How To Start An Antique Collection

The literal meaning of antique is “old”. An antediluvian collection is a composite of old items, which are worth possessing because of certain unique features like antiquity, design, utility, rarity, craftsmanship and quality. The term antiques is used for items which are at least 50 to 100 years old. Ancient objects tell us stories about their time in history – throwing light on the life style of people when they were in use.

To start an Antique collection, one needs to indulge in some active ‘antiquing’. Antiquing has been defined as “the act of shopping, identifying, negotiating or bargaining for antiques”. This activity normally takes place in international auction houses, resort towns, garage sales, estate sales, antique districts, resort towns and collectives. Archaic items are also purchased for collection through antique dealers who are members of trade associations, auction services or purchased online through online auctions and websites. There is also a very dynamic trade association dealing with these items, called CINOA. It is a confederation of antique and art association across nineteen countries. CINOA is the representative of five thousand antique dealers.

Some new and inexperienced collectors of old objects tend to make impulsive purchases of such items based on mere face appeal. It is more advisable to acquire some knowledge of desirable old items, before embarking in building a well-rounded collection. Knowledge of the background of the items one purchases is an absolute must before making purchases for ones antique collection. This is because the value of old things varies according to time, place and object. For instance, a 25 year old automobile can be considered an antique, while a furniture item is required to be at least 150 years old to be tagged similarly.

One can learn a lot about antiquated art through collector’s magazines like collectors news, Antique Trader, Antiques and Collecting, Antique and Collectibles Journal. For those who are starting a new collection, regular visits to collectibles shows and conventions is highly recommended to create familiarity with the world of old objects. These shows impart a lot of information about different ancient items through seminars on many subjects like individual artists’ items, and companies. A serious collector can also become a member of any antique club, to gain knowledge through interactions with other collectors. The advent of the internet has also made it easy for a potential buyer to chat with other collectors for advice and sharing. Last but not the least; it is advisable for collectors to make a plan to build up their collection through study, experimentation and personal choice. However, the market value of antiques is determined by their utility, aesthetic appeal and social acceptability and not just antiquity.

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