That's Not Junk! A Guide to Antiquing

Written by: Nicholas Brit
Some people think of antiquing as an exciting hunt for treasure. Furthermore, a person doesn’t have to own an antique shop to be interested in antiquing. Antiques can be anything from cars to books to children’s toys. Generally, an item that is over 100 years old is considered to be an antique. Of course, there is more to antiquing than just finding an item that is more than 100 years old. The following answers some common questions related to antiques and sheds some light on why this activity is so popular. Anyone can participate in the activity of antiquing. There are a variety of places where a person may find antique items. Some people go to local estate auctions to search for antiques while others like to scour flea markets for them. Other places to find antiques include yard sales, rummage sales, junk shops, and online auctions. Some individuals love nothing more than digging through boxes full of miscellaneous items at a yard sale in search of an antique. The person envisions him or herself buying the item for a dollar and selling it for much more! Or the item may go into the individual’s personal collection of antiques. In short, the physical search for antiques is what attracts many people to this interesting hobby. One of the most important aspects of this activity is learning how to recognize an antique. The indicators vary according to the specific item. For instance, if a person is evaluating an older desk, he or she may check for intricate design work. That can be an indication of antique furniture. The design or style of a piece of furniture is also helpful when determining the time period in which it was made. The type of wood used to make a piece of furniture can also be a clue as to its time period. Alternatively, finding the age of a book is a little easier. Books generally display a copyright date and edition number. Internet research is helpful in learning more about an item that may be an antique. Some people even take their items to an appraiser to learn more details about them. After receiving confirmation that an item is an antique, a person must look at its condition. If efforts have been made to preserve the antique, then it may be in sellable condition. Unfortunately, many antique items are stored in boxes and suffer damage or simply fall apart. For instance, a person may be thrilled to realize that they own an antique book. However, the person won’t be able sell it at its full value due to water damage and a missing cover. Alternatively, a person who finds an antique doll carefully packed away in a waterproof box may be able to sell it for its full value. In many cases, the condition of the antique is just as important as the antique itself. Many people who collect antiques are partial to one type of item. Other collectors enjoy finding antiques of all kinds. Some of the most sought after antiques include cuckoo clocks made in the 19th century, Chippendale furniture from previous centuries, and jewelry from the 19th century. Of course, a person who is interested in antiquing doesn’t have to find one of these precious items to be successful in the hobby. It’s wise for a beginner to start by searching in his or her own basement or attic. The person may discover some family heirlooms or antique items that have been completely overlooked! It’s helpful for a person new to antiquing to learn some of the commonly used lingo. For example, if an item is a limited edition it’s one of a small number of copies made at a particular time. The word limited edition is often used with books or prints. Another piece of lingo related to antiques is marquetry. Marquetry refers to veneers found on wood furniture pieces. Dutch furniture pieces often display marquetry. Book value is another common word in the world of antiques. Book value refers to an antique item’s value as listed in an official price guide. This gives a person an idea of what the item is worth. Of course, the item’s overall condition and other details will influence this number value. Finally, whether a person considers antiquing to be a hobby or a way to make a living, it’s an activity full of exciting experiences. Antiquing can lead to a whole new appreciation of history. To learn more about antiques and antiquing, please visit: