How to estimate an antique
Criteria and subtleties of antique valuation
There are many different factors that go into the notion of antiques valuation, which makes the task a complex one. Each item requires a separate appraisal, and each category requires a new approach. Prices of antiques in the market are increasing at an incredible speed, so the evaluation of antiques is becoming more and more relevant.
Aspects of evaluation
The term ‘antiques’ refers to an antique object that has significant value. Antiques of artistic, historical interest are traded and collected.
Factors relevant to antique appraisal include:
- Age. It is believed that antiques must be made not less than 100 years ago, but sometimes there are exceptions.
- Rarity, uniqueness of the object.
- The cultural and historical value.
- Material value. This parameter is especially important for things that contain precious stones and metals.
- Relation to an event in history.
- The impracticability of reproduction.
The condition of the item. Restoration greatly reduces the value of the object.
Normally, before examining a piece, experts determine another parameter: authenticity. They then try to provide the customer with as objective information about the item as possible and determine its current value. Sometimes the valuation of antiques can also take place by photo.
There are some peculiarities of appraising items of different categories. For example, up to 50% of the price of gold or silver depends on the metal assay. Of course, this is in the case if it does not contain precious stones. A ring with a diamond, alexandrite or sapphire, as well as other jewellery with expensive stones, will be evaluated first of all by the price of the stone.
Sometimes an important parameter is the place and time where the piece was made. For example, it is very important to know the factory in the case of a piece of porcelain to be valued. Experts will be able to appraise antiques from categories such as:
- postage stamps and postcards;
- works of arts and crafts;
- photographic and video materials;
- gold coins;
- books or manuscripts;
- musical works.
There are stages in the appraisal process:
- Processing of information submitted by the customer about the antique object;
- identification, classification;
- determination of prices taking into account the data of auctions;
- conducting expert examination of metals, stones;
- drawing up a conclusion.
The concept of antiques itself is multifaceted and requires the appraiser to have knowledge from various fields, which he or she often does not possess. Therefore, the involvement of experts, often from the outside, which then provide conclusions. The knowledge of jewellers, gemmologists, restorers, antique dealers, art critics and many others can be used.
As a rule, such people work for organizations involved in the restoration of works of art. Their expert opinion is paid for separately by the customer. When assessing any work of art the appraiser must check that the item being valued is not wanted and is not a lost museum piece. Such a check is not of interest to all collectors.
What do I need to know about antiques?
The prices of antiques are rising so fast that investments in this area are the most profitable. They are the only thing that will not lose their value over time, but will only increase, if properly cared for.
Buying Antiques is not just a hobby, over time it will become a way of life. Immediately buy fancy thing, you should not, it is better to study everything carefully and then make a decision.
There are two main categories of purchase: things that you will just keep and things that you will use. Every collector decides for himself. Getting your favourite china set, inviting important guests to your home, is considered by some to be as much fun as finding the right item at auctions and the joy of buying it. Such things have a special magic, the energy.
It does not hurt to have an antique item in the house, even if its interior is completely modern. Nowadays, decorators can easily incorporate an antique item into any theme. And it will give special comfort and warmth.
To preserve its value and appearance for a long time, it is necessary to take care of it. Such rules are not very complicated. Some items require only gentle care, others, such as jewellery, clock movements or caskets, are better taken care of by a master for repairs and cleaning.
Investing in an antique item is almost always a good idea. You can buy anything of antique value, from coins to furniture to cars. Antiques can be appraised by public and private organisations, often using outside experts.