A Guide to Collecting Antiques  
by Michael Rad

The value of an antique is considered to increase with age and depending on its social use or symbolic appurtenance in the course of societal development. Usually, a piece older than 100 years is considered an antique. The condition and rarity of the item are also key points that drive a buyer or collector to manifest interest. It is important to pay close attention to detail when one decides to purchase a collectible or an antique. As in any other trade based on authenticity and exclusivity, these items can be counterfeited or reproduced and passed on as rare pieces of history.

The safest way to guard yourself against scams is to document yourself on antiques: read books on this subject that you can find at any library or in almost every bookshop - this way you can really appreciate the value of an item by knowing its importance in history or its impact on society at a certain time in the past. Antiquing is a more complex hobby than it sounds - it is a way of appreciating the combination of art and history and giving thanks to high quality degrees of craftsmanship. The best way to get acquainted with genuine antiques is to handle them as much as possible, look at them and compare recurring details characteristic of certain ages or periods. This is possible by either visiting antique shops or contacting professionals who can land you some pieces of advice. One should consider the material from which they are made, the engravings and ornamentations - most of them should be handmade, the styling that is tantamount to certain eras and, last but not least, buy from a reputable dealer and not just any antique shop.

Antiques can be purchased from auctions, estate sales, fairs, resort towns, antique districts, antique oriented websites or even garage sales. The choice depends on the buyer's financial possibilities or authenticity interest they have. The collection preferences vary from furniture -Arts & Crafts, Georgian, Regency or Victorian, paintings - Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Fairy Art, religious, Romantic, jewelry to books - first editions, Incunabula, miniature, comic books series and so on, china, maps, tools and pottery.

The basic aspects to consider for preserving your antiques are to keep them away from light and sun - colors fade and materials dry out, keep the right balance of humidity with hygrometer, the right temperature - around 64F, avoid handling the items as much as possible and put together collectible cleaning equipment - isopropyl alcohol, distilled water, soft brushes and cotton swabs.

About the Author: Antiques Buyers Guide is a website which has information on Beds and other antique items such as furnishings and rings http://www.antiquesbuyersguide.com

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