Collecting antiques and vintage is a hobby that has the magical power to open the door into the past. Which items can be considered as antiques? The United States Custom Service defines antiques as articles that are over 100 years of age. Well, and vintage? These are the items that are over 20 years of age but under 50. Such types of antiques and vintage as antique furniture, historical documents, vintage garments, antique art and books are the most collectable today. Collecting such articles brings aesthetic and emotional pleasure to the collector, and the joy of antique hunting is priceless.
Decide on Why and What Things You Want to Collect
This hobby is on the rise and there are a lot of people interested in it. For the beginner some aspects of having an antique collection can seem overwhelming and intimidating. Before diving into the world of antiques and vintage stuff, ask yourself two questions: why do you need it and will you be able to handle it?
Antique buying-up is a complicated art that demands years of learning. You need to feel passion and plead a cause from the very start. While collecting valuable antiques, collectors must be aware of their obligation to preserve, as the rare and ancient items are very easy to damage. Here some aspects you must consider:
- Antiques have to be maintained and preserved in an appropriate temperature environment and humidity level.
- Antiques must not be used for their direct purpose in order to preserve them.
- Antiquity must be restored only professionally. You should not even try to do something on your own: it is better to immediately contact specialized restoration studios.
- There is always a risk of buying an item at a high price, and at the end not being able to sell it even for half the money spent. You need to learn how to put emotions aside and to price an article carefully before buying it.
- And of course the main danger for a newbie collector is the risk of buying a fake, because antiques are forged frequently and shamelessly, especially paintings, porcelain and jewelry.
Where Can You Buy Antique and Vintage
If you are a person that is not easily intimidated with this kind of responsibility, you’re welcomed in the universe of antique and vintage. So let’s get straight to the point: where can you get it?
- Authoritative and reliable auction houses. The auction remains the main site for antique selling. Participation in it requires some pre-learning, special knowledge and the substantial funds available. In Europe, the most famous auction houses are Christie, Sotheby’s and Drouot. They account for 90% of antique turnover. They are mostly for respectable people with great demands. The assortment includes the whole range of art objects.
- Offline antique and vintage stores. Every big city has its own antique or vintage shops. They employ specialists in antiquities, historians and restorers. The assortment is varied. Fakes are rare, as such institutions value their reputation. Prices are targeted at the middle-income buyer.
- Online-platforms where you can find antiquity. Specific online resources offer a large variety of antiques. Users post photos of rarities, offering a sale or exchange. But there is a significant disadvantage, since it is possible to see the goods only “in absentio”. Prices are often set by amateurs, so there is an opportunity to bargain.
- Flea markets. Place where you can both run into a fake and buy the most valuable thing for a penny.
- Exhibitions. As the museums also need money, they often put up part of the exposition for auction. Collections of large museums are of particular interest. They are attracted by complete safety, as a quality certificate is attached to each purchase.
So if you’re about to start collecting vintage or antique – go forward. Gain knowledge and experience. Go to museums, read literature, study art, visit antique shops and flea markets. Only buy art and antiques that you really like. Do not spread yourself too thin, you have no need to collect it all immediately. Just enjoy, follow your heart and go get some antiques!