What Is Antiquing? Top 10 Facts About Antiquing

Beginning a collection of antiques is a straightforward endeavor that provides the collector with both personal satisfaction and the potential for financial gain. Collectors frequently specialize by amassing artifacts of a particular interest.

What Is Antiquing?

Antiquing can refer to two separate things. In the first sense, it is going out and shopping or seeking for antiques in a variety of locales. In the second sense, it refers to putting particular treatments to furniture to make it seem antique.

Given that the two notions have significantly distinct meanings, the purpose is typically evident from the context. In certain parts of the world, the initial sense of antiquing is quite popular. You may find antiques at estate sales, auctions, garage sales, and a variety of stores, some of which may specialize in antiques.

Some regions are renowned for their antiquing opportunities, such as the American Northeast. Where some individuals participate in antiquing excursions. Many individuals love the excitement of the hunt as they sift through a variety of things in search of beautiful or costly antiques; some people even make antiquing a business by searching for resalable antiques.

Antiquing involves a considerable degree of talent, since it is simple to acquire a fake, useless, or severely damaged antique if you are not knowledgeable. The majority of people acquire identification abilities via years of practice and by collaborating with identification experts.

What Is Antiquing?

If you are a novice in the area, you may choose to visit a library or bookshop and peruse literature on the identification and valuation of antiques in order to gain confidence in the subject. Consider specializing in a particular type or era of antiques, such as Victorian glassware or Shaker furniture.

Antiquing can be a lot of pleasure, particularly when you uncover a wonderful discovery. As a general guideline, search for objects that exhibit evident indications of decades of use and wear, such as discoloration, stains, rounded corners, etc. Avoid “antiques” with evident modern construction elements, such as particleboard, screws, etc., even if they appear to be in excellent condition.

What Is Antiquing?

In the second meaning, antiquing is frequently used to add visual appeal to furniture. Some furniture firms sell antiqued items to consumers who appreciate the style or need new furniture that would mix in with older pieces, and it is also feasible to antique things on your own.

Numerous books and do-it-yourself websites provide comprehensive antiquing recommendations for anyone who wish to learn about the numerous processes that may be employed to give furniture an artificially aged appearance.

Some older objects are not, strictly speaking, antiques. Vintage things are less than 100 years old, and antiques are older than 100 years. Typically, antiques are categorized as collector, investment, or ornamental.

Antique, Vintage, and Classic Cars

Automobiles are classified differently than the majority of other products. At the 20-year mark, a vehicle is considered a classic. At the age of 45, automobiles are considered antiques. Vintage automobiles were manufactured between 1919 and 1930.

What Is Antiquing?

Valuable Antiques Worth Searching For

You might enjoy antiquing as a hobby, just to see what you can find. However, if you’re more of an investment antique hunter, there are several potentially valuable items to be on the lookout for. If you intend to collect antiques for their value, be sure they are in excellent condition.

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Antiquing

Antiquing may be both a pursuit and a surprise, depending on whether you’re searching for something so precise that it could take years to discover it, or whether you experience a moment of shopping serendipity in an unexpected location.

And for an antiquing enthusiast, nothing is more exciting than discovering a $2 curio and a valuable piece of furniture in the same location on the same day. Obviously, understanding how to ask for what you want and paying the price you desire may enhance the experience.

We’ve compiled a list of the top ten things you should know about antiquing so you may get the unique gems you seek every time.

What Is Antiquing?

10. Old School

There are standard terms for the used items we purchase. If you are a fan of vintage objects, you enjoy things that are often less than 100 years old, but can be identified by their decade or period style, such as a vintage automobile.

Collectibles, on the other hand, are collections of similar objects from the same time period or manufacturer, such as collector toys. Classics are examples of good design from a particular era or for a particular purpose. For example, a leather riding boot is a classic.

Occasionally, interesting objects such as agricultural or culinary utensils of unknown provenance are neither valuable nor ancient, but they are nonetheless old and intriguing.

9. Age is Good

Antiques have a history of around one hundred years; they might be older or fresher, but the century-old mark often qualifies anything as an antique.

The majority of artifacts that have been around for so long are recorded or cataloged by kind and have condition-based value assessments. Marks from the creator or manufacturer, as well as proof of high craftsmanship, can authenticate an item.

What Is Antiquing?

There is knowledge of history and values in books, on the Internet, and among local specialists. Once a buyer is familiar with an era or style, finding a fake amid legitimate items becomes virtually automatic — and a delightful game of investigation.

8. Valuable (or Value “Bull”)?

While the condition of antiques affects their worth, beautiful trash is still trash. If an object is precious, genuine, and well-preserved, it will be evident in both its quality and its details. Its past will be shown. If it contains tags or a sales pitch that use the phrases “in the style of,” “inspired by,” or “of the same time,” it is likely a copycat.

If you’re seeking for authentic antiques, inquire about the item’s provenance, as there are many reproductions available.

7. Haggle Friendly

While retail establishments often use percentage-based markup algorithms, antiques merchants typically do not. In the realm of antiques and collecting, pricing is determined by the item’s condition and comparison to similar objects.

Most sellers have put up their prices with the expectation that they would be negotiated down. Many even appreciate it as a nice and entertaining method to discuss their passions. You are not “cheap” if you negotiate the price of a valuable item that looks expensive to you.

It is part of the antique shopping experience to see how low the merchant will go.

6. Flea Markets vs. Antiques Boutiques

It is frequently more about the experience than the “finds” to spend a day or even a lengthy weekend road trip perusing major flea markets and swap fairs. This is due to the fact that the most popular locations typically have the largest markups and the most depleted inventory.

Of course, it doesn’t mean you won’t discover a precious artifact in the local thrift store. However, if you’re in a rush and searching for a high-end, specialized item, it may be more prudent to browse at antiques experts. Researching beforehand where to go and how much to spend is always worthwhile.

5. Appraise the Appraiser

We are drawn to exceptional antique stores by word of mouth, web presence, and street-level attractiveness, but the proprietor completes the antique shopping experience. Even if a store is clean and attractive, low-quality merchandise and aggressive or rude salespeople can diminish the shopping experience.

What Is Antiquing?

Given the abundance of stores, some of which are disorganized and dusty but stocked with the greatest items, it is not difficult to locate a devoted merchant with an incredible selection. What and how they sell may be more important than where they sell.

A willingness to offer thorough assessments and original receipts (akin to paper pedigrees) also reveals a great deal about the transactions and the dealer.

4. Le Shop Talk

Being a good listener establishes a strong negotiating stance. Learn the terminology of antiquing, but don’t necessarily utilize it. Before revealing what you know about the history and condition of the objects you’re interested in, allow the vendor to do the selling and explain how the items made it to the floor.

Knowing your thing but allowing the expert to show off his or hers provides for better negotiations, and afterwards you may discuss your passion for antiques as equals. On the other hand, if someone is trying to overcharge you, send them to school!

3. Artful?

Before embarking on an excursion, it is prudent to set a spending limit in order to keep extravagance in check. If you find anything you enjoy, you may want to consider if you’ll still be thinking about it in a week or two, or whether you might prefer something else. It’s one approach to eliminate costly impulse purchases.

Art and design may captivate us when they align with our lifestyle and preferences, but antiquing immerses us in a sea of “likes.” And if you’re unable to let go of the valuable item you spotted, return to acquire it.

2. Useful?

When you antique, do you seek something something helpful or something merely artistic? Whether you want to utilize an item, such as a tea set or a chair, check to see if it is durable enough to be used daily; otherwise, it might become another “beautiful but useless” addition to your house.

What Is Antiquing?

Do you want more decorative goods and potential clutter, or functionality with aesthetic appeal? Obviously, not all well-designed objects must be utilitarian, but well-crafted vintage and antique things can be just as functional now as when they were built.

1. Adore It?

Some of our favorite items are the most unconventional ones. Buying something you enjoy, even if it has little “worth,” is an investment, particularly if it has a narrative or mystery that will grow with you and your family. Paying a premium price for something that is beautiful and durable is undoubtedly an investment.

And if the original of something you adore is out of your price range, occasionally reproductions are of good quality and honor the original designers. Even egregious defects may appeal us to something, which is essentially what antiquing is all about.


The word “antique” usually refers to something old and valuable that people want to keep. People collect antiques because they are old, beautiful, rare, in good shape, or useful.

When something is called an antique, it is assumed that it has value because of how well it was made and how rare it is. There may be other things about an antique that make it desirable and worth collecting. There is often a personal or emotional connection between a collector and an old item.

It is fairly usual for collectors of antiques and collectibles to build several collections. Because of extra curiosity and the availability of artifacts that have aroused their attention, many establish a second or third collection after starting the first.

Occasionally the collections are connected, but frequently they are not. A collector may, for instance, begin by collecting antique furniture and subsequently transition to collecting political memorabilia.

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Pat Moriarty
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