6 TIPS FOR
SHOPPING AN ANTIQUE OR VINTAGE SHOW
A WORD ON INVESTMENT PIECES AND VALUE A good antique will always hold its value and even appreciate if it is truly an “investment” purchase. An investment antique will have clues to determine its worthiness. For instance, always note the basic construction: there should be obvious, hand-made joinings, pegs, and possibly square, hand-forged nails or saw-tooth strips of wood used for shelving which would most likely be hand-hewn. Find a good antique dealer you can trust and learn even more regarding its history to determine if it’s a worthy investment for you.
QUESTIONS TO ASK TO DETERMINE VALUE: 1// Where did it come from (i.e., what region specifically)?
2// What woods were used in construction? 3// What is an approximation of when, as the French say, the antique was “born”? 4// Note escutcheons and hinges, if there are any on the piece, and pull out a drawer to examine it closely; is it dovetailed, or obviously joined? These can be age and craftsmanship clues, which can help determine value. —Chris Bronson, Owner, French Quarters
The early bird gets the worm! Arrive a little before the show opens to be one of the first in line so you don’t miss out on the best finds.
Bring a shopping tote or cart with some packing material so you won’t have to carry multiple bags.
Have a small notebook on-hand or use your phone to record the booths where you purchase items. You can leave your larger items with exhibitors and come back later so your hands are always free, and you don’t have to make multiple trips to your vehicle.
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Wear comfortable shoes. This is obvious but so important. You’ll most likely spend at least a couple of hours at an antique show to see everything, so you need to be comfortable! Bring cash. Cash is king when it comes to getting the best price for your finds. Download the eBay app on your phone. If you find an item that you or the exhibitor are unfamiliar with, you can try different search terms to learn more about the piece. You can also determine a little about the value of the item as well, but I wouldn’t suggest relying too heavily on the eBay selling price because condition, design, edition, shipping, and other characteristics may come into play that can skew the value of items.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR
ANTIQUE AND WOOD-CONSTRUCTION FURNITURE CLEANING: We recommended dusting with a soft cloth. Avoid using cleaners with silicone; over time these will cause a film-like build up on your furniture. If you want to use a cleaner, look for one that is silicone-free. SMALL SCRATCHES AND KNICKS: These are inevitable with normal wear and tear over time. I’ve found the best way to remedy this is with a furniture touchup marker. They come in a variety of tip sizes and colors, so you can match the width of the scratch and the wood color on your piece. Be sure to test the color on an area of the piece that is not highly visible, and keep a rag close by to wipe it away if it’s not a match. Many furniture stores and antique dealers have these markers in stock. I recommend keeping one on hand for a fast fix. LARGER SCRATCHES AND RESTORATION: Pieces with scratches that are deep into the woodgrain, that have a thick build-up or are cracked may need to be restored by a professional. We have been operating a full-service restoration and refinishing shop for almost 50 years, and I think we’ve seen it all! Many times people think a piece is too far gone to be saved, but we can match broken carvings, give a piece a new finish, and replace leather tops on desks and end tables. When we restore a piece, we do our best to make it ready for another hundred years. —Lewis Morris, Owner, Morris Antiques
October 2015 | athomearkansas.com 73