Want to buy real antique! Things to consider… Steps
1Learn the difference between true antique, near antique and vintage:
- true antique is at least 100 years old according to the majority of antique dealers. This is based on tradition and the customs laws of many countries. However, some societies define antiques as having been made before 1930.
- near antique is anywhere between 75 to 99 years old
- vintage means ‘of a certain time’. It is the description used for a range of collectibles, and especially those from the 40s, 50s and 60s.
Explore your closets, attic, basement and/or storage room. Something that is already under your own roof might just answer one of the descriptions: the linens and silverware Grandma received as a wedding gift, a baby bed that has been used “for ages”, the toys your parents played with when they were children… the list goes on. Any of the objects you find could be the first piece of your collection.
- Whether you want to keep these valuables or sell them. Either way: have them appraised, to make sure your insurance is adequate, that is, that it covers the value of all your antiques in the event of theft, damage or loss, or, if selling, to make sure you get a good price.
- What exactly you are looking for:
- A certain kind of object such as a sculpture?
- A piece from a certain artist?
- Artwork from a certain period, i.e. Art Deco?
- How much you are willing to spend.
4Browse at garage sales. You won’t be the first to find a rare object that was dismissed as “junk”… Remember the saying: “One man’s trash, is another man’s treasure”?
Visit house auctions. What goes for you goes for anyone: pieces that don’t mean anything to other people might be just what you are looking for.
6Search the Internet. Famous auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s can be visited online too. You may even find something at eBay.
7Attend an auction at an auction house. Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Bonhams have offices all around the world, probably in your country as well. You will be able to see the pieces more closely before they are auctioned, and make a better decision whether or not you want a particular piece.
8Bid online or on the telephone. This is called an absentee bid. To bid online, you are required to fill out a form either on paper or online. When your form is processed, you are registered to bid.