Antiques are a piece of history, frozen in an object, says London antiques dealer Patrick Sandberg. They represent a time, a place, a maker and an owner. Each one has had an incredible journey, and their story is entwined with the item.
Enthusiasts have the opportunity to unlock this knowledge and piece together the story, yet to learn about antiques takes time and passion. Patrick offers a list of 10 of the best ways to get started.
Visit an antique dealer
One of the quickest ways to learn about antiques is via dealers. As professionals in the industry, they have gained an incredible amount of knowledge through their many years of trading with antiques. It is likely that the trade of these treasured items isn’t just their occupation, but also their passion in life. Their wealth of expertise is invaluable, and it is more than worthwhile taking a trip to your local antique dealer, or a specialist afar to have a chat with them and understand your collection or pieces in more detail.
Attend an auction
Auctions allow you to browse, view, hold and consider a range of antique pieces. There is often an abundance of special items that are waiting to be sold, and although you don’t always get to speak to the seller, it is a great place to test your knowledge, learn about antiques, meet other enthusiasts, get an idea on the current prices and enjoy the thrill of the auction house.
Learn about antiques at antique fairs
Antique fairs offer a high-quality experience for all visitors. With a large collection of specialists and enthusiasts, all trading their pieces and knowledge, you are sure to learn something new about the antique market. Fairs are one of the best places for finding your antique treasures and one-of-a-kind pieces.
View online blogs and forums
The World Wide Web has an inconceivable amount of information; all at the click of a button. The resource provides you with a wide range of antique topics, whether you want to identify the age and maker of a piece or need guidance on antique hallmarks, it is certain you will find it! Many antique dealers also have their own blogs, where they share their knowledge and expertise for all to enjoy – perfect for learning about antiques.
Read books to learn about antiques
Books are one of the greatest resources for increasing your antique knowledge. They make a great reference point and offer a fantastic introduction into the world of antiques. Each page brings to life the pieces, with pictures and a detailed explanation. Covering a range of topics, some more specific to a period or piece and others more general. The beginner’s guides offer just as much of an enjoyable read for the learners as they do the experienced.
Keep yourself up to date with trends and changes in the antique world by keeping an eye on the news. By doing this, you won’t miss the exciting finds that have recently made an appearance on the market. The news usually covers incredibly rare or expensive pieces, which are a joy to have heard about and seen. There will also be coverage on any upcoming antique trade shows so that you won’t miss out on the deals!
The actual antiques
Your pieces, whether it’s antique furniture, jewellery, clocks or kitchen ware will be able to tell you an awful lot about their history. The wood used can indicate the year the furniture was made, or the hallmarks can tell you the location and the maker. By understanding your own antique pieces, you will be equipped with the knowledge on your future antique searches.
Short courses on antiques
Whether you choose to take part in an online course or attend a local group, short courses, which are usually held or created by specialists, are a great way to learn about antiques and gain more knowledge. Many of them are free or available for a relatively small fee considering the wealth of information available to you.
The selection of antique programs presented on the television such as Antiques Roadshow, Antiques Road Trip and Flog It! are an easy way to pick up tips and they give you the opportunity to see a range of antiques that you might not have seen otherwise.
Passion for antiques
Most of all, your passion and dedication for acquiring more knowledge about the antique market will be the driving force in your development. Your desire and enthusiasm to learn about antiques, periods and array of items will be maintained and motivated by your passion. In a short amount of time, you will be knowledgeable enough to share your discoveries, date pieces, identify makers, tell the history and enthuse others around you.
Written by: Patrick Sandberg Antiques
Located in one of the most prestigious and popular parts of London, Kensington Church Street is an antique enthusiast dream and Patrick Sandberg’s shop is in the heart of it. Patrick has had a lifelong passion for and has been dealing with antiques for over 25 years, his comprehensive knowledge and extensive collection of 18th century Georgian and early 19th century Regency furniture is one of the greatest in central London.