Don't let your stuff gather dust! The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buying and Selling Antiques will have you bidding with the best of them. In this Complete Idiot's Guide, you get:
- Tested tips to get you thinking like a true collector
- A comprehensive introduction to antiquing, including how it works on the Web
- A behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in an antique shop
- A handy guide to periods and styles.
Table of Contents
I. IS IT OR ISN'T IT ANTIQUE?
What the Connoisseur Knows. The Time-Honored Legacy of Craftsmanship.
Reeling in the Years. What a Difference a Year Makes.
The Grandmother Theory.
Like Good Wine, Objects Must Age.
Collectibles vs. Antiques.
Too Soon. Too Many. Too Cheap.
2. Antiques. Period..
Understanding the Oldie Goldie. Limiting Circumstances.
What's in a Name? A Fading Beauty That Just Misses.
Time Makes the Heart Grow Fonder. A Chair by Any Other Name ... Some Knockoffs Are, Legally Speaking, Antiques.
Beware the Clones. Enter the Repro Man.
In Good Faith. The Not-So-Faithful Copy.
The Great Pretenders. For the Lion-Hearted and the Lamb-Hearted.
3. Some Antiquing Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them.
Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep. Inside, Outside, Upside Down. Dark Corners. Seeing the Light of Day.
The Gotta-Have-It Mindset.
Look Before You Leap. Bide Your Time. Put a Hold on It.
So Dear to My Heart.
The Cold, Hard Facts. A Fistful of Dollars.
Where's the Info? What Dealers Don't Tell Can Hurt Them. What Dealers Don't Write Down Can Hurt You. If It's in Print, It Is. Added Insurance.
Knowledge-the Ultimate Tool.
Know Where to Look. Know What to Look For.
4. Quality vs. Quantity.
The Sum Is Equal to the Parts. Materials Equal Quality. Design Equals Quality. Decoration Equals Quality.
Quality Craftsmanship-the Ultimate Test. Quality Is Evergreen. Museum Quality, Fact and Myth.
The Facts. The Myths.
Telling the Turtle from the Mock.
5. Luck Comes to the Prepared Mind.
Everything's Relative. What the Market Can Bear.
When Birthright Matters.
George Washington Slept Where? The Proof Is in the Object, Not the User.
The Maker's Mark.
When Many Heads and Hands Were Better Than One Name. Long-Term Memory-Long Forgotten. The Big Changeover, or Why Benchmark Dates Are Your Friends. When the Government Came to the Antiquer's Aid. Proof Positive, or Attributed To?
When Homegrown Is Best.
Why It Pays to “Brake for Antiques.” Sell Homegrown Back Home.
Beware Media Hype.
Buck the Trend.
6. Right as Rain.
A Nick Here, a Ding There. Thinking It Through. The Other Side of the Coin. When Imperfect Is Good Enough. The Big Picture.
The Big Break.
Making It Whole.
Leaving Things Well Enough Alone.
Good Intentions Gone Bad. When Worse Is Better.
Fix It Up or Throw It Out? Those Other Kinds of Condition.
Enter the Bad Guys. A Word to the Wise.
7. The Summing Up: Objects Do Not Lie.
Getting Your Money's Worth. Comparison Shopping.
This Isn't Wall Street, Boys and Girls.
Passion Says Buy but Prudence Advises Caution. The Price Is Right. Waiting for Godot.
When a Deal Is Too Good to Be True ... Roped Off.
The Bigger Sucker Theory. Hold Everything. So Far, So Bad.
Getting the Honest Steal. Don't Forget the Middleman.
II. THE THRILL OF THE CHASE.
Fessing Up. Figuring Out Why You Like What You Like. Spying on Yourself. Zeroing In.
What Collectors Know.
A Little of This, a Dab of That. Building a Strong Foundation.
Learn from the Mistakes of Others. To Thine Own Self Be True. Make a Wish List.
Adding a Personal Touch. Be Careful What You Ask For. Before You Get Started. Thinking Things Through. Wish Lists of Antiques for the Living Room. Wish Lists of Antiques for the Dining Room. Wish Lists of Antiques for the Bedroom. Other Furniture Items to Look For.
9. Antiquing the Old-Fashioned Way.
The High-Rent District. Off the Beaten Track.
The Antiques Dealer as Professor. The Shop Floor.
The Open Classroom. Please Touch.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know. Twenty Questions? Start with One.
10. On the Road Again.
Leave Your Stopwatch at Home. Variety Is the Spice of Life. Mom and Pop Are Off at Work.
Overlooking the Dogs. Come on Back.
Yard and Garage Sales.
Anything Goes. Weeding Out. Down the Garden Path.
Estate Sales, House Sales, Moving Sales, Tag Sales.
A Worthwhile Pursuit. It's Now or Never. The Five Rules of the Game.
Other Options: Thrift Shops. A One Shot Deal: Classified Ads.
11. On the Spot: To Buy or Not To Buy.
What You Do Depends on Where You Are. Shop Around.
The Gentle Art of Bargaining.
The Shopkeeper Has Bills, Too. Whose Bottom Line? When It's a Big Purchase. Remember Your Manners.
Clinching the Deal.
Buy, Buy, Buy! Making a Lasting Impression.
III. ANTIQUE AUCTIONS: OFFLINE AND ONLINE.
Sotheby's and Christie's Started It All. Understanding Million-Dollar Sales.
The Big Names Aren't the Only Game in Town. And Don't Forget the Country Auction.
Fun and Frolics. You Love Me, Take Me Home. A Softer, Gentler Auction.
13. Playing for Keeps.
Read Before You Bid-or Buy. What the Numbers Mean.
Auction Previews: Better Than a Museum.
Help When It's Needed.
To Bid or Not To Bid, and How.
Setting Your Limits. In the Heat of the Moment. The Race Is to the Swift. Then Again, Patience Is a Virtue.
Learning the Competition. Practice Makes Perfect. Not the Final Price.
The Buyer's Premium. Other Charges.
When You Can't Be There. Absentee Bidding. Ma Bell Goes to the Auction.
14. Brave New E-World.
Getting Where You Want to Be.
Not Just for Buying.
The Price Is Right ... or Wrong. Leveling the World-Wide Playing Field.
Shop Anywhere, Anytime, Anyhow. Getting Sucked In.
Get a Life.
Understanding the New Kid on the Block. Risks and Rewards.
Buyer Beware. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.
How Suckers Are Born.
Seeing Is Believing. Honesty Is the Best Policy. Return Policy. Hidden Costs. Baby Step by Step.
Click for Click.
One Highway Leads to Many.
My Personal Take on Antiques Cyberspace.
IV. GETTING DOWN TO BRASS TACKS.
Rule Britannia. Westward Ho! The British Invasion. Come Together.
Overlapping Timetables. Shortcut Aids to Understanding Furniture Periods. Hefty Jacobean. Curvy Queen Anne. Straight Mr. Chippendale. The Georges I, II, and III.
16. The Beginning of a Century of Change.
17. The Rest of the Nineteenth Century.
Rococo. Victorian Gothic. Renaissance Revival. Eastlake.
Aesthetic Movement. Cottage Furniture. Arts and Crafts Movement. The Colonial Era Comes 'Round Again.
18. Chipping the Old Block, or the Chip Wood?
Look for the Saw Marks. The Plane Facts. Chisel Marks.
Making It Fit.
Dovetails. Mortise and Tenon Joints. The Modern Dowel.
Hitting the Nail on the Head. Turning the Screw. The Truth About Hardware: It Takes a Beating. Wood You Buy It?
Patina: What It Means, What It's Worth. The Inside Patina.
Faux Antiques: They Look Good But ... Born a Fake. The Made-Up Piece. Mix-Matched Marriages. Splitting Heirs.
Repaired, Altered, and Enhanced Antiques.
The Repaired Piece. The Altered Antique. The Enhanced Piece.
The Happy Ending.
19. Heavy Metal: Understanding Silver.
The English Way. The American Way. Coin Silver in the Home. The European Way.
Intrinsic Value vs. Aesthetic Value. Altered States. Through Thick and Thin: Content or Gauge. Silver Threads Among the Gold.
20. A Twist of Plate: Understanding Silver Plate.
Marks, but No Hallmarks. Plated for the Privileged Class.
Electroplate: The Modern Way.
Peeling Away the Outer Coating. Silver Plating Comes to America, Big Time. Making the Second Best as Good as the Best.
Yesterday's Demand; Today's Supply. Mark Those Marks. Getting the Most for Your Money.
21. Silver: No Home Should Be Without It.
Table It, or Shelve It. Personal Effects.
22. Coming Out of the China Closet.
On the Home Front. For the Foreign Trade.
The Continental Touch.
Delft: The Trying Dutchmen. German Alchemy Pays Off. The French Connection.
England Tries and Succeeds. America Lags Behind. The Great Pretenders.
Look-Alikes. The Name Game.
Those Other China Types.
Pot-tery It Up. That Glazed Look. A Stone's Throw.
The Exterior Design.
Hand-Painted Designs. Transfer-Pattern Designs.
23. The China Collector's Cabinet.
What's Old and What's Not. Figuring Out the Shape Things Are in, Literally. Figuring Out the Shape Things Are in, Condition-Wise.
The China Collector's Name and Address Book.
24. The Glass House.
When in Rome. The Venetian Way. From the Rhine. In England-in Like Flint.
As Time Goes by: Cutting It Up.
In Deep Relief. Acid Takes Over.
Later Yet: A Pressing Matter for the Table.
Three-Part Molds. Flasks: History on a Bottle. Cup Plates: The Look of Lace.
Glass on the Edge of Becoming Antique. Names Worth Noting. Under the Glass Dome. Weighting Around: Paperweights. Seeing Through the Fakes.
V. HERE TODAY, STILL HERE TOMORROW: PROTECTING YOUR INVESTMENT.
It's Up to You. The Collector's Pitfalls.
Facing the Fact of What Might Happen.
Thieves Shop Around. Fireman, Fireman! Save My Antiques! When Nature's Way Isn't Better. Planning for the Future.
Money Heals a Lot. Ensuring That You Won't Need to File an Insurance Claim. Appraising Appraisers.
The Least They Need to Know. The Price of Protection. The Proper Paperwork.
I'd Rather Do It Myself.
26. To Market, to Market.
Getting a Second Opinion. Buy Low, Sell High. Antique Crystal Balls.
Look Before You Leap, or Sell.
Bit by Bit. Clearing Everything Out.
Where to Sell? Back to the Dealer.
A Percentage Deal. Taking the Cash.
Auctioning It Off.
The Terms of the Deal. Reserving Your Goods. Same Time, Next Auction.
Having It Your Way.
Home Sweet Home Sale. Unraveling the Web.
Giving It Away.
Your Noble Intentions. The IRS Is Here to Help You. Playing by the Rules.
Now That You Have Some Room-Starting Over.
B. Where to Go.
C. What to Read.
D. House Museums.