this may not be of extreme importance, because the piece may hold other qualities that the collector enjoys. Keep in mind that it is a hobby that should bring you enjoyment, not stress.

O

n the other hand, even a casual collector will want to be aware of reproductions so as

to avoid over-paying for an item. There are reproductions and forgeries of antiques everywhere these days, so a good collector learns how to spot them quickly.

What this Book will Cover This book has been set up to give you the most valuable information and advice you will need on your journey in antiques. It has been organized by looking at the most common questions that people ask about antiques and setting out that information in a clear format.



? @

We have cut out a lot of the excess so that you can learn all the basics quickly and be ready to get started.

The second chapter features an interview with Nicole Neville, who is an expert in antiques, art and restoration. She explains some of the most general rules and some of the myths about antiques. She also shares some valuable tips about how anyone can pick out something that may be of value from the things that are not. She gives some great advice for those starting out with antiques; those rules to live by that you should never forget.

Chapter Three, The Basics of Antiques, will serve as your basic primer for all your antique collecting. It discusses developing a plan for your antique collection and doing research before you shop. It also discusses how to have an expert’s eye for value when you shop and how to go about determining and verifying the value of an item. Finally, the chapter looks at how to tell if an item is a fake or reproduction.

Chapter 4, Shopping for Antiques, looks at the various ways of purchasing antiques at auctions, antique stores, private sales, thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets and online. The most important issues that arise in antique shopping in each of these forms will also be covered.

Chapters 5 through 8 break down antiques into several major categories including furniture, fine art and prints, jewelry (both costume and fine jewelry), and a chapter on glass, porcelain and pottery. There is also a chapter that covers some of the smaller categories of antiques.

One of the most common questions beginners ask is about how they can determine the value of an object. If you are having difficulty with determining the value of an object, review the basic rules first, and then have a look at the case studies that you will find in each of the chapters about a specific type of antique. These can be a great starting point for ideas on how to find out more about your object.

At the end of each of these chapters, you will find a list of web and print resources to help you find more information.



? @

In chapter 10 how to sell antiques to dealers, through auctions or online is explained. Finally, in the last chapter, the various resources you can turn to for further help in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand are listed.



? @

Chapter 2 - Interview with Nicole Neville Nicole Neville has an MA in Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne, Australia. She is currently working towards her PhD in Art Administration at Florida State University. She specializes in antique and modern painting and print identification and has a strong interest in antique books and jewelry.

What is the first piece of advice you would give to someone collecting antiques, especially if they are just starting out? To me, the most important thing is to buy things that you like. If you are going to buy something because you think it is valuable, you better make sure that you like it, because it might not be worth anything.

What else? How should someone get started? You need to know why you collecting. Are you doing it for money, or because you like having the antiques yourself? Most people see it as a little bit of both, but you need to work it out for yourself. Especially when you are getting started, it is a good idea to specialize. Collect something that interests you. Something that you really want to learn about. If you are really serious about antiques as an investment, then the way to do that is to know more about something than the dealer knows. That way you will be able to spot the things that are under priced. Antique dealers don’t always know what they have, and you need to know enough to spot the great deal. You can specialize in a number of things. Once you know, you can focus on it and learn to recognize what is going to be valuable. Look at original things first. Go to museums and stores and talk to experts first and learn what you are looking for. You need to look at a lot of things. You need to be able to spot what period things are from. If you study something, you learn to see the changes that occur over time.

How can you tell if an item is valuable? A valuable antique will have something special about it. It will draw your eye because it is not only unique, but also well made. Beyond that, it is a matter of training your eye. Look at items you know are authentic. Visit museums and talk to people who know about what you are interested in.

?

[email protected]

Also, remember, there are many kinds of value. An old family photograph will not be valuable at all to another person. However, I know for myself that my family’s old photos are invaluable. I value them more than anything else I have collected. Some people rush to sell off family heirlooms because they think they might be valuable. Be careful if you are doing something like that. Many times these things aren’t worth much at all, except to the family.

If something is really old, does that mean it is valuable? Age doesn’t determine value. Sometimes something is just old. If you are into history and something that is really old interests you, then it might have value for you. It could have intellectual value, but not monetary value. Generally, only things that are in good condition are going to be considered valuable to collectors. Are there any tricks or general rules that you follow when you are browsing through antiques? I have a lot of little tricks actually. One is to go antiquing with an older relative, if you can. It sounds silly, but they can help you see which things are of higher quality, because they can remember back further. They know what things were valuable then. In general, I look to see if I can see a good example of an older item. So if I am looking at a glass urn, or some silverware, I check to see if it has a country of origin on it. In 1890, the US government passed a law that said that any item being imported had to have the country of origin printed on it. This is helpful, because if you are looking at a something that is in great shape, and you know it is older than 1890, you may have found something worthwhile. I always look for Depression glass at yard sales and thrift stores because a lot of people don’t know that it is valuable. It was really cheap back when it was made, but now it has value because people collect it. I also look for original prints. If you see a print you like at a good price, and it has a seal, get it. You will be able to research the seal and find out about the print.

What should people look for in an antique and what should they avoid? Look for what you like. As I said before, you should never buy something you wouldn’t want to own. If you can’t see the value in it, don’t assume that someone else will. Avoid things that are obviously copies of something else. If you are looking at a Chinese vase and it has English stamped on it, there is something wrong If you are looking at antique books, check the paper condition. There is so much that can go wrong with paper and many times it can’t be fixed.

11

? @

Check to see if something has been refinished. That really has a negative impact on the price. Don’t always steer away from an antique chair that has a newer cushion on it. If the chair is in good condition and the wood hasn’t been altered, it could be very valuable.

Any last bits of advice? If you aren’t sure and it is cheap, buy it If you aren’t sure and it is expensive, don’t buy it.

?

[email protected]

Chapter 3 – The Basics of Antiques Knowing What You Want – Research and Preparation

W

hether you are at the very beginning of your journey into antiques or have been col-

lecting for years, it is always a good idea to take some time and look at your goals for your antique collection. By taking the step of looking at the specific types of items you are interested in collecting and the time periods you are most interested in you will become better able to recognize these items when you come across them.

T

here are many reasons to take some time to think about what your antiquing goals are.

T

he antiques that are available to shoppers are in a state of constant fluctuation.

For example, it is also important to consider the amount you are willing to spend over a given period of time. By coming up with a good plan, you can ensure that you don’t overspend right as you are getting started. Because of this, it is important to take the time to seek out that item which suits your tastes and budget. There is no need to settle for less than what you are looking for. One of the great joys of antiques is to finally find something that is just right.

Y

ou probably already have some idea of the items that are of interest to you.

As you

become further involved with antiquing, your interests may branch out as well.

A

n excellent way to start tracking your antiquing goals and progress is through the use

of a simple binder that allows you to move and add pages in it. This will allow you to change and update the information as time goes on.

O

ne of the first questions you may want to address in your plan is why you are collecting

antiques? Consider if you wish the items to be simply decorations for your home or if you want them to serve a functional purpose as well.

?

[email protected]

N

ext, write out a list of the types of antiques you are interested in.

Be sure to note if you are interested in a specific time period or a number of time periods. If there are specific items you are looking for, list those as well.

F

inally, consider the amount of money you are willing to spend.

It may be that you want to collect a few expensive pieces, or you may wish to collect a number of less expensive pieces. Knowing your intentions early on is important. If you have a number of items to purchase and you spend your entire budget on one very expensive item, you may end up having regrets.

O

nce you have your initial plan written out, it is time to do some research.

The specific chapters of this book will give you an excellent introduction to the major categories of antiques and also their time periods. You will eventually want to do further research into your areas of particular interest. Take notes on what you learn and bring your binder with you when you are shopping.

Having an Expert’s Eye for Antiques

O N

ne of the most common questions asked by casual antique collectors is “How can I tell if an item is valuable?”

o one is born with the ability to spot valuable antiques.

It is the result of research and experience. While it can be a difficult and frustrating experience for a novice, the more you explore and are exposed to the antiques you are interested in, the more you will learn about them.

S

tudying antiques may not seem like the most exciting thing in the world, however, it is

one of the best ways to learn more about antiques so that you can recognize when something is valuable. The good news about researching your antique interests is that they are just that -- your interests. In your research will learn about historical facts from different time periods, the ways in which different items were crafted and the different brands and manufacturers.

?

[email protected]

A

nother phase of research is to look at antiques without buying them.

Check the prices and the quality available from different time periods. You will quickly develop an eye for spotting value in this way. Talk to shop owners about what items come in regularly and what items are more rare.

T

o further develop your “Expert’s Eye,” you may wish to explore some museums and

historical homes. These are excellent places to view examples of different types of antiques. The staff and curators may be able to give you advice and tell you about the items and the time periods as well.

A

nother option to consider in learning how to spot value is to join a collector’s club.

A

s you become more educated, you will find yourself being able to spot those items that are

You will find websites that can help you find an appropriate club in your country in the Resources chapter. These organizations, while not free, provide and excellent opportunity for like-minded collectors to offer each other advice and socialize.

of value whether you are at a garage sale or an antique shop. There is no secret method to being able to pick out valuable antiques. It is the result of learning enough about a time period and type of antique to recognize when it comes from, its condition and its rarity.

I

tems sold through antique shops and dealers are typically recognized for their value and

priced accordingly. Of course, a well-educated buyer will be able to spot when an item has been over or under-priced and make their purchases accordingly.

O

ne thrill of collecting antiques is looking for the “hidden treasure,” some overlooked

item from a garage sale, flea market, estate sale or thrift store that is of significant value. Although there is no substitute for learning about antiques through experience and study, there are some general guidelines you can follow to help you determine if an item is possibly valuable.

?

[email protected]

Finding the “Hidden Treasure”

A

lthough the specifics of determining value in different types of antiques vary, there are

some general rules that can be used to at least recognize the possibility of something being valuable. When trying to decide whether or not to purchase an item you think may be of value, be careful not to spend more than you wouldn’t mind losing. Looking for the hidden treasures can be fun and exciting, but there is an element of chance involved. An item may be valuable or not, so don’t gamble excessively. Pay attention to the following features to help you when trying to judge an item.

I

tem condition: The value of many antiques decreases

remarkably if the item is in poor condition. You should work to develop a standard of quickly judging the condition of an antique. The usual standards of judgment are Mint, Nearly Mint, Excellent, Good, Fair and Poor. What exactly is meant by these terms depends on the category of antique; however, it is not difficult to learn how to judge the general condition of any item. When looking at condition, it is important to remember that the rarity of the item may affect the impact of condition on its value. An extremely rare item in fair or poor condition may still be of value. On the other hand, an item in mint condition may not be worth much if they are common.

R

epairs, restoration and modification: As you examine an

antique, be on the lookout for signs of repairs, restorations and modifications. A professionally restored item will generally hold its value, however, items that contain replacement parts or unprofessional repairs will decrease significantly if value. Additionally, keep an eye out for signs that the item was modified from its original condition.

S

tamps, marks and signatures: Generally speaking an item

that has been stamped or otherwise marked with the manufacturer’s logo or artist’s name or is of more value than one that is not. This is why one of the first things any experienced antique collector does when looking at an item is to check and see if it is marked. You may wish to bring a magnifying glass or jeweler’s loupe (a special high powered magnifying glass) with you to examine for marks that may be too small to spot easily. Bear in mind that the marking or signature maybe somewhat worn and hard to read, but it will be an excellent place to start researching the items origin.

?

[email protected]

A

ge and demand:

A

uthenticity:

Learning to recognize the period an antique comes from is an important step to determining value. You may not be able to tell the precise year, but by becoming educated on the major periods, you will learn to see the key characteristics that can tell you roughly when the item was made. While the age of an item is a factor in determining its value, it is important to remember that an item being old does not necessarily make it valuable. Value is determined by the demand for an item. An important consideration when trying to determine if an item is valuable is whether or not it is authentic. Many popular antique items have been reproduced in more modern times and are not of the same value as the original item. Certain telltale characteristics can be identified after enough research. If you are unsure, look for signs that the item is as old as it is supposed to be. Sloppy craftsmanship can be another sign that an item is not authentic. An additional method of determining authenticity is through the use of a long wave black light. For more details on what black light testing can identify, refer to the chapters regarding specific types of antiques.

Researching a Particular Item

I

t happens to every antique collector.

You have an item that you have found or inherited. It may be of value or it may not. How do you go about getting a rough estimate of its value before spending money on an appraiser?

T

he answer is simple:

research. There are a number of price guides available to help you identify and price a number of antiques. If you have access to a library, you can use their price guides. Keep in mind that some of the price guides are intended for more experienced antique collectors. While they can be a bit confusing at first, taking the time to work out how to use the price guides is well worth the effort. Some of the best price guides available are listed at the end of the book in the Resources chapter.

W

ith the ever-growing resource of the Internet, it is also possible to identify a number of items quickly and easily through online resources.

?

[email protected]

D

on’t be dismayed if an item does not have a serial or model number, there are still a num-

ber of ways to figure out about it. You will improve your skills at researching an item as time goes by. It is really a process of trial and error. As there are different approaches to researching different items, look to the chapters on specific types of antiques for more details and case studies that break down identifying a particular item.

Appraisal

A

ppraising your antiques is an important aspect of being a collector.

Especially if you view your antique collection as an investment, having a trustworthy appraiser is critical. As your collection grows you will want to ensure that your antiques will be covered by your insurance in the case of theft, fire or other damage.

Y

ou may also need an appraisal in the case of inheriting a large number of items that are

of possible value. In such instances, the task of identifying all of the objects may be too great. It may be that you will add some items to your collection and sell the rest. An appraiser is the quickest way to learn the value of the items.

A

dditionally, there are some antique dealers and private sellers who do not guarantee an

item’s authenticity. Particularly if the item represents a significant investment, you may wish to consider having it appraised prior to purchasing it. Purchasing an expensive item and discovering later that it is not authentic is a costly lesson that can be easily avoided.

W

hatever your reasons for appraisal, finding an appraiser you can trust is the most impor-

tant step of the process. You are spending your money on the appraisal, and it is up to you to take the time to find an appraiser who will provide you with accurate information.

What to Avoid in an Appraiser

I

n the case of appraisals, it is generally agreed that Internet appraisals (where photos are

submitted online) are not a good option. An appraiser needs to see the object in real life in order to scrutinize it and determine the value.

?

[email protected]

T

here are two signs that always indicate that you should avoid a particular appraiser.

The first is if the appraiser charges a percentage of the total value of the items. This can lead to over-inflated numbers so that the fee will be higher. Appraisers should charge for the time spent. The second indicator that you should avoid a particular appraiser is if the appraiser is going to be buying the items. This is a clear conflict of interest that no ethical appraiser would engage in.

How to Find an Appraiser

N

ow that you know what to avoid in an appraiser, you will need to know where to start

looking. If it is at all possible, attempt to get a personal recommendation for an appraiser. If you know someone else who collects antiques, you can ask them. If you do not, try to cast a wider net. Talk to your friends and family. There is a good chance that they will know someone who has had an appraisal done.

I

f that fails, try looking at Internet message boards and newsgroups involving antiques.

I

f all else fails, you can turn to one of a number of appraisal societies.

These will often contain recommendations from others. Post a question asking for recommendations. Look in the Resources chapter for the appraisal societies in your country. These societies have set standards and certifications for their appraisers. You can call for a reference to an appraiser in your area or check to see if they offer an online database that you can search.

The Appraisal Process

A

n appraiser’s job is to identify how much a given item is worth.

The process of appraisal involves first inspecting the item. The appraiser will take notes or use a tape recorder to create a detailed description. Measurements will also be taken.

F

ollowing the inspection, the appraiser will do research into the item.

This will include research into the recent selling prices of other similar items through auction catalogs and antique dealers.

?

[email protected]

A

fter researching, an appraisal report is created which contains a description of the item

and its history. The appraisal report will state the methods used to determine the value and also detail whether the value being determined is the fair market value, a liquidation value or some other value. The appraiser’s qualifications and signature are also included in the report.

?

[email protected]

Chapter 4 – Shopping for Antiques O

ne of the most enjoyable aspects of antiquing is shopping.

There are a number of different places to shop for antiques. In this chapter we will be reviewing how to find and purchase antiques through shops and shows, auctions, online auctions, online dealers, private sales, antique malls, thrift stores and flea markets.

Antique Shops and Shows

W

hen people first think of purchasing antiques, a traditional antique shop is usually the

first thing that comes to mind. Generally containing a wide range of items representing many different periods, the shops are an excellent place to begin antiquing. Antique dealers both run shops and display their antiques at shows.

I

n pursuing antique collecting as a hobby, it is valuable to build some relationships with dealers. They can be an excellent source for information and help you find specific items.

S

ome of the benefits of purchasing antiques through a dealer are a guarantee of authentic-

ity, delivery of larger items, the possibility of a layaway plan and the ability to tell you the history of an item. If you are unsure of an items origin, always be sure to check with the dealer, they may know something you do not.

Antique Shops

L

ocating antique shops is easy enough using either the phonebook or the Internet.

There are now a number of online directories that list the locations of antique shops around the world. Refer to the Resources chapter for the websites specific to your country. Now with the added ability to map directions from one place to the next, planning an antique shopping trip is easy.

?

[email protected]

I

f you have very specific categories of antiques you are looking for, you may wish to contact

the shop ahead of time to ensure you will not be disappointed on arrival. Often antique shops are located within close proximity of one another, making it easy to visit a number of locations on the same trip.

Antique Shows

T

he other way of purchasing through antique dealers is at shows.

Shows give you the opportunity to view antiques from a number of dealers. While some shows are general in nature, displaying a wide variety of antiques, other shows are specific to certain types of antiques.

Y

ou can learn about when an antique show will be held in your area by reading antiquing

publications or by looking at the websites of local antiquing society. Of course, you can also look to word of mouth to let you know. Ask at antique shops if any shows are coming up.

Bargaining and Etiquette at Shops and Shows

T

here are some general rules of etiquette that should be followed when visiting a shop or

show. Following these guidelines will mark you as a good customer and endear you to dealers. The largest area of etiquette involves bargaining over the price.

U

nlike many retailers, antique dealers price tags are not always fixed.

The price of an antique is hard to define, and so there is some room for negotiation. The first rule of bargaining is to be polite. A dealer is more likely to give you a better deal if you approach bargaining in a polite, non-pushy way. Shouting across a shop or interrupting a conversation with another customer is never going to equal success.

Y

ou will not need to question the price of every object, but if it is higher than what is

listed in the price guides you have every right to question it. Again, politeness is critical. Approach the dealer and discreetly ask how they came to that price for the item and explain how much you had been under the impression an item like that was worth.

?

[email protected]

T

he dealer will not want everyone in the shop to think that every price is negotiable, so

try to have these conversations quietly, out of the earshot of other customers. You can approach the dealer and ask them to come look at an item with you and tell you if it is the best price. You can also give the dealer an offer and see if they are willing to accept it.

There are some other general rules to follow in shops and shows.

W

hile most people love children, antiques can be easily damaged.

If your children are of an age where they are hard to control, an antique shop or show is not the right place for them. Of course, children who have been taught not to touch items without permission and do not run around will be welcomed.

B

ringing food and drinks around antiques is another thing to avoid for fairly obvious

reasons. Dealers are protective of their merchandise and having food or drink near the merchandise will mark you as a careless beginner.

I

f a display case is closed, you should not open it without permission.

I

f an item has a sign saying “Do Not Touch” or “Fragile,” there is a reason why.

The items inside may be fragile and the dealer should be responsible for bringing them out for you to look at. While you are able to pick up items, you should ask for help. Handling delicate antiques is a skill that needs to be learned. Items can fall apart if lifted improperly. A dealer will always be willing to help you learn to properly handle antiques and they will appreciate your consideration. Listen to

the sign and bring the dealer over to show you the item.

Y

ou should also ask the dealer before doing any of the following:

taking photographs, lifting furniture items to examine the construction, tapping glass, using a magnet to check plastic or glass.

B

asically it boils down to this: until an item is sold it belongs to the dealer.

Consider how you would feel if a guest in your home who you had only just met were picking up your valuable possessions without asking and handling them in a careless way.

?

[email protected]

Antique Auctions

L

ive antique auctions can be intimidating for beginners.

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the speed, jargon and other bidders. However, armed with a bit of knowledge a live auction can be exciting and entertaining.

I

t is a good idea to attend an auction or two without the intention of buying anything.

This will help you get a feel for how things are done. Auctions are usually listed in newspapers. Increasingly you will find them listed online as well. The website craigslist.org lists classified ads for a wide range of purposes including auctions. There are different sites for metropolitan areas all around the world. Another option, of course, is word of mouth.

W

hen you look into attending your first auction, you will discover that there are two

types of auctions. The first is an estate sale. Estate sales are generally held in a home. The purpose of an estate sale is to liquidate all of the assets in a home. The second type of auction is a consignment sale, which is generally held in an auction house. A consignment sale will bring together items from many different sources to sell for a commission.

T

here are a number of differences between these types of auctions that you will want to

know about. In estate sales, there is usually no minimum price set on any item. The purpose of the auction is to sell all the items. While the auctioneer will attempt to get the highest price, the quantity of items to be sold means that no matter how low the highest bid, the item will be sold.

I

tems sold at consignments sales can be there for a number of reasons.

It may have been bought and restored and now the buyer wishes to sell it in the hopes of making a profit. It may be that someone is in need of the money from the sale or no longer needs the item. The item may come from a shop where it remained unsold for too long. The other possibility is that it is the property of the auctioneer or the auction house.

U

nlike estate sale, in a consignment sale an item may not be sold if the bids are not high

enough. The consigner may set the minimum price. Additionally, the auctioneer may use a house number to purchase an item that has not attracted a high enough price.

?

[email protected]

Before You Bid

B

efore bidding begins, you will usually have the chance to examine the items to be auc-

tioned. Take the time and to look over items you are interested in to ensure that they are worthwhile. Follow the same rules of etiquette in handling items at an auction that you would follow in a shop or show.

A

lso before the beginning of the auction you will want to ensure that you know some

A

nother consideration is what form of payments are accepted.

basic information about the conditions of the auction. Check to see whether returns are possible or if all items are sold “as is.” Also find out if a “buyer’s premium” is charged. This can be a fee of 5-15% over the purchase price, so you will want to take it into account when bidding. Finally, check to see if the sales tax is included in the price or will be charged after and what the sales tax is. These things can add up quickly, making your end total much higher than you had thought it was going to be. Cash is always an option, and most auctions take credit cards as well, although some may have a minimum charge in order to use a credit card.

Bidding Strategy

W

hen the auction is about to get underway, it is time to consider some strategic points.

W

here you choose to sit will depend on personal preference.

If you have watched a few auctions, you will have noticed that it is a subtle form, much like poker or blackjack. Seasoned bidders prefer to be discreet with their bidding. In fact, you may be surprised that the bid keeps rising without any real shows of who is doing the bidding. Some bidders like to sit in the back, where it is easy for them to view everyone else, but they are not as easy to be seen. Others sit next to the center aisle where they can hold their paddle down and to the side without attracting much attention. Those who sit in the front row are able to bid by holding a finger up, which means that only the auctioneer can see their bid.

?

[email protected]

T

here are a number of ways to place a bid.

Some experienced bidders use very subtle signals like winking or making eye contact with the auctioneer and nodding. Beginners should stick to the more standard methods such as raising a bidding paddle, bidding card, their hand or finger. There is no need to wave it in the air, simply lift it high enough that the auctioneer will see it. Most auctioneers are very seasoned and are quick to recognize a bid.

W

ith the first bid you place it is a good idea to ensure that the auctioneer has seen you.

If the auctioneer seems to be unaware, saying simply “here,” will ensure they see you. After that it is unlikely that they will miss a subsequent bid because they are aware that you are “in the game” for this round.

A

common cautionary tale involves an expensive item mistakenly purchased at an auction

A

good general rule, once the bidding has begun on an item that you are interested in,

by an inadvertent hand gesture or nose scratch. While this makes for excellent sitcoms, in real life auctioneers are quite skilled at recognizing the difference between a bid and a nose scratch. If a movement is misinterpreted as a bid, simply explain that you were not bidding. No one would be forced to buy something they did not want.

is to not bid too early. Wait until the bidding has slowed down and if the item is still under your limit, make a bid. On the other hand, if no opening bids are placed, go ahead. Sometimes auctioneers will end an auction suddenly if no one is bidding. It is a way to let the people who prefer to bid at the last moment that he is sick of it.

I

n any auction, be wary of engaging in a bidding war.

Decide your absolute maximum price for an item and do not go above it. The satisfaction of winning will be quickly diminished upon realizing you have overpaid for an item.

Online Auctions

S

ince the spread of the Internet in the 90s, online auction sites have become a huge industry. They have become a popular way to sell a number of items, including antiques.

?

[email protected]

T

here are pros and cons to purchasing antiques through online auctions.

The most obvious downside is the fact that you are unable to view the item before purchasing it. A major positive aspect of using online auctions to purchase antiques is the ability to have access to antiques being sold all around the world.

W

hen looking at antiques being sold in an online auction, it is important to take a number of things into consideration.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Online Auctions

I

t is a good idea to sign up at the auction site if you have not already.

This ensures you will be able to bid when you are ready and also that you are able to use features like a “Watchlist.” This allows you to save an item for easy access while bidding is open.

A

nother feature to familiarize yourself with is the ability to search completed listings.

On ebay, this is located in the advance search window. To view only completed listings, enter your search and check the completed listings only. This will allow you to see how much items similar to what you are looking for are being sold for.

I

n searching for antique items, it is best to search within the antique category.

Typing “Antique Dolls” will give you many antique dolls, but there will also be many modern dolls made in an antique style. You will still encounter some of that in the antique category, but not as much.

D

epending on how specific you are in your search, you may come up with anywhere

from a few items to page after page of items. Generally, you will browse down, looking at photographs and descriptions of items. When you see something of interest, click on the item.

?

[email protected]

Y

ou will be tempted to read the item description first, however, it is actually better to

have a look at the seller’s feedback first. You can read the comments of others who have done business with them to ensure that they have satisfied customers. Review any negative feedback but keep in mind that just as there are bad sellers, there can also be bad buyers. A couple negative feedbacks are to be expected, particularly if the seller has hundreds or even thousands of transactions. Be wary of anyone who has almost no feedback and many items for sale. They may have opened a new account because of bad feedback. On the other hand, just because someone doesn’t have much feedback does not mean that they will be bad sellers, everyone has to start somewhere.

W

hen you look at the item and its price, you will see different information depending on the type of listing. There are 3 main types of auctions online.



Reserve Auction: A reserve auction is one in which the seller has set a minimum price on an item. This minimum price is not visible to potential buyers. If the reserve has not been met, that will be indicated under the currant high bid.



No Reserve Auction: In a no reserve auction, there is no minimum price, and the item will be sold to whoever is the highest bidder.



Buy it Now: A Buy it Now auction is not really an auction at all. It is a fixed price that the seller sets for an item. When a buyer ends a buy it now auction, they must pay for the item immediately.

S

omething to remember with all online auctions is that once you place a bid, or select to

buy something through Buy it Now, you have entered into a contract with the seller. If your bid wins, you MUST pay for the item. That is why you should be very careful to read all of the item description thoroughly and ask any questions you may have. Especially look at details like measurements. A friend of mine won an auction on what she thought was a vintage designer briefcase. It really looked like a briefcase in the photo. When she got it, however, it was as big as a medium sized handbag and she was kicking herself for not reading the measurements. Also pay close attention to any flaws or problems the item may have. You should also look at the payment options, shipping costs and whether or not the seller accepts returns.

?

[email protected]

W

hen you place a bid, the online auction system will calculate the lowest possible bid

that will make you the high bidder, even if you have put a higher maximum bid. This is called automatic bidding. It means that if someone else places a bid that is still under your maximum, your bid amount will increase.

O

nline auctions can last for a day, several days, a week or even longer.

It is important to remember that many people will wait until the very last minute to bid. You may have placed a bid and been the high bidder for days right up until the final moments of the auction, only to find it swept away for just a little over your maximum bid.

A

benefit to online auctions is the ability to pick your absolute highest price and then let

the automated system take care of the rest. Of course, it is still possible to be involved in bidding wars that can raise the price of an item dramatically. Remember when you bid that every time you tell yourself you will bid just a little higher, you are making a deeper commitment to an item you have never seen. Don’t full into a bidding war while sitting in front of your computer-you will only regret it later.

I

f you win the item you have been bidding on, you will need to pay for it.

Make sure to follow the seller’s instructions as they are listed on the page. Sometimes you will need to wait for them to send you an invoice with the actual shipping charges. There are a number of payment options that online auction sellers will accept, and you should have checked these before bidding. In addition to checks and money orders, most sellers accept payment through a separate company called Paypal.

P

aypal is a way for people and businesses to send money to each other in a safe and se-

cure way. If you have a credit card, debit card or bank account you will be able to make payments using Paypal. Many sellers will not take payment and ship the item to you unless Paypal has verified your address in order to avoid fraud. Because of this, you may wish to sign up for your Paypal account before you begin bidding. A big advantage of Paypal payments is that they are almost instantaneous, which means your item will be shipped that much sooner.

?

[email protected]

Online Antique Dealers

I

n many ways, an online antique dealer shares their major drawback with online auction

sites. You can’t see the item in real life! Online antique dealers will tend to be better about accepting returns within a limited time frame, although you can expect to pay for the shipping and a restocking fee.

O

nline antique dealers are often antique shops that have decided to extend their business

to the Internet. Because of this, you can do some research into their reputation on your own. Customer service is likely to be better with an online antique dealer than through an online auction. They will be willing to take phone calls and answer questions for you.

Y

ou can find online antique dealers by browsing the Internet search engines.

There are also some dealers who use larger website “malls” to sell their products. They list their antiques through classified ads and wait for people to make offers. Because these are still individual dealers, you can expect the same level of customer service that you would find in an online antique dealer’s shop.

Private Sales

P I

rivate antique sales are when an individual is selling an item or multiple items.

The major ways in which private sales occur is through classified ads and garage or yard sales.

n both types of private sales, you can count on a few things.

Firstly, and on the negative side is that returns are virtually non-existent. You would not have much success ringing the doorbell of a house you had been to for a garage sale and asking to return an item because it was not authentic. Unless you work something out with the seller in advance, all sales will be final. The positive side of private sales is that very often people will not know what they have. They are just clearing out their basements and attics to make more room. This is a great opportunity for novice antique collectors to take a chance on an item. If something looks like it could be worthwhile, and doesn’t cost much, buying it and then doing the research on it is a good way to develop your skills. If it isn’t valuable, you won’t have lost much money.

?

[email protected]

I

n private sales, negotiations are common.

The sellers want to get rid of the items and they will be willing to take a lower price. As with antique dealers, be polite. Everyone responds to good manners. Also, remember to be kind. Trying to haggle someone down to a fraction of an already low price can backfire if that item carries some sort of family history.

E

specially with larger items, making a strong cash offer is a good way to quickly negotiate

B

oth garage and yard sales as well as private sales are usually listed in classified ads.

a price. Showing them the money and saying “What if I give you ____ for it right now?” They want to get rid of the item, and they may jump on the offer even if it is less than they had hoped just because they fear no one else will make any offer at all. Another word of advice is to always use the word “old” instead of “antique.” People associate antiques with value, and you don’t want the price to suddenly rise.

Craigslist.org, which I mentioned before as a resource for classified ads, is an excellent supplement to newspaper classified ads, especially because the listing is free of charge.

Y

ou will have to learn what to look for in the ads to tell you if a garage or private sale

might have some antiques of interest. Key words like “old” and “unique,” might be indicators, as are indications of materials like oak, iron, brass, and cherry. The location may also have some clues. A yard sale in an older neighborhood is likely to bring out more things that have been buried for years than in a newer home. Don’t discount newer neighborhoods however. Mixed in with used baby toys being discarded by a growing family, you might find some items that have been held onto because of their beauty, but must now be sold to make more room.

V

isiting yard and garage sales can be a great deal of fun.

The general rule is to go early for the best selection. Remember that not every one of these sales will have some hidden treasure. Sometimes a classified ad description can far exceed what is actually there. Remember, people always like their own things.

?

[email protected]

I

will never forget when three of my antique-inclined friends and I woke up very early to

drive to a yard sale in rural Australia. It claimed to be a huge sale with items going back many decades. Among the items listed were art, ceramic items, books, stemware, and furniture. Filled with thoughts of rare Japanese prints and first edition books, we arrived at the sale. We discovered in about three minutes that the description had been grossly overstated. A large stuffed purple dinosaur may have been the greatest find there. I don’t think there was anything at the sale that dated before 1975. The lesson from this: don’t go in with high expectations. That way, if you do go to a great sale, you will be pleasantly surprised.

W

ith private sales of specific items, you will need to arrange a time to meet with the

seller and view the item. With the convenience of the Internet and digital photography, it is worth asking the seller if they are able to send you a couple pictures. This can avoid wasting time with an item you are not at all interested in. If pictures are not an option, ask for a good description on the phone. Remember, this person is not an antique collector, so you will need to ask specific questions about age, construction and condition.

Thrift Stores

T

hrift stores are sometimes, but not always, a place to find antiques.

F

inding a good thrift store is a tricky business, but once you find one you will remember it

Many factors come into play in determining whether or not a thrift store will have something of value. Many thrift stores sell apparel for the most part, but they may also have jewelry and other small home items. Other thrift stores focus on furniture and decorative items. Because these items are usually donated for charity purposes or sold at a very low price, you should not expect much.

forever. Word of mouth is great for this; so don’t be afraid to ask around. Beyond that, the phonebook will provide you with addresses. If you don’t want to do a lot of unnecessary driving around, then you may want to call ahead. The staff at a thrift store probably won’t know much about antiques, so be sure you are able to describe specifically the kinds of things you are looking for.

?

[email protected]

Antique Malls

A

n antique mall is a place where a variety of dealers can leave their merchandise for

customers to browse through. The dealers either take turns working the mall and selling the items or a manager and staff is hired. They can range from a few dealers to many dealers. One thing to note is that the term “antique” is used loosely by antique malls. In this situation, anything old is being called an antique.

F

inding an antique mall can happen in a number of ways.

Signs on highways are common,

but you can also turn to the phonebook or the Internet.

W

hen shopping in an antique mall, you can take an item you are going to purchase and

leave it with the sales person in the front while you continue to shop. If you are thinking about an item, make a note of the stall number so you can find it again.

N

egotiation is a little different in an antique mall because the dealer isn’t there.

However, often the dealer has left terms and conditions with the sales person stating if there is a discount available on a specific item or if the price is firm. It is always worth asking, just to see. Occasionally, the clerk may be willing to call the dealer to see if a further negotiation is possible.

A

nother possibility in antique malls is to place a bid on an item.

Many dealers will accept bids. You can leave the amount would be willing to pay with the sales person and the dealer will get back to you. Please do note that you should not bid unless you are serious about making the purchase. Also, bidding less then 75% of the marked price will generally not be viewed favorably

Flea Markets

M

aybe it is the name, but flea markets are not the gold mine for antique collectors that

they once were. Unfortunately, for the most part, flea markets have become places where poorly constructed modern items are sold. That said there are still some upscale flea markets that are definitely worth the time and energy they take to seek out.

?

[email protected]

T

he rule of the day at a flea market is “buyer beware.”

L

ook for flea markets that specialize in antiques, especially if you have not developed a

Modern day reproductions are sometimes passed off as originals in flea markets because the seller has no reputation to protect. If you return the next week, they may not be there.

good eye for spotting reproductions yet. Word of mouth is excellent for this. Talk to a local dealer and see if they have any recommendations. Have a look in the Resources chapter for some online directories that list flea markets.

?

[email protected]

Chapter 5 – Furniture A

ntique furniture is one of the largest categories of antiques.

Volume after volume has been devoted to the topic, but here you will get a basic introduction. You will learn about the styles of furniture in the different time periods, about researching specific items, some shopping advice when buying antique furniture and also how to care for your antique furniture. The research section will contain a case study that will walk you through the process of researching an item step-by-step.

Styles and Time Periods

A

t first glance, the vast array of furniture styles and time periods can seem staggering.

However, there are simple tricks that antique experts use to identify and date furniture. I am going to begin the Jacobean period and continue through to Mid-Century Modern styles. For each period certain influences and themes will be discussed as well as the most important manufacturers of the period. Furniture styles are influenced by the world around them. Understanding a little of the history of the world will help you recognize furniture from a specific period. Pay attention to words written in bold. Those are keywords that you can learn to help you remember what to look for in a certain period.

Y

ou may notice that many of the early styles are named for the monarchs who were rul-

ing England at the time. This is because, especially in those earlier times, royalty set the fashion for the rest of the country. The influences would extend out into other countries as well. So, a monarch’s particular taste in decorating would eventually spread out, giving birth to a new style.

Jacobean – 1600-1690

T

he Jacobean style of furniture, named for King James I of England developed in the Early

Modern period of England, sometimes called the English Renaissance. It developed as England was coming out of the “The Golden Age” of Queen Elizabeth I rule. The Jacobean style had a heavy influence on the early furniture used by the pilgrims when they came to America.

?

[email protected]

E

arly Jacobean furniture was largely made of oak and the finish on the furniture is dark.

Solid and sturdy with straight lines, some of this furniture has been described as having a slightly inward appearance. It is noted that carvings and ornamentation, while still ornate, are more ordered and purposeful in the Jacobean period, which represents a change from earlier times. Common motifs included acorns, carved heads and geometric shapes.

L

ater Jacobean furniture is noted for giving more thought to comfort, with upholstery becoming more common.

Y

ou are unlikely to come across Jacobean style furniture in excellent condition in casual

Y

ou may come across some Jacobean pieces that were part of the revival of the style in

antiquing. Much of it is housed in museums or by wealthy collectors. You can still, however, come across pieces that are less expensive, although even these represent a significant investment.

the early 1900s. While these can be very beautiful, ensure you are not confusing them with the original Jacobean style.

Early American – 1640-1700

T

he Early American style of furniture developed as the American Colonists were creating

E

arly American furniture is often described as utilitarian.

a foothold for themselves in an unknown land. Heavily influenced by the Jacobean style, it also shows influences from the furniture styles of other parts of Europe. It has less ornamentation than its European influences, which can largely be seen as a reflection of the struggles of the live of the colonists. The furniture is simple and functional.

W

hile there were some talented carpenters, for the most part, Early American furniture

was made by the people who were using it. Though ornamentation was minimal compared to Jacobean standards, many examples show low-relief carving. A maple leaf pattern was one of the most common.

?

[email protected]

E

arly American furniture is noted for the excellent quality and variety of in the wood

used. Forests were abundant at that time and maple, walnut, cherry and oak were all used extensively.

H

igh quality wood and excellent craftsmanship combined with the simple, understated

elegance of the Early American style make it much sought after by antique collectors. If you have ever seen a piece of early American furniture, you can understand why; because it looks like it will last another 300 years without any problem. Because demand often far exceeds the supply, this furniture can be quite expensive.

William and Mary – 1690-1745

T

he William and Mary furniture style was named for William and Mary of England.

William’s Dutch background played a heavy part in influencing the style named for them. There is also a French influence noted in the style that is based at least partially on the arrival of French Protestant refugees in England. An Asian influence has also been noted, which may be based on the fact that this was around a period of heavy imperial influence in Asia by both the Dutch and the English.

W

illiam and Mary furniture is noted for its graceful lines.

Ornamentation is ornate, but tasteful. Veneer and lacquer play a heavy role. A major characteristic of the period is furniture legs involving elaborate turns and end in a ball or an ornate design know as a Spanish Foot. Common motifs seen in this style involve flowers, Asian designs, scrolls and shells. Ornamentation is through carving, gilding, inlay, Marquetry, Oriental lacquer work and Parquetry.

T

his style of furniture is quite expensive because of its relative scarcity.

However, some small pieces of William and Mary furniture are still within the range of a casual collector who is willing to make an investment.

Queen Anne – 1720s-1760s

T

he Queen Anne style of furniture, named for Queen Anne of England, is generally thought

to be between the 1720s and the 1760s, although some examples of the style can be seen earlier, especially in England.

?

[email protected]

S

howing a clear development from the William and Mary style, the Queen Anne style

continues the trend towards graceful lines. It is noted by furniture experts that prior to the Queen Anne style, both England and the American colonies had not been as advanced in their design as France and Italy. The Queen Anne style, rather then imitating European design, combined many different elements to create something new.

I

n addition to its refined appearance, several distinct features characterized the Queen Anne

style. Many things, such as lacquer and Asian influences carried over from the William and Mary style, however there were many new features to help you identify this type of furniture. A major feature is the development of the cabriole leg, which remains an influence in certain classically designed furniture. This is a leg which swoops out and then in again in a graceful curve. The legs often ended in a drake (carved animal paw), a pad (simple curved foot) or a ball and claw (A claw grasping a ball).

O

ther characteristics of this style are fiddle-backed chairs, in which the center slat of

the chair was shaped like a fiddle and bat-wing shaped drawer pulls. Highboys and lowboys were very popular in this period.

S

ome of the most expensive antique American furniture comes out of this style.

Of particular note were the items produced by Townsend and Goddard, two furniture makers in Newport, Rhode Island. An excellent Newport piece designed by one of them can go for millions of dollars at auction.

Q

ueen Anne furniture is typically quite expensive, though older reproductions are also an option that captures the style.

Chippendale – 1750s-1780s

O

verlapping in time with the Queen Anne style, the Chippendale style is named for

Thomas Chippendale. An English furniture maker, he published a book in 1754, the “Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director,” that would strongly influence furniture design, both in England and in America.

?

[email protected]

I

n England, Chippendale’s influence translated into elaborations of the French Louis XV

style. Cabriole legs are noted from this period, but are often gilded. Elaborate scrolls are combined with flowing curves.

B

oth the English and American Chippendale style show a move from the feminine to a

more masculine furniture design. In the American style, the look is more pared down. The styles development from the Queen Anne period is still evident. A focus on symmetry of line can be noted. Rich, deeply colored woods like cherry and mahogany were typical.

O A

rnamentation of Chippendale style furniture was through carving, decorative finials, and fretwork.

uthentic Chippendale style furniture is in high demand with collectors. Pieces in good condition are very expensive.

Federal - 1780-1820

T

he Federal style of furniture in America coincided with the English Neoclassical move-

T

he look of the Federal style is graceful, with a clean and elegant straight line.

S

ome popular designers in this period were Duncan Phyfe, Charles Honore Lannuier,

ment. Furniture designers Hepplewhite, Adam and Sheraton had major influences in this period. Although America was now separated from England, these English designers still held a heavy influence over furniture design. The political feeling of this period is captured in the patriotic symbols that were sometimes a part of the furniture design. The ornate feet that ended the legs of previous styles has faded away and been replaced by feet which are a continuation of the leg. Some ornamentation common in this style was banding, reeding, fluting and stenciling. Dark woods like cherry and mahogany continued to be popular.

Michael Allison, John Shaw, John Dolan, Samuel McIntire, and George Woodruff.

A

ntique furniture in the Federal style is very valuable today because of its excellent con-

struction and refined beauty. It represents an important time in the history of the United States, which adds to its appeal for collectors.

?

[email protected]

Empire 1800-1850

T

he Empire period of American furniture corresponded to the Regency period in English

furniture, however, the English influence on American design had decrease significantly by this point. The French Empire period had a far greater influence in American furniture design in this period. This was the day of Napoleon, and the style was heavily influenced by his interest in Greek and Roman times.

C

lassical ornamentation was characteristic of this style.

Grecian columns and other hints towards the classical period are in evidence. Mythological scenes were often portrayed. Dark woods continued to be used.

I

n many ways the Empire period builds on the simple elegance of the Federal period.

While the classical motifs represent the fashion of the day, the underlying utility that is so common to American furniture is still the guiding force. Items from the Empire period are much sought after by antique collectors and very valuable.

Victorian 1840-1910

N

amed for Queen Victoria of England, the Victorian style of furniture is seen by many as

the beginning of a decline in the design of furniture that lasted throughout the middle of the 19th century. Dark and somber in appearance, this style of furniture represents a return to gothic influences.

A

number of revivals occurred during this period, however these often lacked the quality

of craftsmanship and the refinements that had made the originals so desirable. Heavy proportions are noted in the furniture, along with elaborate ornamentation. Because of the renewed interest in furniture styles from the past few centuries, there are not many identifiable features that are strictly Victorian.

I

t is rather important to note that this period marked the time when furniture was beginning to be mass-produced.

?

[email protected]

Arts and Crafts – 1880-1910

T

he Arts and Crafts movement was a response to the industrial revolution. The style was

originated with William Morris and John Ruskin. This handmade furniture was simple in design by comparison to the Victorian style.

C

haracterized by simple straight lines, Arts and Crafts style furniture was a return to

the utilitarian style. Minimal ornamentation was the rule of the style and the focus was much more on the quality of construction.

A

ntique collectors value the excellent and simple construction of this style.

Art Nouveau – 1890s-1910

O

ften considered to be the first truly modern movement in design, Art Nouveau was the

first style that did not rely on the designs of the past for its inspiration. The arts and crafts period was a heavy influence on the style, but only in that it too valued handmade construction over the mass produced.

N

ature and the natural world are primary influences on this style.

Asymmetrical lines typified this organic focus. Additionally, furniture lines were flowing and feminine. Floral and foliage motifs were stylized.

T

iffany’s Japanese-inspired glass was of major importance. Beech, black walnut, mahogany and oak were dominant woods in use.

A

rt nouveau items in excellent condition are valuable antiques.

?

[email protected]

Art Deco – 1920s-1930s

B

uilding on the foundation of the Art Nouveau movement, the Art Deco period was one

in which the modern was thoroughly embraced. Like the Art Nouveau movement, Art Deco was influential on art, architecture and anything else of visual importance.

C

hrome and plastic were used as important elements of furniture design for the first

time. Curving lines often made use of plant imagery. Along with the abstract, Asian influences are seen. There is a modern angularity that develops in the later years of the style and is easily recognizable.

A

lthough it does not yet meet the 100-year mark for being defined as an antique, most

antique collectors recognize their value. Unique art deco items in excellent condition are a valuable investment.

Mid-Century Modern– 1950s-1960s

M

odern furniture took a new turn in the 1950s and 1960s.

The furniture of this time showed the influence of the post-war era with new materials and a sleek look.

T

his contemporary furniture was free of ornamentation.

S

candinavian designed furniture, noted for clean lines and light colored woods was a

Smooth lines and distinctive shapes fit well with the new era. A major aspect of mid-century furniture is the focus on the functionality and comfort of the items.

major influence on the Mid-Century style.

M

id-century furniture by the premier designers of the time could be very expensive,

however the style was widely adopted, meaning that many inexpensive items were produced. Collectors should be on the lookout for some of the major names: Aero Saarinen, Arne Jacobsen, Alvar Aalto, Rudolf Schindler, Richard Neutra, Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Hans Wegner, and Craig Ellwood.

?

[email protected]

What to Consider When Shopping

N

ow that you know a bit about the styles of antique furniture, you will want to know what

to look at when you are shopping. Good antiquing requires the ability to evaluate an item base on your objectives.

F

or furniture, use the following checklist of items. After a while you will know it by heart

and examining furniture based on these aspects will be second nature to you. Remember not to rush into judging anything too quickly. Take your time with the item and make sure you are seeing it exactly for what it is. This will help you avoid costly errors



Does it catch your eye



Doe it demand a closer look?



Are the shape and lines pleasing?



Do you like it?



What condition is it in?



Does it show signs of repair? Professional or unprofessional?



Has the wood aged well?



Is it well constructed?



Does the piece still function well? Do the drawers and doors open and shut correctly?

B

ecause of their age, it is rare to find a true antique in mint condition.

Items are moved over the years and damaged in the process. For many antique collectors, the signs of age are an important, character-giving aspect of the items.

M

ost valuable furniture items are hand made.

Collectors look for ripples and uneven markings on furniture as signs that an object has been hand made.

?

[email protected]

A

n item with a label or a marking will normally be sold at a higher price than a similar

item with no marking. This is because the marking will allow a positive identification of the item.

T

he more you learn about antique furniture, the more easily you will be able to recognize

the unique from the mundane. The important thing to keep in mind is to trust your own judgment.

Spotting Reproductions and Fakes

W P

ith the many furniture revivals that happened in the 19th century, how can you tell the difference between a reproduction and an original?

aying attention to construction is invaluable to determining whether an object is a modern

reproduction or not. Make a point of looking at a number of items both older reproductions and originals. Eventually, you will learn to easily spot the differences.

T

he circular saw was not adopted into wide use until 1830, which can be helpful in spot-

ting reproductions. If an item has circular saw marks it must have been made after 1830. Examining interior boards of furniture can help reveal this and help you more accurately date furniture.

A

nother thing to look at is nails.

Any furniture made before 1790 will use blacksmith forged nails called “rose-headed nails.” As their name indicates, their heads are shaped like roses. From 1790 to 1830 nails were cut by a machine and then finished off by a blacksmith. These nails were called “square-headed nails” because of their squared off heads. From 1830-1890, machine cut, headless nails were used in furniture construction. It was not until 1890 that the modern nails we know today came into use. Learning to spot the difference in different types of nails is an excellent way to date furniture.

?

[email protected]

Researching Antique Furniture

W

hether you are trying to find out about a beautiful mirror found in the home of a

relative or wondering if that small table you found at a garage sale might be worth something or if it has an interesting history, researching can be a very fun part of the antiquing experience.

F

orget about the kind of research you did in school.

T

here is no one right way to research an object.

T

he first step in any research is to try to name what it is that you have.

Trying to learn about your antique furniture is fun and exciting. The more you do it, the better you will get. The goal here is to work out more than just the time and the style in which an object was created. If possible, you want to find out where it was made and by whom. You will also want to know if it is rare or common. In addition to books you might purchase for yourself, the library and the Internet are both valuable sources for finding out about any antiques. Personally, I use the Internet as much as possible. I just find it easier and more convenient. However, when I feel like I have exhausted the Internet, I am not afraid of researching in the library as well. In some cases, it will be fairly obvious. In other cases it may not be as clear-cut. This is where your knowledge of styles will come into play as well. You may also want to consider that if they item came from a source that might not be as knowledgeable, they may have misidentified the objects purpose. Be as detailed in this initial identification as possible. If you have a chair, what kind of chair is it? Was it a dining room chair, a desk chair or a sitting room chair? Consider less likely alternatives. Perhaps it was a chair that matched a vanity table?

Y

ou may need to consider several options for what the object is as you research.

It is

better to cast too wide a net than too narrow.

O

nce you have decided what you have, or at least have some possibilities, try to think

about how to describe the object. This will help you narrow down what you have. Think about the words you would use to describe it. If you find yourself at a loss for words, you might want to consider looking at http://www.artworkers.com/glossary/. They provide an excellent glossary of terms to do with antique furniture.

?

[email protected]

In describing the object, look at the following items and make a list.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

General Appearance Proportion Resembles Line Wood Finish Motif Ornamentation Foot Hardware Material Drawer Pull Joint Chair Back Shape Chair Leg Chair Seat Material Chair Seat Shape Fabric Upholstery

T

hese are the key features that will help you narrow down what you are looking for to a

T

he website http://www.maltwood.uvic.ca/hoft/timeline.html contains a timeline of the

specific period. If you are lucky, you will also be able to use them to narrow down to specific regions or designers. The more your practice doing this, the better you will get at identifying furniture.

history of furniture. If you are unsure about the period of your furniture, you can use this to help you pinpoint the details.

?

[email protected]

I

f the item has a mark that indicates the manufacturer, you may be able to identify it more

quickly with an Internet search or through the price guides. However, writing out the details is still a very good practice as it gets you in the habit of identifying the specifics of different styles.

Case Study

A

desk with a original round, red/yellow company label which reads Skandia Furniture Co. Rockford, ILL.

I

n examining the photo of the desk, I notice that it is the desk style called a secretary or

I

n looking at the photos, the secretary has a formal quality to it.

secretaire. This means a closed desk with a surface that either folds down or pulls out. Drawers are usually under the writing surface, and a bookcase and other storage are usually on top. The ornamentation is minimal. The wood is has a dark finish, although there seems to be an inlayed piece of lighter wood. The desk, when closed, appears as simple box mounted on very unique legs. They turn in multiple ways and end in a curled foot.

A B

quick history of the Skandia Furniture Company in Rockford, Illinois, reveals that it was founded in 1888. This city was home to a number of furniture manufacturers.

ased on the characteristics of the secretary, it seems to be from the Victorian style.

Because it does have the feeling of moderating some of the most overblown tendencies of that period, I feel that it may be more towards the end of the period. It does show some early Art Deco characteristics. I think it probably dates anywhere from 1900-1920.

W

hile I was unable to locate any specific information about the desk, using the eBay

completed listing function and the price guide at www.kovels.com, I would guess the selling price to be anywhere between US$150-600 depending on the condition, which cannot be measured by the photos available.

?

[email protected]

Antique Furniture Care

C

aring for antique furniture well is of critical importance to maintaining the value and beauty of the piece.

I

n general, with antiques, you want to be the least invasive you can be.

I

f the object requires further cleaning, use a cloth and gently clean with a small amount of

This means using gentle products to clean and taking your time. If you have just acquired an object and it is really dirty, you will need to get most of the dust off before you get down to the finer work. First, remove as much of the dirt as you can using just a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment. Especially if you are unsure of the finish, you don’t want to use a cloth that might catch on an unfinished surface.

furniture cleaner. It is preferable to use one that is made especially for antiques and to clean off the cleaner using a fresh cloth and some distilled water.

G A

etting into all of the nooks and crannies may require some more delicate work.

Try

using a toothbrush and toothpicks to get to those hard to reach spots.

fter you have cleaned the object, you can maintain it with regular dusting with a lint free

cloth and a once a year application of beeswax polish (twice a year for items in heavy use). Apply a small amount of the wax with a cloth and then use a lint-free cloth to polish. Less product and more time polishing will yield the best results.

I

f you have a valuable item that requires refinishing or other repairs, you will want to consult

a professional. Taking on these types of tasks on your own can dramatically decrease the value of an item.

O

n the other hand, if you are certain that an item is not especially valuable, taking on

minor repairs can be acceptable. Just remember to do as little as you need to and keep the item as close to original as you can.

?

[email protected]

Resources for Antique Furniture Antique Trader Furniture Price Guide (Antique Trader Furniture Price Guide) by Mark F. Moran (2001) Identifying American Furniture: A Pictorial Guide to Styles and Terms, Colonial to Contemporary (American Association for State and Local History Book Series) by Milo M. Naeve (1998) The Book of Antique Furniture: An International Sytle Guide from the 16th to the 20th Century by Francis Rousseau (2000) The Bulfinch Anatomy of Antique Furniture: An Illustrated Guide to Identifying Period, Detail, and Design by Paul Atterbury, Tim Forrest (1996)

Web Resources http://www.win.net/~larrivee/hardware_history.html This is an excellent source for identifying period hardware throughout the years.

http://www.medievalwoodworking.com/articles/joinery.html This site has everything you need to know about how furniture was put together in medieval times.

http://www.cabinetmakersearch.com With over 36,000 records, this database allows you to look up information by the maker’s name, location or form of cabinetry.

?

[email protected]

Chapter 6 – Fine Art and Antique Prints

E

ver see a painting or a print at a thrift store and wonder if it is worth anything?

Art as a category of antiques is hugely complicated by the sheer amount of art that has been produced throughout history. If collecting fine art or antique prints is appealing to you, be prepared to do your homework.

I

t is a rare person indeed who is able to identify art quickly and easily.

Nicole Neville, the expert interviewed earlier in the book, can look at a painting with the artist’s name covered and track down when it was produced, and identify the artist. Of course, she was only able to do that after years of training. But if she saw a valuable painting sitting in a thrift store, she would be sure to notice it.

F

or those of us without years of training, we have to learn about evaluating fine art and

antique prints with limited knowledge. Using good resources and exposing yourself to as many genuine, high-quality pieces of art will be critical in developing your skills. It is also important to learn how to do the research that will tell us more about an item.

Evaluating Fine Art and Antique Prints

W U

hen you are looking at a piece of artwork or an antique print, it is important to keep a few things in mind.

nless you are very skilled at identifying art, be extremely cautious of purchasing an

item simply because you think you will be able to make money selling it. It is better to purchase items that you will enjoy. If it does happen that the item is valuable, then that is an added bonus.

?

[email protected]

W

O

hen looking at a painting or a print, there are some basic questions you should ask yourself.



Can I see the artistic value in it?



What is the condition?



How old is it?



Can I identify an artistic movement it might be associated with?



Is it signed?



For prints, does it have a seal?



If there is a frame, what condition is it in?

nce you have answered all of these questions, consider the price of the item.

If you are unsure, it is better to leave it behind. If an item looks oddly familiar, be careful, it may be a forgery or reproduction of a more famous work. Experts have been trained to look at details like brushstrokes to identify forgeries, but to the untrained eye, it may look very similar.

M

any people think that if a print or artwork is on yellowing paper that shows how old it

is, it will be worth more. However, this is not always the case. As paper has changed over the years the quality of it has dropped substantially. Often times, truly antique paper will be white or almost white. It is more modern paper that goes yellow with age.

O

ne way to spot a modern forgery or reproduction is through the use of a black light.

Modern paint and paper made after 1930 will usually glow under black lighting. This is also a good way to check for hairline damage on a painting, or to see if some modern repair or touchup has been performed.

?

[email protected]

Antique Prints

C

ollecting antique prints is an inexpensive alternative to fine art that can contribute to

the beauty of an antique themed room. It can also be profitable. Antique prints are increasing greatly in popularity and the demand for authentic prints is raising the prices.

A

n original print is a piece of paper that has had a design applied to it in any of a variety

of ways. Key factors of an original print are that the artist must either do the printing or supervise it. An original print can only be produced in an artist’s lifetime. Original prints can be identified and valued by a seal. There are several books available for identifying print seals and pricing the print.

S

ome big names in prints currently are Maxfield Parrish and Bessie Pease Gutmann.

T

hough they lack the power of name recognition, cottage prints from the beginning of the

T

hese prints that I have been talking about are relatively modern in origin and for the most

Original prints of some of their more popular or rare designs can be worth a considerable amount

20th century are steadily increasing in value. These prints feature idyllic settings and are soft, but colorful. These prints can still be found at very low prices because they were very popular. Despite the number available, the price on these prints is expected to rise because of the currant demand.

part, American. However, antique prints can be found from all over the world and can date back centuries. Some prints were done with stone and other with metal as the printing plate.

A

key factor in the value of a print was the time and artistry required to produce it.

For example, the prints created by John James Audobon were carefully engraved based on his original work, like for line. After the printing, the prints were painted by hand with watercolor to exactly replicate the original. This painstaking effort has made these prints some of the most valuable around.

B

e on the lookout for other nature prints like the Audubon prints.

There are many collectors of these prints and they can attract a surprisingly high price.

?

[email protected]

A

s with so much in antiques, it is a good idea to pick an area of specialization.

By doing this, you can learn about a specific type of print in detail and you will be able to recognize something of value when you see it.

B

y learning just a few names, you will know what to look for.

Most people do not know what an original print is, and don’t realize what they have. I have bought prints for $20 and sold them for $200. Of course, bargains like that don’t come around every day, so you need to know what to look for when they do.

Researching Fine Art and Antique Prints

W

ith the resources now available on the Internet, researching art has become much simpler;

however there can be complications. Whether art research is simple or complicated largely depends on whether or not you know the name of the artist.

T

here are a number of online databases that allow you to search artists by name.

One of these, http://web.artprice.com, does not even require that a whole name be entered, which can be important if the artist’s name is hard to read. Additionally, a simple search engine query using the artist’s name can be surprisingly productive.

I

f the Internet turns up nothing, or the artist’s name could not be found on the work, it is time

I

f you don’t know the artist’s name, you will need to try to identify the period that the art

I

f all else fails, going to an art museum with your picture is something to consider.

to turn to books. If you are going to the library, be sure to bring a picture of the artwork for comparison. If you know the artists name, you will have a place to start.

came from and hopefully where it was produced. Look for clues in the work that might help you. As the people who work there if they have ever seen anything like it. They will probably be able to help you narrow down your search.

?

[email protected]

O

nce you find out the period, you can look through art books and try to pinpoint where

and when it was produced. Although it is always better to have signed art, unsigned art can still fetch an attractive price at auction if it comes from an important movement.

Case Studies #1. I just bought a signed, colored etching by V. Carre (1930’s?), A French artist who I cannot find a thing about.

C

arre was not listed in any of the online databases, so I turned to the search engines.

There was not much information available. What I learned was that V. Carre, an artist from outside of Paris, was known for his etchings, which depicted scenes from France, Belgium and Holland. His work comes from the 1920s-1930s.

I

was able to find one Carre etching online at a gallery.

It was on sale for US$95. There were no records of other sales that I could find in the previous auction listings either.

#2. I need information about an oil painting by E. Gruenthaler.

I

was not able to track down much information about Gruenthaler.

What I did learn is that one of his paintings was sold at auction in 1999 for US$350. The name Gruenthaler, or Grünthaler is found originally in both Germany and Sweden, though it is not especially common. The fact that the English form of the name is used indicates the painter may have been an immigrant or was born to immigrants in England or America.

Caring for Fine Art and Antique Prints

F

ine art and antique prints lose their value rapidly if they are damaged.

So, what is the

best way to go about caring and cleaning for them?

W

ith fine art, you are best off leaving real cleaning to an art conservator.

Unless you really won’t be bothered if damage occurs, this is simply not a task to try at home. The most you should ever do is take a soft brush called a squirrel or badger and lightly brush dust away. Never use water or anything wet on a painting. You should not need to dust a painting more than once or twice a year.

?

[email protected]

A

ntique prints that are dirty or damaged are worth so much less for a reason; it is very

hard to clean paper. Even a trained professional may not be able to accomplish the task. If you have purchased a print that is dirty or damaged because of the good price, it is probably best to just enjoy it as it is. Attempting to clean it may destroy it.

I

f your print is in good condition, avoid handling it as much as you possibly can. Be sure to

use acid free materials for matting and framing. Don’t use glue, tape or any other adhesive. Never cut or trip the print. You may want to use a type of Plexiglas to cover the print that will block harmful UV rays.

W

ith both fine art and antique prints, heat, humidity and light are all dangers.

You need to exercise your judgment in placing them on display in order to avoid damage.

Resources for Fine Art and Antique Prints Audubon Art Prints: A Collector’s Guide to Every Edition (2003) Collectors Value Guide to Early Twentieth Century American Prints by Michael Ivankovich (1998) A Guide To Collecting Antique Historical Prints: A Guide To Collecting Antique Historical Prints by Christopher W. Lane, Carolyn Cades, Donald H. Cresswell (1995) How to Identify Prints, Second Edition by Bamber Gascoigne (2004) Miller’s: Antiques: Art & Collectables On the Web by Phil Ellis, Simon C. Edwards (2000) Oriental Antiques & Art: An Identification and Value Guide by Mark F. Moran (2003)

Web Resources http://askart.com This site has information on 52,000 American artists.

http://web.artprice.com 21 million auction prices and indices covering 342,000 artists. Unfortunately you have to pay to see a lot of the information, but it is still useful.

?

[email protected]

Chapter 7 – Antique Jewelry M

y own interest in antique jewelry began when I inherited a wide variety of costume

A

ntique jewelry, whether it is fine or costume, is an excellent thing to collect.

jewelry going back to at least the 1890s. Many of the items were not of much interest to me, but the ones that were captivated me. It is both valuable and very much usable. It is also possible to find rare and valuable antique jewelry, especially costume jewelry, for very low prices.

C

ollectors of antique jewelry like to think about the possible history of an item.

Wondering who wore an item, and where they wore it to is one of my favorite things about owning antique jewelry.

I

n this chapter we will be looking at the most common periods of antique jewelry, how to

evaluate antique jewelry, some of the current trends in antique jewelry, how to research an item and how to care for it.

Styles and Time Periods

L

ike all antiques, the design of antique jewelry was influenced by the major design move-

ments of the era in which it was created. We are going to briefly look at the time periods of antique jewelry you are most likely to come across and some of their defining characteristics.

Victorian

J

ewelry dating from 1837 to 1901 is known as Victorian.

There are many identifying features of Victorian jewelry. Flowers, trees and birds were used in the creation of jewelry with a heavy, somber and elaborate feel. Gold and gold plate were frequently used, however, diamonds were always set in silver or white gold as this was thought to enhance their beauty.

?

[email protected]

Art Nouveau

A

lthough the Art Nouveau movement in jewelry was short-lived, lasting from 1890-1910;

it is prized among collectors for its unique and imaginative beauty. Drawing inspiration from the natural world, these pieces made use of animal and plant motifs. Graceful asymmetrical lines were common. A wide variety of enameling techniques are a major defining feature of this style.

Edwardian

T

he Edwardian period of jewelry was short, from 1901-1920.

It is characterized by a delicate appearance. Platinum was favored as a material, and diamonds and other gemstones were regularly used. The overriding feeling in Edwardian jewelry is of fine lace and filigree.

Art Deco

T

he Art Deco movement in jewelry lasted from the 1910s-1930s.

In this style, geometry and symmetry combined in with color and daring design to create truly unique pieces. The stylization of the Art Nouveau movement was imitated, but instead of the curving lines, Art Deco was based on an almost harsh geometry. The Edwardian preference for platinum was continued in this style.

Evaluating Antique Jewelry

W

hen purchasing antique jewelry, there are some key considerations to take into account when you are deciding if you are going to purchase it.



Look at the workmanship. Is the piece well crafted with attention to detail or not?



Note what condition the piece is in. Are there cracks, chips or missing stones? Some simple repairs may be acceptable, but you want to bear it in mind.



Look at the color of the piece. In antique costume jewelry, current trends will affect the price of the piece. In fine jewelry, the color

?

[email protected]

of the stone is one of the major indicators of the quality of the stone.



Try to see if the piece shows obvious signs of being from a particular era. The most valuable pieces will always be those that carry defining traits of a particular time



Consider whether or not the item is currently in vogue. There are trends in antique jewelry. An item that is much in demand will have a higher price. Remember also that just because an item isn’t currently in demand does not mean that the market will never change.



Look at the item and see if you remember seeing many others like it. If the market is flooded with a particular style, yours might not be worth much. Be warned that simply because a seller calls something “rare” does not necessarily mean that it is.



Look for a signature or manufacturer on the item. This can help you research and items that are marked are worth more.

T

he other big consideration is whether or not you like it.

As with all antiques, don’t buy something in the hopes that you will be able to sell it for more. Always buy what you love.

W

atch out for reproductions.

If something looks a little too modern, it probably is. After a while you will be able to easily spot the difference between a modern reproduction of a Victorian style necklace and a real Victorian style necklace. It is important to be careful. Especially on the Internet, there are many unscrupulous sellers who don’t have a single vintage or antique item.

Current Trends in Antique Jewelry

A

lthough, in general, a piece that has been signed is worth more money, there are a num-

A

s you begin looking at antique jewelry, you will begin to recognize certain names. Barclay,

ber of factors to consider beyond just the signature.

Coro, Trifari, Eisenberg, Napier, Hobe, Weiss, Kramer, Whiting Davis, Sarah Coventry and Lisner are just a few of the names you will come across. It is good to recognize these names because very often they do indicate quality.

?

[email protected]

D

on’t ever purchase something simply because it has a name.

Many of these designers were very prolific, so the item may not be unique or rare. Also, simply because it is marked does not indicate that the quality of the item is high. There are many beautiful, valuable unmarked pieces of jewelry.

R

ecently, there has been a big trend towards “boho” jewelry.

This refers to the bohemian styles that were popular in the 70s. Vintage jewelry collectors took this opportunity to be stylish at a much lower price than new “boho” items would cost. Of course, because of the rise in demand, the cost of boho jewelry also rose.

P

aying attention to current trends will help you determine which antique and vintage items are going to come into fashion.

F

or a number of years, jewelry made from a plastic known as Bakelite has been very popu-

lar. The demand has raised the price. Some excellent examples of Bakelite have sold for astonishingly high prices at auction. Despite this, outside of collectors, most people are unfamiliar with Bakelite. There are a number of ways to distinguish Bakelite from cheaper, less valuable substances like Lucite.



Bakelite is heavier than other plastics. Go to a store that sells antique jewelry and handle a few items so you can get a feel for them.



If two pieces of Bakelite tap into one another, they make a distinctive sound. Learn to listen for it.



Bakelite has a formaldehyde or camphor smell. Rub it with your finger to warm it and smell it, or run it under warm water.

A

ntique wedding rings have also become a trend in jewelry.

In particular, unique styles found in the Art Deco period are very popular. Antique wedding rings provide a creative alternative for those who are looking for something that is more than just a diamond.

?

[email protected]

Researching Antique Jewelry

T

he best way to identify antique jewelry is to have a good understanding of what jewelry

from different periods looks like. Go to antique jewelry stores and look around. Visit jewelry exhibits in museums to see the finest examples from different periods. Once you know about a particular time period, you will be able to identify the characteristics that define it.

If you have a specific item you are trying to learn more about, the first step is to work out what it is.

• • • • •

A

Is it costume or fine jewelry? What materials are used? Can you identify the period? How would you describe the design? Is it marked?

basic Internet search may help you turn up a lot of valuable information.

There are a number of jewelry terms that may be unfamiliar to you, but knowing what a particular style is called can help you learn more. The following website, http://en.mimi.hu/jewelry/ index_jewelry.html, has an extensive list of jewelry terms that will help you.

R

esearching the mark on an item can also be helpful.

Some marks may be unfamiliar names and may indicate that the item is rare. Also, many designers changed their marks over the years, so researching the mark might allow you to work out when it was made more closely. A website that lists a number of important jewelry designers is http://www.antiquingonline.com/jewelry-designers.htm.

O

ne of the best sites I have found for information on antique and vintage jewelry is

http://www.morninggloryantiques.com/. There are plenty of photos and some very informative articles.

T

here are also a number of excellent books that can help you in identifying a mark.

Sometimes, browse through a book for a signature mark is easier than trying to do it on the Internet.

?

[email protected]

Case Studies # 1. I have a cameo pin that is over 100 years old. I wanted to ask about the value of it.

C

ameos have been popular for centuries, and they can be quite valuable.

Their value depends on a number of things. Firstly, the quality of the carving is of central importance. Is it detailed? Is the craftsmanship and time spent obvious as you look at it? Secondly, what materials are used? Coral, shell, lava, stone, bone and ivory are all possibilities. The more rare the material, the more valuable the cameo will be.

B I

ecause there are many cameos in existence, condition is a major factor in the value. Examine the item closely. Are their any chips or crack?

looked up the auction prices of cameos both on ebay and through some online auction

listings. Cameos from the late 1800s to the early 1900s can range from US$100-3000 and above depending on the rarity, condition and size of the piece.

#2. I have a necklace. The pendant drops down from an elegantly scalloped necklace and has an enamel oval with a flower painted on it. What can you tell me about it?

B I

ased on your description, the item sounds as though it belongs to the Art Nouveau period. Floral motifs and enamel were very popular during this period.

searched online antique jewelers for items similar to the one you described.

Costume jewelry from this period remains relatively low-priced and I found a number of examples ranging from US$50-100.

Cleaning and Caring for Antique Jewelry

W

hen cleaning antique jewelry, make sure you find a cleaner that will not damage any

type of possible jewelry material. Using that, and the softest toothbrush or cloth you can find, clean the surface of the item. Ensure that you don’t leave any residual moisture when you are done. This can lead to problems like pitting in metal.

?

[email protected]

I

f you notice any loose fitting parts, take the item to a jeweler before you wear it again.

B

eyond cleaning, you can maintain your antique jewelry in excellent condition by stor-

ing it carefully. Don’t put it somewhere where it will be scratching up against other jewelry items

Antique Jewelry Resources Answers to Questions About Old Jewelry: Covers 1840-1950 by Jeanenne Bell (2003) A Connoisseur’s Guide to Antique Jewelry (Connoisseur’s Guides) by Ronald Pearsall (1999) The Official Identification and Price Guide to Antique Jewelry by Arthur Guy Kaplan (2005) Warman’s Antique Jewelry Field Guide: Values and Identification by Jeanenne Bell (2003)

Web Resources http://www.valleyfairjewelers.com This site contains a glossary of many commonly used terms in antique jewelry.

http://www.allaboutjewels.com/jewel/glossary/ The is an excellent illustrated dictionary for jewelry

http://illusionjewels.com/costumejewelrymarks.html Need help working out what the signature on your piece of costume jewelry means? This site can help.

http://www.antiquingonline.com/designers.htm This site has detailed information about a large number of antique jewelry designers

http://www.sparklz.com/indexC.htm This is a great resource for a number of excellent articles about antique jewelry.

?

[email protected]

Chapter 8 – Antique Appliances A

growing trend in antiquing is capturing the feeling of a specific time through the tech-

nology of the day. Antique appliances are unique, historical artifacts that can make beautiful collector’s pieces.

S

ome, though not all antique appliances can be restored to working order. As most people

T

here are any number of antique appliances that are of value to collectors ranging from

have been told by their older relatives, things were just made better back then.

antique stoves and refrigerators, to sewing machines and vacuum cleaners. These items carry both historical significance and aesthetic appeal. In particular, antique stoves can be remarkably beautiful.

I

n this chapter, we will go over some of the highlights in the history of appliances.

This can help you identify objects that may be of the most value. We will also look at how to go about researching an antique appliance and restoring and caring for them.

Highlights in the History of Appliances 1728-

Cast iron stoves are becoming common.

1833- Jordan Mott invents a coal stove that is practical for home use. 1834- Jacob Perkins built first practical refrigerating machine. 1850- A man by the name of Joel Houghton patented the first dishwasher.

It was a wooden machine. Using a hand-turned wheel, it would splash water on dishes. It did not work well.

1851- A patent was issued to James King for the first washing machine to use a drum. machine was hand powered.

?

[email protected]

The

1869- Ives McGaffey patents a “sweeping machine.”

It was not electric, but rather, used the rotation of the wheels on the floor to turn a round brush that swept up dirt.

1876-The telephone is invented. 1886- Josephine Cochran, frustrated by the fact than no one had yet made a working dishwasher, set out to make one herself. She Cochran invented the first working dishwasher. Her invention did not catch on with the general public, and was mostly used in hotels and restaurants. The company that she founded to make the dishwashers eventually became the famous KitchenAid.

1885- The first patent for an electric mixer was issued to Rufus M. Eastman. 1893- The first electric toaster is invented by Compton and Co. 1892- Crompton and Co. and the General Electric Company introduced hand-held clothing irons that used electrical resistance to heat.

1896- The first patent for an electric stove is issued to William Hadaway 1901- Hubert Cecil Booth received a patent for a vacuum cleaner.

It was a large device that had to be drawn by horses to the building it would clean. It was fueled by gas. It functioned by the use of long hoses going into the building that were then used to clean it.

1907- A janitor in Canton, Ohio James Murray Spangler, invented the portable vacuum cleaner as a result of attempting to come up with an alternative to the carpet sweeper he was using so that it wouldn’t cause him to cough. A fan motor, a soapbox, a broom handle and a pillowcase were used in the first version.

1908-

by the Hurley Machine Company of Chicago introduce “The Thor.” It was the first electric-powered washing machine.

1911- General Electric Company revealed two the first home refrigerators in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

1915- Electric clothing dryers appeared. 1919- The

modern toaster, with a timer and pop-up function was invented by Charles

Strite.

?

[email protected]

1920- Radio broadcasting becomes more widespread. 1922- The blender was invented by Stephen Poplawski. 1927- Architect and inventor John W. Hammes built the world’s first kitchen garbage disposal for his wife. He spent ten years improving the design before offering it to the public.

1928- The first television, with a screen half the size of a business card, is introduced. 1920s- 1930s-The first refrigerators that had freezing capacity were introduced. 1930s-Freon 12 replaced other, potentially lethal refrigerants and became the most commonly used.

1950s-Dishwashers catch on with the general population.

Evaluating Antique Appliances

W

hen evaluating an antique appliance, the first thing you need to consider is whether you

are using it for its historical and aesthetic value, or if you actually want it to function. Using antique appliances in your home is possible, but you need to do your homework and find out about restoration costs and practicality.

I

f you are considering an antique appliance for your home, you will need to look into a

number of things. In addition to the restoration costs, consider how the piece will look in your home. Consider if the proportions will actually fit well into the available space.

A

lso, safety is a big concern.

Remember that antique appliances do not have the safety features we are now accustomed to. Those who have small children may need to consider if this is the best option for them. Many people who have working antique stoves switch the gas off entirely when it is not in use. You should consider if you are going to be able to commit to that.

O•

ther things to consider: Is it one of the first of a new form of appliance? A mod-

?

[email protected]

ern toaster made the first year that they were available is worth more to a collector than one from a later date.

I



Is it in good condition?



Does it capture the historical feeling of the time in which it was made?

nterestingly, unlike with so many other types of antiques, modern reproductions being passed

off as antiques are not really a problem. This is because the modern reproductions are actually at least as expensive as their historical equivalents. It is a rather small and specialized market, and there are only a few craftspeople that produce actual working reproductions.

Researching Antique Appliances

R

esearching antique appliances is a bit different than researching other types of antiques.

To start with, most antiques will have marking indicating their manufacturer. This was a time when everything was being patented, and companies were very careful to mark that information on each item that they produced. If you can’t find the patent labels, keep looking; they are bound to be hidden around there somewhere.

T

he other interesting thing about researching antique appliances is that the companies that

S

pecialty guides that focus on specific types of antique appliances are also available to

manufactured them are often still in business today. That means that you may be able to go directly to the company to find out about the item. Additionally, advances in technology like appliances are found in history texts.

help you in your research.

Case Study

I

have a Quick Meal Stove from 1929.

It is a gas stove, but I don’t know if it works. It says

Magic Chef on the back.

It is in decent condition.

Is it worth anything?

?

[email protected]

B

ecause you have the name of the company, I did some research on that first.

S

ince that time there have been several mergers, and they were sold to the Whirlpool

I was able to find out quite a bit about the company. The Quick Meal Stove Company was very successful in the 1880s and 1890s, and it merged with several other companies to make the American Stove Company. They were the first company to introduce a temperature device. In 1929, they first used the name “Magic Chef.” Later, in 1951, they changed their name to Magic Chef, because of the overwhelming popularity of their stoves and the name.

I

Corporation, which was sold to Maytag in 2006.

looked at some closed auctions for similar items and found prices ranging anywhere from US$300-1000.

B

ecause of the importance of the company, especially in that time, I would say that your stove would probably sell at the higher end of that spectrum.

Caring for Antique Appliances

S

ome antique appliances will not be as fragile as other types of antiques; however, it is

always best to error on the side of caution. Avoid abrasive materials that may damage surfaces.

A

solution using two parts vinegar and one part water is excellent for removing rust.

You can allow removable rusted parts to soak in the solution for a few hours if necessary.

?

[email protected]

Chapter 9 – Glassware, Porcelain and Pottery

A

ntique glassware, porcelain and pottery is a vast category of antiques.

Collectors of these items value them for their unique beauty and fragility. Collecting glassware, porcelain and/or pottery becomes, for many, something of an antiquing obsession. Collectors seek out rare pieces and look to complete sets of their favorites.

T

hese three substances are made from different things.

Glassware is made from silica and alkali. The silica used to make glass is sand. The alkali used in antique glassware was either wood ash or burnt seaweed. Glass made using wood ash is called “potash” glass. This glass hardens very quickly when it is cooled. Because of this, it is often carved or engraved. Glass made using burnt seaweed is called “soda” glass. This glass can be manipulated more because it does not harden so fast. Lead glass is potash glass which has had lead added to it. It is heavier than other types of glass and is well suited to cutting.

P

orcelain is made using a white clay called kaolin.

P

ottery refers to other objects made from many different types of clay.

This substance can be heated at much higher temperatures than earthenware and stoneware during production. This produces a tougher ceramic that can be made into more delicate shapes. Pottery can be distinguished from porcelain by holding it up to the light. Pottery is opaque, while porcelain is translucent.

I

n this chapter, we will at how to evaluate items of glassware, porcelain and pottery.

We will also address how to go about researching items of glassware along with porcelain and pottery. A case study for each of the three types will be presented. A special section will explore the popularity of Depression Glass. Finally, we will look at caring for your glassware, porcelain and pottery.

?

[email protected]

Evaluating Antique Glassware, Porcelain and Pottery

I

f you are interested in collecting glassware, porcelain and/or pottery, it is important to

consider up front what it is that you are looking for. Collecting these items should not be random or haphazard. Find a particular style and branch out from there. It isn’t possible to learn everything at once, so select a particular type and start learning. Check out books from the library, visit museums and learn about the different manufacturers and their marks.

O

nce you have sorted out what you are looking for, there are a number of things to take

into consideration when deciding whether or not to purchase it. Antique glassware, porcelain and pottery are very frequently reproductions, and you will need to pay attention in order to spot the difference.

A

lso, the price of these items drops considerably if they are damaged.

Even hairline fractures will dramatically reduce the price of an item. Because of this, you will need to exercise caution, especially if you view your collection as an investment.

?

[email protected]

When looking at an item of antique glassware, porcelain or pottery, consider the following questions. • What condition is it in? •

Does the item’s construction suit the period it is from?



Is the item rare?



Does it fit with your collection?



Does it have aesthetic appeal?



Taking the time to examine an object closely can save you money and disappointment.

Researching Antique Glassware, Porcelain and Pottery

A

s with all antiques, the more you learn about a specific area, the better you will get at

recognizing value and researching items. Especially in the case of glassware, porcelain and pottery, you will probably want to invest in a few books to help you with identification. Many of these items will not be marked, and having a visual guide will really help you in your search. Some of the best printed sources for identifying antique glassware are at the end of this chapter, along with a listing of web resources.

Researching Antique Glassware

W

hen researching antique glass, it is important to know a few basic terms that can help

you describe what it is you are holding. As you collect more glassware and gain more experience, you will learn to quickly identify both styles of glassware and the characteristics it displays. Here is a quick rundown of some of the basics to get you started:

Blown glass This is glass that has been shaped by air being blown through a hollow rod to a glass bubble. An artisan shapes the glass by spinning, rolling and the use of iron tools.

Cut glass This is glass that has been shaped or decorated through the use of grinding stones or other

?

[email protected]

abrasive tools.

Direct carving This is glass that has been carved, chiseled or sculptured in some other way.

Enameled glass This is when glass colors, usually opaque, are melted onto the surface of the glass. The colors are powdered glass.

Engraving This is when a sharp point is used to cut or scratch the glass. Engraving work can be more complicated and intricate than cut glass work.

Gilded This term describes when metals like gold are fired onto a piece of glass.

Iridized glass This describes the iridescent or rainbow effect seen on glass that has been treated with a special chemical.

Kiln This is an insulated oven that is used to fire pottery or fuse glass.

Lost wax casting This describes a process in which a wax model is create of an object and a mold is created around it. The wax is melted and allowed to flow out so that powdered or molten g l a s s can be poured in.

Mosaic glass This describes objects that are made by placing preformed elements in a mold and then heating it until they fuse together.

Thermal shock This describes when glass breaks because of rapid or uneven cooling or heating.

T

hese are only some of the most basic terms. these should help you in researching.

?

[email protected]

You will learn more as you go along, but

W

hen you are trying to research glass, the first step to take is to see if you can identify

any markings at all. Even if the marking doesn’t give you the name of the company, you may be able to use it to learn more.

I

f you find a marking, consult a resource to help you identify it.

I

f you cannot find a marking, do not despair.

An excellent website for identifying markings is at http://www.heartland-discoveries.com/dictionary.htm. The markings are sorted by shape, to help you quickly narrow your search. There are still a number of ways to go about identifying your piece. If you can, try to get some information about when the glass was produced from the person you are buying from. There are a number of excellent guidebooks that can help you narrow down what the glass item is by the pattern.

O

ne trick I have learned it to just type a few key words about the object into a search

engine or auction site. While much of what comes up probably won’t be like what you have, you might recognize something similar. Then you can see if the person selling that similar item has identified a manufacturer.

I

t was doing just that which helped me discover one of my family’s heirlooms is also of value to collectors. In the special section on Depression Glass, I will explain more.

Antique Glassware Case Study

I

am trying to find info about a vase made of iridescent blue glass that is at least 100 year old. The markings are an o with an n inside.

W C

hen I started looking for information about iridescent glass that was being made in the time period mentioned, I came across a lot of information about carnival glass.

arnival glass was given away as prizes at carnivals in the early 1900s.

Most of the pieces were not marked. Carnival glass is very popular with collectors, and some very rare pieces sell for very high prices.

?

[email protected]

T

here are many color varieties that determine the value of the piece, as well as the type

of object it is and the manufacturer. I was able find the name of the manufacturer of this piece by researching the trademark.

A

company by the name of Northwood probably created this piece.

I was able to find

several vases of this color that had sold from between US$150-250.

Researching Antique Porcelain and Pottery

P

orcelain and pottery are often categorized together as ceramics.

P

orcelain, as was mentioned before, is made from a very fine clay that can be fired at

Before you start researching an object, you will need to know how these two substances are defined and what is included.

high temperatures. There are two types of porcelain, hard-paste porcelain and soft-paste porcelain.

H

ard-paste porcelain is made using the white clay kaolin and petuntse, which is also

known as china stone. The object fired, glazed and then fired again. The high temperature means that the object obtains a translucency and has the consistency of glass. All porcelain of Chinese origin is hard-paste. They began producing hard-paste porcelain in the 9th century. European production of hard-paste porcelain did not begin until the early 18th century.

S

oft-paste porcelain is made using fine clay and a variety of other ingredients.

B

one china was developed at the end of the 18th century in England when bone ash was

The porcelain is fired and then glazed. Soft-paste porcelain has a lighter, warmer feel to it. It is also more easily scratched.

added to hard-paste porcelain ingredients.

C

ompared to the fine delicacy of porcelain, pottery can seem coarse. types of pottery: earthenware and stoneware.

?

[email protected]

There are two

E

arthenware describes ceramics that are fired in a kiln at a relatively low heat.

S

toneware describes ceramics that are fired at a high heat.

Earthenware was one of the first pottery forms used by mankind. Earthenware is porous and unless it has been glazed, it is not waterproof.

I

Unlike earthenware, stoneware

is non-porous and is waterproof even without glaze.

t is fair to say that most antique porcelain and pottery will carry a company trademark,

making it easier to research them. Additionally, unlike glass trademarks, most trademarks appearing on antique porcelain will give the manufacturers name. This makes researching them much easier.

B

efore you start researching the manufacturer, there are a few things you can tell about the

date of an item just from the trademark alone. If an object has a mark that incorporates some version of the word “Limited,” that means that the object was made after 1861. A mark that includes the word “trademark” was made after 1862. Marks that include the royal arms are of 19th or 20th century origin. A mark that states that an item is “bone china” is of 20th century origin.

O

nce you have the name of the manufacturer, you can begin sorting out what it is that

O

nline auctions are an excellent place to check for what similar items are selling for.

you have.

Additionally, a number price guides are devoted to antique porcelain and pottery.

Case Studies #1. Porcelain-I have a beautiful cake plate marked “R.S. Prussia.” Is this valuable?

A

quick search on the Internet revealed that R.S. Prussia is one of the most prized names in porcelain among collectors.

?

[email protected]

R

.S. Prussia porcelain was produced in a factory in what is now Germany from the end

of the 19th century through the beginning of World War I. The porcelain is well known for being incredibly delicate looking. The most valuable pieces are those that have designs other than the normal floral patterns. These unique pieces often contain portraits or classical motifs.

T

he amount of detail that has gone into an R.S. Prussia piece is one of the biggest factors

in its value. Collectors will pay thousands for truly unique pieces, while more standard pieces will sell for less than US$50.

#2. Pottery- I have been searching everywhere I can think of for information on a John Dewar & Sons Limited Distillers stoneware decanter. It has 2 portraits, 2 landscape pictures, and says “By Royal Warrant to her Majesty the Queen” on it. There are stamps on the bottom with “KS” initials.

W I

hen I researched John Dewar & Sons, I found that that was an earlier name for Dewar’s Whiskey, a brand of scotch whiskey still popular today.

was able to learn by looking at various closed auctions that major pottery makers crafted

bottles, pitchers and decanters bearing the Dewar & Sons and Dewar’s name. A number of these types of decanters are valuable to collectors. They typically did have some statement referring to a “royal warrant.”

T

he value of the item will depend on a number of things including the condition and the rarity of it. These bottles can range from US$50-500.

Depression Glass

D

epression Glass, produced in America from the late 1920s through the 1940s by a num-

ber of large manufacturers, has become a major trend in collectables. Depression glass was cheaply made in a wide number of colors and patterns. It was popular at the time, and also affordable enough that even those who were suffering during the Depression were able to afford it.

?

[email protected]

I

n searching for Depression Glass, collectors must consider what colors and patterns they

are interested in. Obviously, some colors were not as common as others, and glass in those colors is more valuable to a collector. Pink, light green and blue are especially prized among collectors, while yellow and amber are less valuable.

D

epression Glass is an excellent starting point for a new collector.

The fact that you can find nice pieces at a low price is of value. Also, because many people do not know that it is valuable, you can find it in garage sales and thrift stores.

I

had no idea, until I was introduced to Depression Glass through a friend, that my family

I

t was a juice glass like the ones that I had only ever seen in my mother’s dining room.

owned any antiques that others might collect. One day, as I was looking through some online auctions, I saw something surprisingly familiar. It hadn’t even occurred to me that my great-grandmothers set of glassware was Depression Glass.

N

ow, the color and the pattern, from my research, don’t seem to be terribly rare.

Even if they were, it really wouldn’t matter. Those glasses are something our family will keep, but I like having the extra knowledge about what those glasses are, and where they came from. This early discovery was something that really cemented my interest in antiques.

Caring for Your Antique Glassware, Porcelain and Pottery

W

hen dealing with antique glassware, porcelain or pottery, the first concern is to prevent

things from breaking or chipping. Remember that any damage at all can seriously affect the value of an item, so take as many precautions as you can. Carry items with two hands, just to be safe. Remove stoppers or lids and carry them separately to prevent accidents.

A

s with all antiques, avoid direct sunlight, or placing items near heating units.

If you are using an antique vase, be sure that you take the flowers out and rinse the vase to avoid stains every two days. Consider where you place them in your home. Are they somewhere where pets, children or adults can knock them down?

?

[email protected]

W

hen washing glassware, never use the dishwasher. Some antique glassware is too

delicate for normal washing. Cut, engraved and painted glass are all special risks. If you are not sure, consult a conservator.

I

f your glass is strong enough to wash, don’t ever put it in the dishwasher.

It is better to avoid the sink as well. A plastic tub with just enough water to wash one item at a time is better and lowers the risk of breakage. Make sure to remove all bracelets and rings. Place plenty of soft cloths all around the wash area to pad it. When washing, only have one item in the water at a time to prevent them from bumping into each other. Don’t place a glass in very hot or very cold water, it might crack. A soft brush can help you reach difficult spots. Use a lint-free cloth to dry the glass completely. Be careful that you don’t break anything when drying.

W

hen washing glassware, take care where you set the pieces before and after washing,

W

hen cleaning ceramics, the first rule is to never use anything abrasive or bleach.

as that is a prime time for accidental breakage. Personally, I take the items from their display one at a time as they are being washed and then replace them before taking the next one. It may be a bit time consuming, but I prefer that to the risk of breaking something. Most household cleaners are too harsh. If all you need to do is dust, an aerosol can of compressed air is recommended. If a more thorough cleaning is needed, then a small amount of gentle dishwashing liquid should be mixed in a bowl with warm water. A soft brush can be used.

Antique Glassware, Porcelain and Pottery Resources Antique Trader Ceramics: Pottery & Porcelain Price Guide by Kyle Husfloen (2003) Florence’s Glassware Pattern Identification Guide: Easy Identification for Glassware from the 1920s Through the 1960s by Gene Florence (1998) Elegant Glassware Of The Depression Era: Identification and Value Guide by Florence Gene (2004) Kovels’ New Dictionary of Marks : Pottery and Porcelain 1850 to Present by Ralph Kovel, Terry Kovel (1986) Kovels’ Dictionary of Marks -- Pottery And Porcelain : 1650 to 1850 by Ralph Kovel, Terry Kovel (1995)

?

[email protected]

Starting to Collect Antique Porcelain (Starting to Collect Series) by John Sandon (2003) 1100 Marks on Foreign Pottery & Porcelain

Web Resources http://www.ddoty.com/patterns.html This is a great place to start looking at Depression Glass patterns

http://www.mygrannysatticantiques.com/porcelain_pottery_china_marks_.htm Find a lot of good information about porcelain and pottery trademarks on this site.

http://www.heartland-discoveries.com/dictionary.htm This site has trademarks used on glass. They are sorted by shape to make them easy to look up.

?

[email protected]

Chapter 10 – Other Antiques T

here are so many different types of antiques to collect; it would be impossible to cover

them all. The previous chapters have given you an overview of some of the major categories, but what about all the rest?

I

n this chapter we will look at a few of the smaller branches of antique collecting.

The great thing about antiques is that there are so many possibilities. You will be surprised at how many people may share your interests.

S

imply because a particular type of antique is not one of the most widely collected does

not mean that you will have a harder time. To the contrary, you may find that information is more easy access and understand because there is less of it.

I

n this chapter, we will review antique weapons and militaria, antique books, antique musical

instruments and antique vehicles. Each section will provide an introduction to a particular type of antique. If there are any specific research tips, that will be brought up, and there will also be case studies for many of the items.

Antique Weapons and Militaria

C

ollecting antique weapons and militaria is a surprisingly vast category.

Weapons have existed since the beginning of civilization, though most of what is being collected today is from the 16th century onwards. Weapons and militaria carry a rich history along with their aesthetic value.

A

ntique weapons and militaria can be divided into four basic categories.

The first is armor, like that made in the middle ages. Though wildly popular with collectors, antique armor is very expensive because of its scarcity. Many of the best examples are in museums or part of private collections. Remember that armor doesn’t only refer to that worn in Europe. India, countries in Asia and the Middle East and other regions produced their own, unique forms of armor.

?

[email protected]

T

he second category is edged weapons.

T

he third category is uniforms and decorations.

T

he last category of antique weapons is firearms.

This includes swords and daggers and is not limited to the distant past. Swords from the US War of Independence and Civil War, for example, can be very valuable. Sword decoration can be very elaborate and plays a major role in determining the value of an item. Complete uniforms in good condition can be hard to find, however medals and military decorations are an excellent way to grow a collection. The first firearms were introduced in the early 16th century and were very different from what we know today. Early firearms and those in more recent times are of great interest to a number of collectors.

W

hen looking to purchase antique weapons and militaria, collectors must be cautious

of “marriages.” That is when pieces from different periods have been combined. As this was often a result of events that occurred long in the past, when armor was recycled for new wearers, pieces that are “marriages” are not out of the question, however it is important to spot the difference to avoid being ripped off.

F

ake engraving on edged weapons is another thing to be wary of.

Because decoration can play such a large roll in the value of a piece, sometimes engraving is added on. This more recent engraving will have a brighter harsher looking edge than something very old should have.

Case Study

I

have a Marlin 22.

I

did some research on Marlin Firearms and discovered that they were founded in 1879.

It has a NO.25 on it and patents 1889,1890,1892,1904. It has a round barrel, straight stock, tube feed, pump action, open hammer...I was wondering the worth.

Many of the original models were considered breakthroughs and have continued to be developed over the years.

?

[email protected]

T I

he fact that the most recent patent mark was 1904 indicates that the gun was made sometime after that year.

looked at a number of closed auctions and saw a wide variety of prices.

Then I happened across an antique firearms site where someone had asked the price on their Marlin 22 with the same patent numbers on it. The appraiser responded that depending on the condition the gun could be anywhere from US$50-450.

Care and Cleaning for Antique Weapons and Militaria

A

s with many antiques, part of what makes an item of antique weaponry or militaria

A

ntique firearms require some consideration for safety.

valuable is that it appears old. Cleaning the signs of aging off can have a major impact on its value. Remember that they are weapons and many of them work. Never assume that a gun is not loaded until you check it yourself. Never point a gun at anyone. Children should not have access to guns, even if they are antique.

E

dged weapons require some consideration as well.

These too should be kept where children cannot get to them. Also, be aware that old weapons can fall apart suddenly, causing injury.

C

leaning antique firearms will very depending on the usage.

Firearms that will never be used would benefit from a trip to a conservator. They can take measures to protect the firearm from its environment. If you will be firing the gun occasionally, you will need to clean it as well. It is best to consult a conservator for advice on how to treat your particular firearm.

?

[email protected]

Antique Books

T

he Chinese were the first to develop printing technology, but the complexity of the language

T

ruly rare books that go back to those early days of printing are priceless, however for

T

here are a number of different types of books that a collector may focus on.

characters limited its usefulness. When print technology finally did reach Europe, the impact was enormous. The simple linear alphabet of the west was well suited to the printing press. Very quickly, books that had to be hand lettered were replaced by books that could be mass-produced, meaning that it was not only the wealthy who could afford books.

many, antique books hold their own appeal. Antique books can be far more beautiful than their modern day counterparts, with leather bindings, gold-leaved pages and detailed illustrations. Children’s books contain vivid pictures and often carry familiar stories. History and reference books, especially in the early days of printing, were valued for their utility. Literature and poetry books are one of the most common focuses for a collector, for the obvious reason that those are some of the names that people are most familiar with. Other categories of books popular with collectors are religion and philosophy, science and technology and travel and leisure.

W

hen you begin collecting books, it is easy to be drawn in by the age and beauty of

antique books. If you are only looking for decorations for your home, then go ahead. However, if you are looking to build a collection that is an investment, you will need to go in knowing a few things.

R

emember in the beginning of the book, when we spoke to Nicole Neville?

She said that things aren’t valuable just because they are old. Sometimes they are just old. For some reason, people find it very hard to remember that when they are looking at antique books. They see something that is 250 years old, and assume it must be worth something because it is so old. Age enough will not make a book valuable; it needs to have something else.

T

he other thing to remember is that some things will only be valuable to you.

A family bible, for example, is worth little to anyone but the family. The only exception to this rule is if the family is somehow connected to a famous person.

?

[email protected]

L

ooking for valuable antique books is not easy.

You will need to learn which books are considered rare and are sought after within your area of specialization. When you are considering a purchase, pay close attention to the condition of the book. There are a number of things that can go wrong with the paper of the book that will negatively impact its value.

Case Study

I

have a small collection of E.P. Roe novels I have found over the years, and they’re beauti-

I

looked up the name of the author online to see what information I could come up with

fully bound with carvings and colors. Are these worth anything?

first.

E

.P. Roe was very popular in his time.

His books actually sold more than Mark Twain, who was publishing at the same time. Of course, the fact that there were more of his books means that they are actually less valuable to collectors.

L

ooking at closed auctions online, I found that a single volume of E.P. Roe’s generally sold for around US$15-20.

Caring for Antique Books

T

aking care of antique books is a tricky task.

T

he best place to store antique books is in a glass door bookcase.

There is so much that can go wrong with paper. For example, some people think that they might be better off putting antique books in some sort of plastic, however, this is wrong. When a book is wrapped in plastic, condensation will form inside the bag because of the changing temperature. The condensation will eventually cause mold to form on the book. It should be positioned so that it is out of direct sunlight and away from any heating source. If an open bookcase is the only option, dust weekly with a lint-free cloth. Lastly, don’t cram too many books on one shelf because it can damage them.

?

[email protected]

Antique Musical Instruments

W

ith origins going back to the beginning of mankind, musical instruments take many

different forms around the world and throughout history. Because such objects are usually made with the utmost in care and craftsmanship, they tend to endure very well, in spite of their sometimes-fragile nature.

F

or a music lover, antique instruments can be a natural extension of their existing passion.

T

here are a number of ways that one can narrow their focus when collecting antique instru-

Researching the instruments of the past ties in well for those who enjoy learning about music.

ments. You can focus on instruments from a specific time and place. You can also focus on instruments from a particular country. Another option is to focus on a type of instrument, picking either brass, percussion, string or woodwind, and select objects that come from a number of different cultures but share a common theme.

O

ne of the first things to consider before purchasing any antique musical instrument is

what you want it for. Are you planning on playing the instrument, or simply using it for its decorative purposes? While this may seem like a small, incidental question, it will make a big difference in the items you look at, and the price you will pay for them. An antique musical instrument that is still in playable condition will attract a much higher rate than one that is not.

A

nother aspect of collecting antique musical instruments is the possibility of getting an

item that belonged to a famous musician. If this appeals to you, remember that you can never take someone’s word on the ownership of an instrument as justification for the price. Always insist on having written documentation that shows evidence of what they are saying.

Case Study

I

have a very old violin.

It is labeled “GIOVANNI PAOLO MAGGINI BRESCIA 1695” It is in excellent condition and I have had it checked over and restrung by a professional. Can you tell me a bit about it?

?

[email protected]

I

was able to find plenty of information about the violinmaker who made your violin.

A

simple search engine query turned up quite a bit of information

T

his violin, as long as it is not a reproduction, is from a very famous violinmaker.

Maggani was one of the best-known violinmakers of his day, and his craftsmanship has stood up over the years. Some of his pieces had delicate inlay that added to their appeal. He was noted for being a master craftsman.

A

ccording to what I learned by looking through closed auctions, the price this would

fetch at auction would depend mainly on the condition of the violin. In excellent condition, it would fetch at least US$1500. The price could go higher if it was a good example of Maggani’s inlay work. On the other end of the spectrum, if the violin is in poor condition and has a number of scratches, it may sell for less than US$500

Antique Vehicles

W

ithin the field of antiques, collectors of antique vehicles are something a bit different.

Collecting antique vehicles can make for a pretty large collection, even if there are only a few. Collectors of antique vehicles appreciate the older, simpler beauty of the past, but they also usually have a heavy interest in restoration.

T

hat is the thing that really separates antique vehicles from other types of antiques.

S

ince buying an antique vehicle represents a large investment of both money and time, it

With all other kinds of antiques, restoration is discouraged unless it is by the hand of a professional conservator. The whole goal there is to cause as little invasion as is possible. This is simply not the case with antique vehicles. Antique vehicle collectors seek to restore their cars to their original condition as much as is possible.

is certainly not something to jump into. Consider a few questions:

?

[email protected]

M



Can I afford to buy a vehicle that will not be my primary vehicle?



Can I afford to restore this vehicle?



Do I have the knowledge to restore this vehicle?



Do I have the time to restore this vehicle?



Do I have a place to store this vehicle?

ake sure you know the answers to at least those questions before you even think about buying an antique car or truck.

Case Study

I

am looking for information on a 1950’s something Massey Ferguson 65 tractor. I would

I

found a website called “The Antique Tractor Shed.” (http://www.tractorshed.com/)

like to find a colored picture of it since I want to restore it. Any other information about the company would be helpful. In their photo gallery they had thousands of pictures of restored antique tractors. I typed “Massey 65” and got about 25 pictures of restored tractors.

T

he Massey Manufacturing Company was founded in Ontario, Canada in 1847. They began

T

he company merged again in 1953 and became Massey-Harris-Ferguson.

manufacturing some of the first mechanical threshers in the world. In 1879, the company relocated to Toronto. They were an important company to city, and one of the leading employers. The move helped the company to begin selling their equipment internationally. In 1891, a merger changed the name to Massey-Harris. That merger made them the largest agricultural equipment maker in the British Empire. The company opened its first US factory in 1910, becoming one of Canada’s first multinational corporations.

name was changed to Massey-Ferguson.

?

[email protected]

In 1958, the

A L

s that is the name on your tractor, I would imagine that it dates either in the late 50s or early 60s.

ooking at some of the prices of similar tractors that have sold separately, I would think

your tractor is worth between US$2000-2500 and will be worth US$4000-5000 after it has been restored.

Antique Textiles

T

extiles are simply not intended to last through the ages.

That must be a part of their appeal to collectors. Very old textiles, like those from 17th century England, are never used for their original purpose. Instead, they are displayed and hang like art. Types of antique textiles include carpets, rugs, embroidery, stitching, quilts and patchwork.

W

hile the very old textiles are quite expensive, textiles from the 19th and 20th century

are very affordable. Appreciating antique textiles gives you the opportunity to really examine the beauty of other cultures. Some beautiful examples have come out of China, India, Japan and the Middle East. If you want to decorate a room with antiques, but not have it look typically “antiquey” antique textiles from around the world could be just what you are looking for.

T

hough it can take many forms, most antique textiles fall into the category of either be-

ing woven or embroidered. Woven fabrics include tapestries, which were needed in the 17th and 18th centuries to stop drafts. Fragments of tapestries are not too expensive. So a casual collector can afford to have a piece in their collection. Of course, the most beautiful examples are still very expensive.

A

nother antique textile to look for is Paisley.

This heavy, soft woolen cloth came into fashion in the mid 1900s because the large skirts women wore in those times made it difficult to wear coats. So instead, they wrapped themselves in Paisley shawls. Rich, dark colors were used in these, and there was an Indian motif. Though the shawls are somewhat expensive by today’s standards, they offer an interesting slice of history.

?

[email protected]

E

arly, handmade lace is an especially valuable woven textile.

T

here are also a number of different forms of embroidery.

It is quite rare, but was usually made using linen, which is a strong fiber. Framing pieces of handmade lace and displaying them on a wall has been a recent trend among antique textile collectors. English stump work involves

using padding to raise certain portions of the decoration.

A

popular form of embroidery with collectors is a sampler.

These are created using brightly colored silks and are meant to demonstrate a broad range of embroidery skills. Samplers generally have the name of the person who embroidered them as part of the design. Samplers which are stitched with wool are actually more valuable than those stitched with silk. For a collector, samplers that show houses, alphabets, birds, insects and flowers are particularly desirable.

Case Study

M

y friend has several Navajo rugs/blankets... I was wondering how to find the value of them?

W

ithout seeing the rugs it is impossible to guess.

Some Navajo textiles are worth almost nothing, while others are considered priceless. It would be best to consult a few books. If the patterns seem rare and they are in good condition, it might be a good idea to take them to an appraiser with a good knowledge of textiles. Some books you can try are “Navajo Rugs: The Essential Guide” by Don Dedera and “Navajo Weaving: Three Centuries of Change” by Kate Peck Kent.

?

[email protected]

Chapter 11 – Selling Your Antiques I

t is pretty much inevitable that if you start collecting antiques, at some point or another, you will want to get rid of some of them. There could be any number of reasons for this.



You bought something(s) in a rush and didn’t consider how it would fit in with the rest of your collection.



You didn’t plan on keeping the item in the first place, but rather bought it with the intention of selling it for a profit.



You have enjoyed the item for a while, but now need to get rid of it so that you can have more room for other things.



You inherited a number of items that are of no real interest to you and are just taking up space.

S

elling your antiques doesn’t have to be some nightmare scenario.

It can actually be as fun as buying them if you go in with the right attitude. There are a number of ways you can go about selling your antiques, and we will cover all of them, but first, lets consider what items you are going to get rid of.

Cleaning House

Y

ou might have known it was coming, or you might have been surprised. At some point in

your antique collecting, you have just collected too much! Maybe there isn’t any room left on your shelves for more glassware, or maybe you don’t have anywhere left to put a new item of furniture. Something made you realize that you have collected too much and before you buy anything else, you need to get rid of some things. If you are getting rid of anything, it might be worth it to taka the time to see if there are other items you want to get rid of.

?

[email protected]

T

he first step should be the easiest.

If you are like me, you probably have some antiques that you have never even put out. The first thing to get rid of is the impulse purchases that seem so perfect in the moment, but then when you get home you wonder what you were thinking.

N

ow, selling your antiques will go easier if you are organized from the start.

Take a notepad with you and write out a detailed description of each item. Note any flaws or errors. If you have a digital camera, take some photos of it. Then wrap it appropriately and put it in a box, unless it is a large furniture item.

S

ome people will have found enough things to get rid of right then.

For the rest, you will have to dig a little deeper. Look around your home. What part of your collection do you care about the least? Is there something you thought you would be using more? Take a moment and think about whether or not your really need those things. Look at your collection and try to consolidate. Maybe you have been collecting both pink and green Depression glass. Consider if you would be better off just collecting one.

I

f you start to feel anxious about getting rid of some of your things to make room, don’t.

Just think about how you will be making money from the sale and have more room to put things. Getting rid of your excess can actually be very exciting.

N

ow that you have your list of items that you are going to sell, and your digital photographs, you are ready to find out about what you have, if you don’t know already.

T

he more information you can gather about an item, the easier it will be to convince

F

ollow the advice in the preceding chapters for ways to learn more about an item.

someone else that it is of value. Making sure you know how much an item is worth is also important so that you can avoid giving something away too cheaply. Remember, just because you can’t find something right away, doesn’t mean you should give up.

?

[email protected]

I

f all your attempts seem to be leading you to dead ends, try to find an active message board

or web forum. Don’t just post your question without reading to see what kind of message board it is, and if people are willing to be helpful. Make sure you have all of the relevant information on hand about the item. It is helpful to have photos as well. The people on the board may not have all the answers, but if they can steer you in the right direction, then at least you are making progress.

W

hen all else fails, consider appraisal.

If the item isn’t expensive enough to merit a full appraisal, you can consider some of the other options. While Internet appraisals do not have much value in terms of telling you what an object is worth, they can at least tell you what you have. At least most of the time they can.

Ways to Sell Your Antiques

J

ust as there are a number of ways to buy antiques, there are also a number of ways to sell

antiques. It is best to research your options and see which will combine convenience with value for you.

E

veryone will have their own preference in terms of the manner in which they sell their

antiques. Some people prefer the speed of the Internet, while others prefer face-to-face negotiation.

W

e are going to go over the basic ways in which you can sell your antiques.

I would recommend trying out a few different options before settling on one. You may find that what works best is to use multiple selling options.

Antique Dealers

T

here are usually two options for selling antiques to dealers.

S

elling an item outright to a dealer can be tricky.

The first is selling an item

outright and the second is selling it by consignment.

You will never make a big profit off of a dealer, because they will generally have a pretty good idea of what things are worth. However, this can be one of the quickest ways to get rid of things and get money fast. But that only happens if the dealer agrees to buy what you are trying to sell.

?

[email protected]

T

he other alternative, selling an item by consignment, is often more agreeable to the

B

e selective about the dealer you go to.

dealer. When an item is sold on consignment, you and the dealer agree on a price that you will be paid when the item is sold. The dealer keeps anything above that price. This arrangement works well for the dealer, because it means that they aren’t putting money up for an item they aren’t sure will sell. Consignment does mean that you may have to wait a while to get your money, but all things considered it isn’t a bad deal. Having the item in an antique shop will most likely mean you will get a better price for it. Make sure they have a good reputation and are genuinely interested in what you are selling. It was mentioned earlier in the book that it is a good idea to build up relationships with dealers in your area, and this is the perfect chance to work on that. A dealer who feels they are working with you can be of enormous benefit, from helping you identify an object to making sure your consignment items go for a high price.

Live Auctions

Y I

ou may remember that when we discussed places to shop for antiques, we talked about the two kinds of live auctions that exist. The first of these is an estate sale.

f you find yourself in the position of needing to liquidate a large number of items, an es-

tate sale can be a fast way to do that. There are two options with estate sales. The first is basically to hold an overgrown yard sale that is managed by someone else. The second option is to have an auction. If you are trying to sell a large number of antiques, this is a good option.

D

on’t be afraid to ask the auctioneer plenty of questions.

You need to be able to trust what is going on, and it is better to ask questions early than to have lingering doubts later.

?

[email protected]

Some questions to ask the auctioneer:



What percentage of the total sale do they charge?



Who is responsible for setting up before the sale?



Is the auction going to be held at the home or somewhere else?



If it is held somewhere else, who is paying for the delivery and the location?

A



Are you able to set a minimum price on some items?



Will documentation of the sale be provided?



How long will it take for you to get your money?



Does he have references?

sking these questions will help put your mind at ease and it will also show the auction-

eer that you are an informed seller. Another tip is to make sure that the more expensive items go up for auction earlier in the day. People tend to leave, and delaying the best items can mean that you don’t get a good price for them.

T

he other type of auction is a consignment auction.

T

he way that a consignment auction works is that a percentage of the total purchase price

The nice thing about a consignment auction is that you just deliver you items to the auction house. You don’t need to be there for the actual auction unless you want to.

will go to the auction house. Sometimes there is also a set fee that must be paid. If you have a valuable item or two that you would like to sell, going through an auction house can be an excellent way to sell your item for a good price. Generally the people who bid in auctions at an auction house are fairly educated buyers and they well recognize if you have something valuable.

?

[email protected]

Online Auctions

S

elling your antiques through an online auction website can be a quick and relatively

painless way to get rid of a few items. Even if what you have isn’t worth much, you can at least get something for them.

I

f you already have an account set up at one of the online auction sites, then you have the first step done already. The rest isn’t hard, but it can be a little time-consuming at first.

S

tart off by having a look at some other people’s antique auctions.

Who sounds professional, and who doesn’t. Look at the people who have sold a number of things and have very high feedback scores. A mistake many beginning sellers make is to only enter a brief description of the item and have one or two badly shot pictures.

Creating Your Auction Listing

Y

ou want to make your listing as appealing to people as possible, and I have some tips for how to do that.

W

hen you are photographing your item, take several shots.

Put it on a surface that won’t cause glare. Having a light colored sheet and a dark colored sheet, and using those as a backdrop is a good idea. Take a few pictures showing various angles of the item. If the item is signed or marked be sure you get a good picture of that. Also, try to photograph any damage so you can point it out in your description.

O B

nce you have your photos, you are ready to set up your auction.

Find the part of the website that is for sellers. They will lead you through the steps one-by-one.

e sure you select the appropriate category for your item. online auction sites for vintage and antique items.

?

[email protected]

There is a special section in the

Y

ou will also have to select what type of auction you want to have.

You can decide if you are going to have a No Reserve auction, where the highest price wins no matter what, a Reserve auction where if the minimum is not met the item does not get sold or a Buy it Now auction where you set a price and the first person who accepts it wins the item. You will also have to decide how long of an auction to have. The longer the auction, the more chance people will become interested in it, however you may not want it to drag out that long. Sometimes a short auction can get people excited.

I

f you have been paying attention to other auctions, you will have some idea what headline

to put on your auction. There is no need to get too overblown with your headline. Instead, think of what words people are likely to put into the search so that they will find your item. People often search for antiques by things like period, material, color and motif. You will want to make sure you include those things in the headline.

T

he item description is very important to making a sale.

E

xplain everything you know about the item and its origin.

T

he last part of your item description should include your terms and conditions.

Describe the items physical appearance in as much detail as possible. Make sure you include the measurements. Note any flaw that you can see. If there are flaws, try to refer to the photograph that shows them. Do not make the item sound better than it is, or you will have your feedback score negatively affected. For example, if you are selling piece of Victorian mourning jewelry, explain what that is. It lends an authenticity and excitement to your description. For this, you may want to actually imitate what other sellers have written. Someone who has sold a few thousand things will have worked out everything that needs to be included. Make sure you include your return policy, when you expect payment by, how you take payment and how you will ship the item.

Y

ou will have a number of selections to make regarding shipping costs and where you

are willing to ship and item to. You will also have to decide what payment methods to accept. I recommend choosing Paypal as your preferred method because it is the quickest and the easiest.

?

[email protected]

O

nce you have gone through everything, you will be able to preview your auction list-

O

ne thing to note with online auctions is that they are not free.

ing. Check it carefully and then off you go.

Depending on the options you select, your cost will vary. Reserve auctions carry the highest fees. The higher the reserve, the higher your fee is going to be. Having to relist items can be costly, so you need to consider what the absolute lowest price you are willing to sell an item for is.

I

t was mentioned earlier in the book that reviewing completed auctions is a good way to get a feeling for the price of things, and it is a good idea to do the same thing now.

During the Auction

W

hile your auction is running, you can check to see who has bid on the item and who is

watching it. Sometimes there may not be many bids early on in the auction. Oftentimes people wait until the last minute to bid. This is called “sniping.” If you have two bids, but 20 people watching an item, chances are that they are all waiting until the last minute to bid.

Y

ou may want to look at the people who are bidding on your item and see what their

feedback rating is. The main thing to look out for is people who have had problems with paying. You can also check and see if they seem to constantly have problems with the people they are buying from. There is an option that allows you to block specific users or block certain types of users. Some sellers post a note saying that buyers with negative feedback or no feedback need to contact them before bidding.

After the Auction

A

fter your auction has closed, if someone has won, you may need to send them an invoice,

unless shipping is a flat rate. After they pay you, you will need to ship the item. Take extreme care in packaging up delicate antiques. The buyer may have purchased shipping insurance, but it is still your job to try to ensure that the item doesn’t get damaged.

O

ccasionally it happens that someone will not pay for an auction they have won.

If this occurs, notify the auction site. They have a procedure to follow to help you resolve the problem.

?

[email protected]

T

he final step is to leave feedback for the buyer.

Online Antique Dealers

A

lthough it may not happen all the time, in some cases you may be able to find an antique

A

dditionally, there are some online antique consigners.

dealer that is willing to purchase your item. Be on the lookout when you are shopping. The dealer may have a note up saying to contact them if you have a certain type of item because they may be interested in purchasing it. If you do chose this path, make sure you know what you have and what it is worth, to avoid giving something away too cheaply. Some of these will sell you item through their online store, and others will use an auction site, but handle all of the details for you. With each of these, the consigner takes a percentage of the total sale price.

B

e warned, in the case of online consigners, some have fees as high as 50 percent of the sale price, which may be more than you are willing to spend.

Private Sales

I

f you just have an item or two to get rid of and you don’t want to bother with an auction, you can always place a classified ad and have a private sale.

A

private sale is a great way to get rid of an item without a whole lot of personal incon-

venience. In addition to the local newspaper, you can also place an ad on Craigslist.org for your region. You will need to set aside some time to meet with prospective buyers, but if your price is reasonable, it shouldn’t take more than a day or two to sell.

T

he best part about a private sale is that you can specify that the buyer is responsible for picking up the item and taking it away.

?

[email protected]

Garage and Yard Sales

I

f you have a whole house full of things you don’t need anymore, your best bet is a garage

or yard sale. This is a way to quickly get rid of everything. If you have some antiques that are valuable, be prepared to sell them in some other way if there are no good offers.

G A

arage and yard sales are great for clearing out all the things that you picked up at the same kind of sale hoping that it was going to be worth something.

t the end of the day, a good garage sale accomplishes two things.

Firstly, it clears out

your house, and secondly, it gives you cash in hand fast.

Final Options

I

f you just can’t seem to sell an item, or you need to get rid of it fast, you can always give it

away. There are a number of charities that will pick up donations at your house. Remember, the cost of the item can be deducted come tax time.

?

[email protected]

Chapter 12 – Resources J

ust like I promised at the beginning of the book, this chapter is going to be devoted to all

the resources you can use to learn more about antiquing. I hope you have enjoyed learning about antiques and are ready to get started on your own collection. Good luck!

Print Resources Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2006 by Kyle Husfloen (2005) Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price List, 38th Edition, 2006 by Terry Kovel and Ralph Kovel (2005) How to Sell Antiques and Collectibles on eBay... And Make a Fortune! by Dennis Prince and Lynn Dralle (2004) Price It Yourself! : The definitive, down-to-earth guide to appraising antiques and collectibles in your home, at auctions, estate sales, shops, and yard sales by Joe L. Rosson and Helaine Fendelman (2003) Warmans Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide by Ellen T. Schroy and Tracy L. Schmidt (2006) Antiques Roadshow Primer : The Introductory Guide to Antiques and Collectibles from the Most-Watched Series on PBS by Carol Prisant and Chris Jussel (1999) Antiques 101: A Crash Course in Everything Antique by Frank Farmer Loomis IV (2005)

Web Resources International http://www.appraisers.org/ American Society of Appraisers-The International Society of Professional Valuers.

http://www.collectoronline.com Collector Online. Has an alphabetical international listing of collector’s clubs and organizations.

?

[email protected]

http://www.consignmentshops.com Consignment, resale, thrift, and antique shops across the US and internationally.

http://www.rubylane.com/ Independent shops showcasing antiques, collectibles, fine art, jewelry and handcrafted Items from around the world.

http://www.tias.com/ Antique and collectable online mall.

http://www.ebay.com The largest online auction site.

http://www.icollector.com/ Online auction resource for antiques, art and collectables.

http://www.goantiques.com/ Antique shopping and live auctions.

http://www.kovels.com/ Antiques and collectables online price guide.

http://www.antiquecast.com A listing of prices from recently closed auctions

http://www.cyberattic.com/ Antique and collectables classified ads.

USA http://www.naadaa.org The National Antique & Art Dealers Association of America.

http://www.acguide.com/ The Antiques and Collectables Guide. Contains a categorized listing of specialty clubs and organizations collectors may wish to join.

?

[email protected]

http://www.appraisersassoc.org/ Appraisers Association of America

http://www.ana-appraisers.org/ Appraisers National Association

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/roadshow/ Antiques Roadshow Homepage

http://www.antiquesandthearts.com/ Antique and arts news and events

http://www.antiqnet.com/ Antiques on sale and a database of antique dealers, insurance agents, auctioneers, appraisers, repair, and restoration shops.

UK http://www.lapada.co.uk/ The Association of Art & Antiques Dealers in the United Kingdom.

http://www.interantiques.co.uk/ InterAntiques contains a UK business directory, antique guides, web guides, clubs/societies and a glossary.

http://www.antiques-uk.co.uk/ Directories of dealers, auctions and collectors.

http://www.antiques-scotland.co.uk/ A resource for dealers and collectors in Scotland.

http://www.antiquesbulletin.com/ UK listings of dealers, fairs, auctions and other news of interest to antique collectors.

?

[email protected]

AUS http://www.aada.org.au/ The Australian Antique Dealers Association

http://www.antique-art.com.au/ Antique and collectables dealer listings for Australia and New Zealand

http://www.antique-art.com.au/services.cfm?service=artapr Australian art and antique appraisers

NZ http://www.nzada.org.nz/ New Zealand Antique Dealers Association

http://www.nzs.com/business/shopping/antiques/ A list of Antique, Appraisal, Appraisals, Auction, Auctions, Collectable, Collectables and NZ Web Sites.

http://www.gales.co.nz/fairs.htm A list of the best antique fairs in New Zealand.

?

[email protected]

View more...

Comments

Copyright ©2017 KUPDF Inc.
SUPPORT KUPDF