As an antique shop-owner and dealer, one of the most frequent questions asked by browsers and buyers who visit the shop is; where do you find your antiques? There are multiple answers to this question because the answer is everywhere and anywhere.
There are many individuals handling antiques that don’t understand the true value, worth or supremacy of a piece in the antique industry; this is one of the main reasons for the discovery of antiques in unusual and unexpected places. The search for a unique or high-quality piece must, therefore, include a variety of sources, but there are a few go-to methods that experts continually monitor to ensure they don’t miss any prized examples.
eBay isn’t the only online auction, and for antiques, there is a vast number of online auction houses, selling highly collectable items, as well as treasured antique pieces. The online catalogue of items provides the ability to browse through at a leisurely pace, and the listing also provides a specified sale date, so if you think the piece is for you, then you’ll know exactly when it will be going up for sale.
Online Antique Shops
There are a plethora of antique shops with an online store and presence. For a novice collector, it may be tricky to decide which of them is a trusted seller or has a high knowledge of the industry and the items. BADA is the British Antique Dealers Association, and is one of the most prestigious and trusted governing bodies in the industry. BADA demands high-standards from each associated dealer, which in turn, guarantees and provides buyers with confidence and integrity in their purchases.
There is a variety of antique shows that take place all over the world, one of the most prestigious, that many experts regularly attend is the LAPADA Art and Antiques Fair. Shows present specialists in the industry who all have a niche or specific interest; these presenters will also bring along some of the finest examples within their specialism. Antique shows attract a wealth of highly-knowledgeable dealers, with some of the best antiques on the market. For this reason, antique shows are one of the best places to find exceptional one-of-a-kind items.
Bricks and Mortar Shops
Antique shops are usually owned and managed by enthusiastic and passionate antique professionals. These individuals will appreciate and understand the true value of a piece and will possess the all-important knowledge and history of the item. Advice is usually given freely in antique shops, as the adoration for the industry is hard to suppress; this makes antique shops a great place to go with any questions or queries you may have which will contribute to a positive purchasing experience.
Unlike online auctions, live auctions give the buyer the ability to see the piece first before committing to a purchase. This is always advisable as antiques are items that are over 100-years old, the wear and tear or damage to a piece may be missed in a photograph or miscommunicated within descriptions provided online. This can be an issue that can considerably affect the value and desirability of the piece.
Live auctions are influential on buyers because it is very easy to get caught up in the excitement of the environment. To avoid a disappointing purchase, you should carefully inspect the piece that you have come to bid on, set a limit of the amount of money you are willing to pay for it and ensure you stick to your boundaries. All too often, antique buyers or auction attendees come away with an item they are not particularly happy with or that they didn’t originally want because they were caught up in the moment of the auction.
Estate sales that are held by the family members of the household are typically much more successful than those held by liquidation companies. Estate sales provide a huge potential for finding great antiques. Families in large houses or estates are well-known for grand, unusual and impressive collections, which, on attendance of these sales, offers the chance to purchase your dream piece of antique furniture.
There are so many possibilities of where to purchase antiques, the most beneficial advice it to keep your eyes peeled and don’t limit your options. Antiques can be hidden in a variety of places, meaning individuals or dealers on the search for a prized piece must be diligent, thorough, patient and committed to the search.
What is the most unusual place that you have found an antique item? We would love to hear about your discoveries via our social media channels!
By Partick Sandberg.
Located in one of the most prestigious and popular parts of London, Kensington Church Street is an antique enthusiast’s dream, and Patrick Sandberg’s shop is in the heart of it. Patrick has had a lifelong passion for antiques and has been dealing with them 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.