Going to the antiques auctions can be very exciting, particularly when there is something that you particularly want. However buying antiques is a precise art and novice antiquers need to be wary of fakes and marriages that will detract from the value of the item, although large auction houses will usually refund monies if the article is later proved to be a fake.
According to Helen Fowler writing in the Financial Times, buyers can protect themselves from fakes by choosing wisely. Ceramics for example that have clear stamps are very difficult to forge, as is silver where hallmarking is a legal requirement. However the Chinese porcelain market is riddled with fakes at the moment. Other sureties like provenance where a piece of antique furniture for example has been in the same household for years is also a guarantee of firstly its age but secondly that it hasn’t been messed around with and is therefore in its original state. Much antique furniture in the Victorian period and since were often marriages of more than one original piece.
There are three key things to remember when considering investing in an antique: its provenance, its quality and its rarity, according to Harvey Cammell the valuations director at Bonhams. Therefore some form of document showing the item’s passage through time may add significantly to its value.
Advice to all newcomers in the antiques game is to browse before you buy. Antiques furniture dealerships in Preston, Lancashire, Cumbria and across Britain will be happy to supply the would-be investor with sound knowledge about any items that takes their fancy.
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