As an antique dealer, I have been in the world of antiques and collectibles for the last twenty years. I have been lucky to handle some of the most exquisite objects you could hope to see. Being spoilt for choice, I found it very hard to decide on what antiques I should collect. It was, for this reason, I thought I would point out the pros and cons of what antiques to collect.
The correct antiques for you to collect may not be the same as the next person. People collect antiques for different reasons, some for investment or even for social status, I could give you countless reasons, the most common is the love of the object and affordability.
Deciding on what antiques are right for you to collect will depend on so many questions. Throughout this blog, I am endeavoring to answer as many of these questions for you. There is no wrong antique to collect. There is only the wrong antique for you.
My view on collecting is, firstly we are preservers of the past, and custodians of the future. It is our responsibility to save as much as we can to pass on to our children. What can be better than surrounding yourself with beautiful things that make you smile? And at the same time helping to save our planet.
What antiques should I invest in?
Knowing what antiques are going to increase or decrease in value is almost impossible unless you have a crystal ball. I have been an antique dealer for half of my life. During this time, I have seen some real shocks. Things have sold for hundreds that I used to put in the trash. If we consider the other side, I have seen people spend thousands on porcelains that now sell for pennies.
Predicting the future is just best-educated guesses, so what would I recommend you buy for investment? There are and will always be trends that come and go. I would advise against buying objects in these trends for investment. Trends are a great way to make money in the short term. If you are buying in the hope they are going to go up in value over some time, then there is a real risk of loss.
My big tip for investing in antiques would be firstly buy something you love and can live with if all else fails. Antiques are a risk the same as any stocks and shares.
If you buy antiques produced by skilled craftsmen, then you are heading in the right direction. What I mean by this is, that if someone has taken a lifetime learning and perfecting a skill, then that type of quality will always be sorted after. Examples of this can be anything from furniture, paintings, silversmiths, or designers.
Every unique field within antiques has designers and makers that demand a premium price. Always buy the very best you can for your money. Make sure to learn as much as you can about the area you wish to invest in, if you do this, you will ensure that you have an understanding of the value in this area and should be able to identify fakes and cheaper copies.
There are things you can take into consideration to help you predict the best antiques for investment. For example, every year, the cost of manpower and machinery alone increases at the very least in line with inflation. Things such as precious metals, when you consider the cost involved in the mining process, can only go up in value. If something is handmade, Take into consideration the skills and time involved in creating.
There is very little that you cannot buy for investment. The only questions are, can you purchase it cheap enough? And can you sit on it long enough? I have an in-depth film where I share my secrets and tips on buying if you would like to take a look.
Here is a film I created on youtube talking about investing in Sterling Silver, There is a second (Genuine Dealer SECRETS & TIPS How to Buy Sterling Silver for Profit or Investment Video 2).
- Here is a short list of things I would recommend you invest your money in. These are things that have stood the test of time because of rarity, maker, age, or objects that can only go up in value, for example, precious metals.
- Silver and Gold in any form, from jewelry to candlesticks, or coins.
- Designers that have already stood the test of time, such as Archibald Knox, Christopher Dresser, and Nathanial Mills, to name just a small few.
- Makers That have stood the test of time, such as Liberty, Meissen, Worcester, Lalique, and Saint Louis, to name just a small few.
- The art market is always up and down with its prices. The 19th-century art market is low at the moment. Some of these artists were so skilled, and sort after now is a good time to invest, for example, artists such as George Shalders.
- The oriental market has always been coveted. Porcelains, Metalware, and artwork from china and japan are considered prized. They have been sort after for hundreds of years, and the desire for these products is still growing.
- Avoid mass-produced items and consider rarity, for example, 18th century Worcester (Dr. Hall period) porcelain is hard to find and will always be desired. Don’t forget to use the supply and demand rule, If something is hard to find then it will be valuable.
- Items of historical importance will always be a safe bet. Examples of historically important items could be, militaria, souvenirs from major events, or important buildings and ships.
What antiques do antique dealers collect?
Antique Dealers are a strange animal. There is no reasoning behind their thinking. Antique Dealers mix brand new and ancient, however, they still make it work. What the individual antique dealer collects varies on their style. Some are very traditional, and others are weird and wonderful.
Antique dealers can be hoarders where they keep more than they sell. Generally, an antique dealer will end up collecting something that they once dealt with. As an example, a porcelain dealer will collect porcelains. It will be their understanding of an object, the love they form after years of researching and handling the item, that stops them from selling it. As soon as they are buying not to sell on, they fall in the bracket of becoming a collector.
What antiques are likely to go up in value?
There has been huge speculation as to what antiques are going to rise and fall in value. It is not a new thing to invest in antiques hoping that their value will increase. Many large insurance/investment companies buy art and porcelains for this very reason. Art and antiques can be considered in the same way as the stock market, and it is just as volatile.
If we could predict the next trend, then we would all be rich. If we went back fifteen years, you could buy a Whitefriars glass vase for a couple of pounds. This very same vase now is worth forty times what it was fifteen years ago.
So what is the next trend going to be? There is no way of knowing. The nature of trends is they come and sometimes go just as fast. What this means is that the bubble can burst and, you can lose money.
Try to avoid tends in the long term. Always buy what you love and can live with if the market goes in the wrong direction. If you are looking for a short-term gain, then you can jump on the trend train, but that qualifies you as dealing and not collecting.
Pic a subject you love, appreciate and understand. As an example, we will use Porcelains, Because art at the moment is a volatile area. Avoid mass-produced porcelains, instead try to consider buying objects that are rare factories such as Worcester, Meissen, and Nantgarw. Consider selecting hand-painted objects or things with rare shapes.
Anything that makes your item stand out as being special and desirable will make it a safer option. Rare objects will always sell. The bonus of collecting rare objects means the demand outweighs the supply.
Mid-century modern items are very desirable at the moment. Good 20th-century design, Scandinavian arts, and some Danish jewelry seem a very safe bet.
What antiques are likely to go down in value?
To consider what products are likely to drop in value, we have to consider how people live now. Firstly it is considered very bad or politically wrong to collect or deal with animal products. Where ivory and fur were the height of fashion, now they are on the brink of being destroyed by governments.
As periods change, so do people’s tastes. If we consider the victorian age as our example, people used to have coal fires surrounded by brass, a mantel place full of Staffordshire flatback ornaments, and cluttered homes.
When we look at modern times, the coal fire is long gone. Some people now have log burners but, they are not the same thing. People at the moment love a clean, uncluttered home with the right piece of artwork to set a room off.
Here is my opinion, some examples of Antiques to avoid collecting or dealing with.
- Mass-produced porcelains of the 19th and 20th centuries.
- Animal-related products such as Ivory, Bone, and fur.
- Militaria is a good subject to deal with and can demand high prices. However, there are sensitive areas such as nazi memorabilia.
- There is so much glass on the market today, avoid anything that is not, Very old, rare, crystal, and signed.
Can I collect antiques on a budget?
You can become an antique dealer or antique collector on any budget. There are products of all ages to suit any pocket. A real good example would be, everyone has heard of ming porcelain vases, these can bring millions of pounds on the open market. However, you can also buy an export piece of ming porcelain low quality for as little as fifty pounds.
The price you pay for an object will vary greatly depending on where you are buying from. If you go to an auction house or reputable dealer then you are paying for their expertise, and seal of approval on an item. If you go to a flea market, yard sale, car boot sale, or similar then you can buy the same object at a fraction of the price.
If I use 18th Century Georgian drinking glasses as an example. If you buy your drinking glasses from an auction or a dealer, then you are paying anything from fifty pounds up to a thousand pounds. At my local flea market, I buy 18th-century Georgian glass for as little as a single pound.
The key to buying antiques on a budget is, Know your product inside out. Make sure you can identify an object and authenticate it from a fake. Search yourself in charity/goodwill shops or flea markets, and you will be shocked at what you can find.
I have created a few films on youtube that are perfect for this section. There is a link for one below, the titles for the other two are, (Just £1 !! What Can £1 Buy You At A Car Boot Sale) and (Just £2 Antiques And Collectables Haul). I hope you enjoy them and find them useful.
What antiques blend into modern homes?
The modern home tends to be very clean and clutter-free. There is a minimalistic fashion going on at the moment, where you have an almost empty room, and bring just a couple of focus pieces into the right position.
What focus piece you bring into the room varies greatly depending on your taste. Maybe you want a splash of color on the walls, so you can buy some wall art. Maybe you love sculpture so you look at a nice bronze or glass vase.
There are no antiques you can not blend into a modern home. The only limitation is your own taste. If you have a vision there is no right or wrong, within art we all see different things.
What Antiques should I buy for my garden?
The good thing about gardens is that most of us have one. We all want our inside and outside areas to represent us as a person. We should put as much effort into our gardens as we do our living space.
The availability of antiques that are just perfect for any garden is shocking. I don’t understand why people buy from garden centers when with the cost of a new product, you can buy something with character, and that has already stood the test of time, built to last.
I am going to offer you a few examples of objects from the antique world that would enhance your outdoor areas.
- Cast or wrought iron cartwheels.
- Carved stone planters/plant pots.
- Large wood railway sleepers.
- Antique iron fences and gates.
- Carved stone statues.
There is so much you can buy from the antique world for your garden I could be here a day. Everything has a use, even the old porcelain sinks, they make great fish or frog ponds.
The best place to find cheap quality antiques for your garden would be at an auction house or flea market. I bought a pair of stone lions standing at almost four feet tall for sixty pounds. I will place a link here if you wish to see the film of them as an example of what you can find.
What household antiques are worth money?
I would say that 90 percent of homes will have some form of antique or collectibles. Selling things from your own home is a great way to raise money. There are some things in the average home that are worth far more than you would think.
It doesn’t matter if you want money to start up a business or to fund your collecting habit. Selling unwanted collectibles is a great way to start. The most popular collectible in almost every home will be toys.
There are so many different toys that are worth big money in attics all over the country. To name just a few are vintage 1970s die-cast toys, Train sets, My little pony dolls, and anything tv related as in movie toys.
A single first edition My Little Pony figure can sell for hundreds of pounds. Lego is so desirable it is sold by the kilo, with dealers who specialize in selling individual components to make upsets. I have seen action men (just the heads) sell for fifty pounds.
As you can see, there is so much you can sell for money within vintage toys. However, another area could be vintage tools. There are lots of garages with old rusty tools. While I am no expert on what makes tools worth money, I can tell you, that some Stanley planes sell for hundreds, check spanners for makers marks maybe they relate to a motorcycle maker, etc.
I really can go on all day listing objects in everyday homes that are worth good money. However, I will finish off with my last example here, Kitchenalia, This is a vintage cooking tool. Pyrex glass dishes have a huge following. The price depends on the pattern. If you get a Benham and Froud copper jelly mold you are again up in the hundreds of pounds. Even an old can opener with the cow head can be twenty pounds.
I hope I have shown you that an everyday home is full of collectibles, if you want to earn a little extra money from selling unwanted things at home, check out some of my youtube films where I help you learn how to do this.
What should I look for in my antiques?
Antiques are about one thing. When you look at them, you should feel happy. It doesn’t matter if the result is about making a profit or not. You have to live with and love your antiques.
There is a song that describes how I feel right down to the letter (Million dreams, from the film the greatest showman).
There’s a house we can build,
Every room inside is filled,
With things from far away,
The special things I compile,
Each one is there to make you smile.
If this is how you feel about your antiques, nothing else really matters.
Where should I buy my antiques?
Where you buy your antiques depends on you.
Your ability to identify the real article.
Your ability to dig in boxes of junk to source your objects.
In your budget, if you have money to spare go to reputable dealers or auctions. If your budget is more modest go to flea markets and goodwill shops.
As your experience and confidence grow, then so will your options. The problem you get with expanding knowledge and greater confidence is a bigger appetite. What may have satisfied your desires previously may not now.
In conclusion, we have learned that anyone can collect antiques. The amount of money in your pocket doesn’t matter. We have learned the most important thing about antiques is that it makes you smile.
During this article, I have talked about how to invest in antiques for profit. I have given you my advice on antiques to avoid because they are likely to go down in value.
We have learned That there are so many valuable things in and around your home that could earn you money to start up a business or fund-collecting.
We have also looked at how to buy antiques, depending on your level of ability determines the location you source. I hope you have enjoyed this blog. If you have, please subscribe and remember to check out our youtube channel for loads of films to help you.