Antique Buyers Guide

In addressing this issue, we should consider what is an antique? Is there a certain age threshold an item must pass to be considered antique? Some would argue that it is the age that makes something antique. Others would place more emphasis on value. So which is it? The answer is possibly both, or either, and it is very much in the eye of the beholder. There is a discussion over terminology, is something antique, collectible, vintage, or retro? We will look at this discussion and evaluate how authentic an item needs to be? What the advantages of each approach is? Here is our buyers’ guide to the authentic vs. replica.

Is Value Important?

The importance of the value of an item can be a very subjective question? It is relative to the situation and purpose of the ownership of the item. Consider an item that is precious to you as it has been passed down from your parents and grandparents. The real value of this item to you is the sentimental worth rather than the potential sale price. If you are buying the item for decorative purposes in your home or office, then the value might be more important. It centers on what you want to display, is the piece intended to show your ability to afford quality items, or are you just interested in the style? If you are buying as an investment, whether you display the item or not, then the value is something to keep an eye on.

Can You Tell the Difference?

Unless we are buying for the previously mentioned investment, and it’s just for our style at home, then how much can we tell the difference between authentic and replica? For most of us, I would suspect the answer is not really. If we look at the design of an item, for example, mantle clocks, we can focus on the aspects of this design and search for the features we like at less than a premium price tag. What we must be aware of is to know for sure that an item is an authentic piece if we are paying the price for it. Only buy from reputable antique dealers, where you can be sure that they will have verified the authenticity. You also have a registered business to go back to in the event of a complaint. If you are buying from a private seller for a high-value piece, it makes sense to have it assessed and verified by an independent expert. Once you have followed all of the above steps, it will be easier to decide which approach is right for you?

Is it to be Practical?

You can sort antiques into two broad categories. The first being those that are antique and are purely items intended for display as ornaments. Secondly, some items will have practical use as well as looking the part on display. Consider the example of these antique tide clocks. These new replicas are likely to be much more reliable than a real antique. You have the peace of mind of a guarantee and have all new parts. A real authentic piece may give you the bragging rights of having it. But if it breaks down, repairs can be costly. Even if it does work you can never be sure of the accuracy of an old device.

Antique Doesn’t Need to be Expensive

Antiques come at all levels of expense, both high and low. What affects the value of an item isn’t necessarily its quality, rather it’s scarcity. If an item is scarce and is produced by a famous craftsperson, then it is going to attract a large price-tag.

How Easy is it to Find?

Consider how easy it is to find your desired item. If you seek to have it quickly and live a busy life, then a replica will be easy to source. You will find access to all sorts of options online, and many offer overnight delivery. There are many online directories for genuine pieces as well, although no guarantee you will easily find what you are after.

Should You Use an Expert Dealer?

One option is to employ the services of an expert dealer. You can specify exactly what you want. Even if they don’t have it, often they will know where to source it. You will be liable for a fee for this service. But if you are set on a particular item, it may be worth it.


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