Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Simple rules for buying and preserving antiques

·         What constitutes an antique? : Buying antiques is a very common practice, though it sometimes mistaken by buying vintage pieces. For a piece to be considered an actual “antique” it has to be at least 100 years old. This is something that has been agreed among many antique dealers around the world. But if you find something that is between 75 and 100 years old, it is still a good investment because it means it’s good on its way to becoming an antique.

·         What is the goal of the purchase? : There are two reasons why you are looking for antiques; you either but it to decorate your house, or you buy it to collect them. The difference lies in the way that you will look for them, what you need to find in them, how much money you will be willing to pay for each piece, how you’re going to use it, are you going to use it?

·         Research: if you are looking for antiques for their value you better be ready to ask as many questions as you can think of. Ask about the construction of the piece. Know the preferred dates of what you’re looking for. Ask if the piece has had secondary parts added to it. Has it been sent to repair at some point? Has it been used for its intended purpose lately or was it just decoration? Has it been in storage? Do they know who the previous owners were? Are there any stories to this piece?

·      How to start looking for antiques? : Basements and attics are the first go-to place to find antiques. Look in your own spaces for some family heirloom left behind and forgotten or even in the houses of your friends and family. They might not even want them or could be willing to sell it to you for little money. Take into consideration that if the piece has been left behind and discarded, it may not be in the best condition. The whole process of getting it back up and running might be quite expensive, and maybe even not worth it if you can find a similar piece in an antique store for less trouble.

·         Interchangeable roles: sometimes you find a piece that is really nice and it’s in prime conditions but you don’t want to over use it. Say you found an antique desk. You know that if you use it as a desk daily, you would mess up the drawers, the chair, maybe even make a ring in it if you forgot to use a coaster. Figure out other ways to use it. Maybe as a decoration where you can place a nice vase on top, perhaps some nice photo frames. That way, it can be a central part of your decoration and you can still take care of it so it won’t lose its value.

·       Upkeeping your antiques: ** For old bottles that became cloudy, fill them with water and throw in one of those tablets that are used for denture cleaning. Also, instead of the table, you can add a little bit of sand. After either process, rinse thoroughly.**For drawers that won’t open or close easily, rub some soap over the rails to make the run more smoothly. **For screws that are loosen, tie a bit of steel wool around it and screw it back in. For screws that are too tight, dab some peroxide into them.

·         Insurance: Even if you don’t intend the antiques to be sold, they’re worth quite a lot. Make sure to have some sort of insurance for them and that way you know you won’t lose the value of the purchase.

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