Sunday, December 31, 2006


Antique shopping can be quite the experience if you have the time to spend going from shop to shop and looking. The key is to spend some time on the places you visit. Learn about what makes their pieces valuable. It may be the time period, the national origin, or even the condition of the piece. Antique shopping for many people is an idle hobby, meaning that they do not purchase anything. Instead they simply look. That is because the price of good quality antiques is so high that few people can afford it.

If you want to get into antiquing, then you should consider collecting some smaller pieces. While you may never be able to afford $39,000 for the Victorian-era table and chairs I saw recently, you may be able to get a set of china piece by piece. The price for pristine quality fine dishes is still very high. You may be looking at several hundred dollars for just a cup or saucer. Still if you can purchase a piece of several sets, you can make a beautiful collection to display without needing to purchase an entire eight-piece set.

The best way to begin antiquing is to go out and see what is out there first. Look up antique malls or antique shops in your local area. Try to find ones that say something about what they offer. Sometimes you will find that antique malls just offer junk. Everything will be cheap, but you will be hard-pressed to find anything useful. In other areas, you will find great quality as well pieces. While some likely will be prohibitively expensive, others may be less so. Try to find something that piques your interest.

One of the things I find most fascinating when I am out looking at antiques is the political gear I see. I have been to galleries with all political slogans and the tin placards that were once popular campaign pieces. While some of these items are rare and hard to find, others, such as political buttons from the last half century or so, can be purchased for as little as $10. These buttons are wonderful ways to learn about past political campaigns and also are easy to find and display.

While you are antiquing, see if you can find something small that interests you. It may be rolling pins from the eighteenth century or swaths of fabric from times past. Think about the likelihood that you could find a place to keep any of the items and also the possibility that you would be able to purchase the pieces regularly enough to keep yourself interested in the hobby. If you see something that interests you, check the prices and make note. Are there tons? If so, you may want to narrow your scope. Are some much more expensive than others? If so, try to determine why so that you can decide how to go about your antiquing expeditions.

Once you have selected some items that may interest you, take some time to research at your library and online. Find out how valuable these items can be. While the foundation of the collection may not be very expensive, the collection as a whole may be. You also may find that certain pieces carry much more value. Also check into the general availability of these items. You may be looking for something that others will not be able to find. Some people enjoy the thrill of the hunt, and if that is you, go for it. For other people, however, the fun is in getting the items and creating the display or spending time studying them. Those people should opt for something that will be a little easier to find.

Whatever your interest in antique items, you should be able to find something in your area. If you really get into shopping for antiques, then you may just find that you can go antiquing on vacation or when you are otherwise traveling. Looking for antiques can become an obsession for people who are really interested in the items or eras they selected. If you find yourself there, that is okay; looking for antiques is an exciting and rewarding hobby for many people.

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