Antique Collecting

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Choosing the Right Type of Antique for You

Antique collecting encompasses virtually every type of item from virtually every era in history. Choosing an area within the large field of antiques upon which to focus a collection can be a daunting task. There are so many options; it can be difficult to decide what type of antique best suits you as a collector.

If your primary interest in antique collecting is financial in nature, you will take a different perspective on decision-making than will someone who feels a strong personal affinity for a certain type of antique or time period.

Those whose primary interest in the antique field is based on the likelihood of profit will be less concerned with intangible benefits and will focus their attention on the bottom line.

Those who enter than antique field with significant resources at their disposal and who are seeking antique purchases that will serve as a form of investment will probably want to deal primarily with recognizable “name brand” collectibles that already have a strong following.

These coveted items are generally expense purchases but have a ready-made audience of interested buyers when one determines the time is right to liquidate. Examples of these “blue chip” antiques include Chippendale furniture, Tiffany lamps and other immediately recognizable antiques. These highly coveted antiques tend to increase in value consistently and are unlikely to experience major value setbacks. The admiring “fan base” of these antiques is strong and continues to grow, making them a relatively safe investment purchase.

Those interested in pursuing antiques for financial gain who are not interested or able to invest larger sums in coveted items may instead opt to pursue the antiques field with a “broker’s eye.” Instead of focusing on acquisition of particular antiques, attention will instead be paid to finding undervalued items in the marketplace that can be quickly turned into financial winners.

Those who take this “buy low, sell high” perspective will often comb smaller antique markets, swap meets, garage sales, classified advertisement leads and flea markets in pursuit of sellers who are undervaluing their antiquities. They are prepared to act quickly and have often developed a solid network of potential buyers to contact after acquiring the antiques.

This strategy can create significant financial gains. However, it requires a sharp eye and an expansive understanding of the antiques market to do this successfully over time. In order to find the undervalued items, after all, one must be able to recognize the item and know its market value. Since efforts may not be directed toward a particular niche, the “trader” must have a solid understanding of many antique types.

Some collectors will be more interested in having an enjoyable and personally enriching hobby. Although the potential for financial gain may still be a consideration, their attention is more likely to be placed upon collecting items that have a strong personal appeal or significance.

Many people feel a strong connection to particular types of items. Those whose work is in a specialized field, for instance, may have a great interest in related items through history. Those who hail from a certain area may be interested in antiques reflecting that area’s history and tendencies. Others may be drawn to certain areas of the antique world for reasons they don’t fully understand but still recognize!

Those who do not consider money the key aspect of their hobby are advised to choose a niche that is very appealing to them. They should appreciate the antiques in their niche, the history of the artifacts, the culture and time period that led to their creation and other related factors.

By choosing a subject area in which one is strongly interested, the likelihood of maximizing the hobby’s enjoyment is increased. The research that accompanies antiquing, for instance, becomes a truly enjoyable experience rather than an annoying chore. Those who choose their niche wisely gain a great deal of satisfaction from acquiring desired pieces and searching them out.

Whether you are interested in obtaining antiques for the purpose of investment and resale or are more interested in developing a long-term personally enriching diversion, antique collecting can be a perfect hobby. No matter what one’s objectives, collecting provides a means by which they can be reached.

Critical to the enjoyment of antique collection, however, is choosing the right niche in which to collect. This decision should be made after a careful examination of one’s collecting goals and personal interests. A good decision should create a wonderful pastime that can last a lifetime!

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