You’re off to the store to buy some furniture and accessories, and you thoroughly look at each item and think which of them can hold its value after you use it. It’s important to choose something that can still look valuable over time, and these items are called antiques. Antiques has a greater chance of retaining its value over time compared to newer machine-made furniture. Having antique furniture also adds a sense of warmth, history, and character to your home.

So before buying an antique furniture or accessory, it’s important to take note of these criteria to ensure the value of an antique you’re going to purchase.

  1. Rarity
  • So what does rarity mean? A rare item is something that only you have owned it. Nothing in your neighborhood, or in your town, or maybe even in your country owns that item except you. Making it a rare item that’s hard to obtain, and lucky you because you get a hands-on to that item. So how do we know if something is rare? Let’s dive in to these attributes:
  • Only a few were made – An item is rare if only a few we’re made and only those who can afford it can obtain the item.
  • A few of the original pieces remain – A lot of antiques are manufactured in large batches but only a few of them are found now. Such antiques include crystal stemware, porcelain dishes, and tea sets.
  • Unique color for each type of antique – A lot of antiques share different color and design which makes them unique.
  • Different style from different artist or manufacturer – A rare antique has different styles depending on the artist or manufacturer.
  • Unusual size or shape – Not just in color, antiques also come in different shapes and sizes. Such example is the silver spoon, or other utensils that has a specialized purpose such as the stuffing spoons that’s used to stuff a turkey. And also the marrow spoons that are used to coax out the marrow out of bones.
  • Reproducible – If an antique is not reproduced or it’s difficult to reproduce, then it’s considered as a rare one.
  1. Aesthetics
  • When you look at an antique object and admire its exquisite beauty and form, then that piece has won you over at the aesthetics department. Some people believe that an aesthetics’ value depends on your personal taste. There are a lot of antique pieces that shares a universal design language in terms of aesthetics. You should definitely visit art galleries and museums if you have time because you can find a lot of aesthetically pleasing antiques there that’s very eye-candy.
  1. Desirability
  • Desirability is defined by what’s in vogue in the current market. An antique artist named Tiffany has created few wisteria lamps that contains hundred pieces of very small glasses. Some people thought that his lamps are gaudy, and so prices were steals by today’s standards. Now people covet the artistry that Tiffany displayed.
  1. Authenticity
  • It’s fun to examine the authenticity of an antique. But separating the truth from fiction of an antique is hard especially that technology is becoming more advanced each day. Here are some key items to look at to determine if an antique is authentic or not:
  • Time Period: Just because a piece of furniture looks old doesn’t mean it’s made from a hundred years ago. There are a lot of furniture that looks old but are actually born yesterday. Manufacturer’s sometimes use old wood to create a piece of furniture to trick you.
  • Artist/Company: An artist’s signature is worth more than a piece without one. But having a signature isn’t enough. You must examine if the type of piece is actually made by that particular artist. You must know the texture, paint, colors, and styles if it really came from that artist.
  • The materials used: It’s better to examine the material that’s used in order to know the authenticity of an antique. For example, you see a bronze statue, but is it actually made from bronze? We never know, maybe that statue is made from Spelter. Spelter can look like bronze, but it wears off easily and it’s lighter, making it a cheap alternative to bronze.
  1. Really Great Condition
  • Ideally, buying an antique that’s exactly in the same condition the day it was born is a better choice. But you do know that a lot may have happened in the last hundred years. Maybe the item has gone through rough times and it isn’t as good looking as it was before. Here are 3 attributes on rating a condition of an antique:
  • Mint condition – This means the piece is all in good shape. Such example is glassware. A glassware with no chips, cracks, or breaks means it’s in mint condition. And for furniture, mint implies no repairs or missing pieces.
  • Excellent condition – This means that the piece has minor flaws. For example a table top, maybe there’s a veneer chip on it that’s been expertly repaired to look as good as new. Or there’s a pinhead flake on the base of a porcelain vase.
  • Good condition – This means that the piece has gone through tough times but still managed to survived. Example is a porcelain figurine’s finger has broken and has been repaired by an expert.

A small damage may result to a big impact on a value of an antique. A minor chip or crack in a piece of porcelain may be fine with you, but in the eyes of antique experts, this is something that will worry them.

When shopping for antiques, it’s important to examine each item from every angle. You want to see the damage and changes that particular piece has gone through and look if the price has brought justice to it. Here’s a list of damages you should consider on looking before purchasing that piece:

  • Scratches
  • Breaks and tears
  • Chips
  • Cracks
  • Dings and gouges
  • Missing parts
  • Fractures
  • Discoloration
  • Signs of repair such as glue, runny paint, mismatched nails
  • Discoloration
  • Broken noses or fingers on figurines

Damages are fine as long as it’s also fine with you. But a damaged antique can look unsatisfying, and its value decreases. But a repair job well done can restore its beauty, even though it doesn’t use some of its original parts anymore.