Collection of Items in a London antique shop

Collecting antiques is a popular hobby that can be profitable if you know what to keep and what to toss. We all have those favorite belongings that are priceless to us so they must be to others out there as well; that favorite childhood toy, a unique piece of jewelry, etc. Right? Not necessarily. For an object to become a valuable antique it must be at least 100 years old. Anything younger than that, but belonging to a previous generation or at least 20 years old is considered vintage. That’s the easy part. The hard part comes when sorting through the many so-called antiques and vintage pieces out there and finding the gems among the junk. Here’s what to look for.

Basic Tips for Finding Authentic Antiques

There are a lot of scam artist, frauds, and counterfeiters in the vintage, antique, and art industries. This makes it exceptionally difficult to be confident in your purchase if you are not a vintage professional or an antique expert. There are a few things that you can do right up front before making a purchase that will help alleviate buyer’s remorse.

  • Only Source through Reputable Antique Dealers, Thrift Stores, and Auction Houses – Using reputable resources to research, scout, and procure your sought after antiques or vintage items might be slightly more expensive in the short run, but in the long run it minimizes the risk of fraud or counterfeit substitutions, provides a clean line of possession, and gives you a resource to turn to if there should be an issue after your purchase.
  • Understand the Pieces Construction – Construction is one of the easiest things to look at to determine if an item is genuine or a replica. Most antiques or vintage items will have been originally constructed using traditional methods like dove tailing for wood furniture, or hand stitched hems on vintage garments. If you come across an item that was originally built using glue, stables, or mass production sewing machines you are likely looking at a replica or knock of version of an item that may have been popular in a previous era.
  • What Condition is the Item – How an antique or vintage piece had been maintained and cared for is a big part of the value of the item. Take a thorough review of your potential find taking note of any scratches, loose hinges, water damage, unstable legs, broken latches, etc. All of these things take away from the value and must be properly refurbished for your investment to maintain or increase in value.
  • Know your Providence – Providence is proof of the item’s origin and history. All high-end antiques will have proof of ownership at the very least before they are declared a true antique of substantial value. When bargain shopping for antiques or vintage pieces ask about the item’s providence and have the seller include any physical documentation of proof with the sale. This will assist you with authentication, appraisal, and future sale of the item should you decide to sell it.

Antique and Vintage pieces are a great way to pull the past into our homes, as well as a proven method of investing when done properly. Taking the time to learn about what to look for, where to look for it, and how to care for it is important towards being an effective antique or vintage bargain finder.

Then once you have your vintage or antique collection started, you’re going to need a clean, safe place to store those valuables. Take a look at Browning Park Mini Storage and let one of the knowledgeable and helpful staff help you find the perfect space for your collection.