Saturday, June 24, 2017

Antiques are Our Mirrors to Yesterday

Tropical Home Antique Furnitures
photo by Vaughn-Go

Antiques, are any collectible items that are more or less 100 years old, possess aesthetic value and considerably rare. Most antique items are handed from one generation to the next are grandfather clocks, silverware, ivory carvings, Faberge eggs, jewelry, ceramic plates, icons, are just some of the more desirable antique items that people collect now days. In fact each person will have their own particular preference for what sort of antique pieces they will collect.

One of the common denominator of antiques is the way they are made – most of them are literally made by an artisan’s hand! Unlike almost all of today’s tools, furniture, implements that are mass produced. Bear in mind however that not all antiques are handcrafted, others, like the Model T and other cars of the 20th century can also be considered as antiques because of value as a milestone in the development of today’s modern automobiles.

A lot of interior designers use antiques as decorative elements to add that particular snob appeal to any room or location. If you are considering doing the same in your home or office there are several things you have to carefully consider before acquiring a particular antique item. Never buy in a hurry.

A former friend of mine whose husband was assigned to a Middle Eastern country made a killing when she bought an old rug from a Bedouin merchant. Although both were unaware of the real value of the rug, it was when my friend brought home the rug and had it cleaned that the real beauty and history of the rug was discovered. As it turns out, the rug was a 150-year old hand woven piece from Iran and she was able to sell it for a hefty sum of $20,000! Her cost of purchase was less than $500!

If you are patient in scouting around for your antique pieces, you may have the same luck as my friend. However, be aware that there are fake replicas and/or refurbished items. Sometimes it is better to simply not repair an antique piece as the originality of the antique and its present condition is what makes so valuable.

You should go around and look at neighborhood garage sales – you can never tell what kind of item you may find amongst the old collection of some people. Alternatively, you can also buy antique pieces from auction houses like Sotheby’s or Christie’s; however, this will surely make a big dent in your wallet!

The most important thing is to educate yourself when it comes to evaluating antiques. Use the Internet to find out valuable information about prices of antiques around the world and to get a good history of the items you are interested in. When we were kids, we dug up an old US military sword by the river that with fancy markings and design on the blade. Not knowing what we had on our hands we just played with it and left it somewhere. Now, I wish I had kept that old sword because I now realize that it was a witness to the history that unfolded on that same river bank more than two hundred years ago!

There are also antique guidebooks available on how to start an antique collection and books on specific antique items as well.

Taking care of your antique collection is also an important matter. These items need special care to avoid further deterioration from changes in temperatures and the environment. Old furniture and paintings are especially susceptible to these factors and should be cared for accordingly.

With a little know-how, you can protect your investment and derive extraordinary pleasure form your antiques – especially if you intend to resell them in the future.

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