As someone who is just starting to get involved with antiquing, you may already realize you have a lot to learn. Searching for the perfect pieces to build a collection can be a challenge, but with the following tips, accumulating great pieces of good value can be easier and more enjoyable.
Focus on a Niche
While you may just like all kinds of old pieces and want to collect them, getting a good understanding of which pieces have value is wise. After all, you don't want to overpay for something simply because it is old. Getting the information you need so that you can become an expert is more possible when you focus on one area at a time. For instance, instead of looking for New England antiques as a broad category, you might instead focus on scrimshaws or maritime whistles. This will allow you to gather specialized information that will help you make better decisions about what to buy.
Use Books and Guides
Once you've decided on a particular niche that you want to focus on first, having some guides and books is vital so that you have reference materials on hand before making a purchase. With the right books you can more quickly identify authenticity, know whether a piece is being sold at a fair price and gain other useful information.
Books and guides can also be especially essential if you plan on repairing, refinishing or sprucing up antique pieces yourself. For instance, if you know that you purchasing a 19th century dresser with missing drawer pulls, it's likely that you'll need to find brass hardware to mount on the piece. A brass hardware book or a reprint book would be a fantastic tool for looking up pieces that may work; even if you can't locate authentic 19th century brass, you can find replicas that allow you to maintain the spirit of the original piece.
Set a Budget
Depending on what you're collecting, spending money can be very easy to do; if you're at an auction and are bidding on an beautiful piece it can be hard to let it go, for instance. To keep yourself sane so that your collection remains a fun hobby and not a burden, be careful to set a strict budget for spending. If you go over the budget, have a plan in place with consequences. For example, you might sell something before you purchase anything else or not buy anything in the following month.
Antiquing can be an exciting treasure hunt that takes you all over the world. As you use the tips here, you can be smart about how to proceed. Contact a business like TED CROM BOOKS to learn more.