How To Start an Antique Collection

If you have an interest in collecting antiques and want to start an antique collection but do not know how to start I suggest that you first decide what it is you want to collect. Will you collect clocks, dishes, cups, jars or something else? When you have made your decision the first step is to learn all you can about that item. We all know what dishes and cups are but can you recognize a real antique against a vintage or modern dish or cup? True antiques are usually considered as such if they are at least one hundred years old. Vintage are about fifty years old and I don’t think I have to explain the modern age item.

There are many antique magazines and books that will help the novice collector. They tell you what an antique dish or cup is and what to look for to help start an antique collection. It is important that you become well educated in the type of antique you have decided to collect. The books and magazines  which are available to you will tell you how to identify the item as an antique by looking for the marks of authenticity. Most antique dealers are honest but, as in any business you will find those that are greedy and therefore, unscrupulous and especially when they recognize you as a novice collector. For that reason it is important to educate yourself as best you can at the start of your antique collection.

After you have read and absorbed as much as you can about the antique item you want to start your collection with you will be ready to go into the world in search of your treasure. You should start looking for your item either by manufacturer, pattern and/or shape. You may want to start your antique collection with items from a particular country. I cannot stress enough the importance of becoming educated in that particular item and its origin.

By this time you should be well versed in what you want to start your antique collection with and should be able to recognize it. Be careful not to be overwhelmed and sidetracked. Whatever you decide what you want to collect, buy only what appeals to you. If it appeals to you it will be proudly displayed in your home or used on special occasions. An antique should never be purchased simply because you are getting it at a good price and its value may be increased in the future. If this is your intent you are collecting for the wrong reason, unless of course, you are planning to open an antique dealership.

How is value determined? If an antique is in demand in the collector community then it will have value. It will be sold for more money and the collector, when buying the item, will pay more money   The old adage of “supply and demand” applies here. Go ahead and start your antique collection.  Have fun and good luck.


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