A collector’s guide to antiques

Classy Hire: A collector’s guide to antiques

At least once in your lifetime, you might have heard about antiques in passing. These are valuable items that people collect and take care of for years. They are usually placed in special boxes and secretly kept by your family as an heirloom. Discover more about them and why they are so special here at Classy Hire:

Defining antiques

The term antique refers to anything old but still a collectable item. It’s characterized by its age, appearance, rarity and function. Most people collect them for personal reasons like sentimental value while others do it as a hobby. You can usually find these products in various gathering places like:

  • Estate sales
  • Antique districts
  • Dealer shops
  • Collective cooperatives
  • Auction houses
  • Garage sales.

Keep in mind that not everything ‘old’ is automatically an antique. This is only called an antique if the piece is at least 100 years old. It’s usually a representation of a previous era in human history.

The beauty of antiques: Why are they so special?

Although antiques are so-called items that have passed their prime, they are special products that are still popular among many people. These are all highly valued pieces that are expensive in the market but are still being sought out by collectors. Its most prominent feature is that it is rare which explains why anyone would never miss the chance of owning one. Aside from this, antiques are special for the following reasons:

  • Its historical value

All vintage items originated from earlier civilizations and they are proof of the culture of that time. It serves as a memento from a specific part of history that you can never see anywhere else. These are usually made of precious materials that have specific meanings or symbols that only a niche community is aware of. That’s why most people pass down these antiques from one generation to the next.

  • It was preserved for years

The older an antique, the more special it is to the person owning it. Most avid collectors love taking care of vintage items because they are mostly passed down for generations. Most families even see them as treasures that have their own set of stories and features with sentimental value.

  • It’s high quality

Apart from the sentimental value of antique items, many people look for them because of their high quality. Most of them are made from unique materials and were created by popular craftsmen in history. They also feature intricate details that set them apart from the rest. Additionally, people love it if they have something that no one else has, making them stand out from the crowd.

  • It’s a good investment

Authentic antique pieces can serve as a good investment for the entire family. Its value will continuously increase as time passes, especially if it is properly preserved. You can sell this item in emergencies, particularly if you require funds.

Finding the right one: Tricks to identify an authentic antique

Since antiques are widely popular, there are some cases where counterfeits are made. You can find lots of replicas of famous antiques lingering in various places so it’s important to know how to spot the real one. Here are a few tricks to help you identify an authentic vintage item:

  1. Check the markings

For most chinaware items, you can check their markings to prove their authenticity. Be on the lookout for two important features which are its colour and how it was stamped. Real china wares have only two colours of marking which is blue or red. These are the only shades that can withstand the exhaustive process where the items are fired. Additionally, their stamps should be under the glaze and not over it.

  1. See if there are signs of age

When checking an antique item, expect to see certain marks that are proof of its age. There are some seams and creases on it since they are quite old. If the product you are holding looks flat and has a smooth surface, it is likely a replica of the original item.

  1. Look at the originating country

Since 1891, it has been a requirement for most items like Chinaware to stamp their country of origin on the product. When checking a vintage piece, examine its mark properly and verify if the country of origin is really true.

  1. Scrutinize its physical appearance

Most real antiques are shaped in unusual ways. The more bizarre it appears, the harder it is to find. That’s why people go through so many lengths to get these items. For example, miniature pieces of furniture are unique finds that were made in the early 19th century.

  1. Be sceptical about its price

As the famous saying goes, if it’s too good to be true then it probably is. This is usually applicable in cases where you see antiques that are priced lower than their worth. Keep in mind that if the product is not in demand, it commonly costs less. That’s why real antiques often have a hefty price tag. If ever you are interested in purchasing one, make sure that you have more than enough means to get it without putting your important funds at stake.

  1. Research about its desirability

To know if a vintage item is really worth buying, research more about it. See if there are people currently looking for it and take note of all its physical characteristics. Once you manage to have it, keep it safe and only sell it at the right time when its price reaches an all-time high.

  1. Know more about the seller

Another way to know if an antique is real is if the person selling it is a credible individual. Although this is not directly related to the item, it’s important to know who you are buying from so you can avoid getting duped.

Most expensive antiques in the world

Find out what are the most expensive antiques in the world here at Classy Hire:

Pinner Qing Dynasty vase

The most expensive antique in the world is the Pinner Qing Dynasty vase which has been sold for $80.2 million in an auction in the United Kingdom. It features sky blue and gold hues with an ocean theme. This has the imperial seal from the Qing dynasty which was made for the Chinese emperor Qianlong in the 1700s.

Ru Guanyao Brush Washer Bowl

The Ru Guanyao Brush Washer Bowl is expensive Chinese porcelain that set a world record in 2017, costing $37.86 million in an auction in Hong Kong. It’s a 900-year-old dish measuring 5.125 inches. This was known as an extremely rare item that was from the Northern Song Dynasty.

Persian Rug

As one of the most notable carpets from the William Andrews Clark estate, this Persian Rug was sold for $33.76 million. It’s a one of a kind rug that features unique details like a sickle leaf and a vine scroll.

Patek Philippe Supercomplication Pocket Watch

A rare super complication pocket watch was made by Patek Philippe in 1932 which was sold for $24 million in an auction last 2014. According to avid collectors, this watch was the most detailed in the early 20th century that features a gold covering and a starry sky background. It’s noted to be the most valuable timepiece in the entire auction history.

Elizabeth Taylor’s La Peregrina Pearl Necklace by Cartier

Cartier is known for its luxurious line of jewellery pieces that are sought after by many people. One of their most prominent products is the La Peregrina Pearl Necklace which was designed for actress Elizabeth Taylor. This said necklace was bought for her by Richard Burton in 1969. In a recent auction, this was sold for over $11 million.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester

Leonardo da Vinci was a popular artist and engineer during the Renaissance period who was known for his contributions in various fields like arts and science. He had a scientific document called the Codex Leicester where all his theories and sketches were noted down. It also has his signature which proved its authenticity. This valuable piece was bought by the billionaire Bill Gates for $30.8 million.

Honus Wagner Baseball Card

The Honus Wagner Baseball Card is known as one of the most prized baseball cards in the early 1900s. As of writing, there are only nine of these in existence. Regardless of how many years passed, it still maintained its good condition. One of these said cards was sold for $3.12 million in 2016 which defeated the record of another Wagner card that was bought in 2007 for $2.8 million.

Find antiques here at Classy Hire

Here at Classy Hire, we have various items that have stood the test of time. These are all exclusive products that you wouldn’t see anywhere else. Browse through our website for more details about this.

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