Posted by: abodesignco | 05/04/2009

Is it an antique or is it just old?

When a client asked me this question I made a mental note to blog about this subject.  The question clearly illustrates many new collectors’ experience with buying their first antique.  If you’re lucky, you have inherited a piece of antique that you know to be just that because it has been passed down generations after generations.  However, if you are in the market for antiques, you have most likely experienced the wave of confusion as to whether or not a piece is a legitimate antique or if it’s just simply old (can we say “junk”)?  There’s a plethora of dealers out there waiting to sell you their next winning piece so can you really trust what they tell you?  How do you know that they know what they’re talking about?  What sort of items should you buy or not buy?  It’s an ocean of questions!

First I would start by researching reputable dealers in your area.  Then pay them a visit.  If you are already at this point, then I’m going to assume you know what sort of items you want to buy so bring all your questions.  A reputable dealer will be happy to spend their time telling you about the items you are interested in.  He/she will give you it’s history, it’s age and origin, notable physical characteristics, how to spot a knock off, different clues that mark who the maker might be, what it might cost based on how rare it is, and whether or not it’s worth investing in.  The mark of a truly good dealer is when they offer advice on how to care for your antique to maintain it’s beauty.

I am by no means an expert on antiques but I know how to spot a great dealer who will teach me what I need to know!  A few I would recommend:

Guild House Antiques – member of Canadian Antique Dealers Asc (CADA), in business for 30 yrs, carries many items from 17th, 18th, & 19th century

RHV Tee & Sons – member of CADA, qualified appraisers

Uno Langmann Ltd – member of CADA, specialist in quality European & North American paintings from 18th, 19th, & early 20th century

CADA – safeguarding the purchaser of antiques in Canada


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