- 1) Get out into the world and educate yourself on which antiques are of value. Visit antique markets, museums, antique malls, antique stores, and auctions whenever possible, gain as much knowledge as possible.
- 2) Invest only in things you like...
- 3) Buy from established buyers.
- 4) Look for rare or unusual items.
Or should you buy for fun and the love of it!
What would be your first piece of advice about buying antiques?
Forget about investing in antiques – they should be bought for love. You must like what you are buying and for it to be within your financial means; any return you may (but probably won’t) get on it should be a very distant, secondary consideration. The idea of surrounding yourself with objects that will purely appreciate in value is against all concept of decoration and design.
How can we make sure we’re not being ripped off?
Some research into comparable items would be advisable, but if you don’t have the time or inclination for this, do seek advice from someone who spends their career overly obsessing about the value of antiques (a dealer or auctioneer). Most will be only too happy to help. As ever with advice, only seek it from someone you trust.
How can we avoid making big mistakes?
Don’t fill a warehouse or barn with brown furniture and await its long and lamented return to fashion. Monstrous sideboards and wide dining tables that never stop extending aren’t going to start fitting into people’s homes again anytime soon. Do buy wonderful examples from each period that ooze flair and panache.
What advice would you give to someone who has no idea where to begin?
The mid-century look is in fashion at the moment, which also happens to be heavily referenced by a lot of mainstream modern design. Do buy if you fancy, but don’t buy dross as when it (inevitably) falls out of fashion you’ll want to get rid of it and it won’t be worth much.