The rise in value of antiques, and the opportunities this has presented, has spawned a large number of ‘experts’ recruited into the front desks of auction houses and TV shows. ‘Personalities’ have emerged dispensing knowledge acquired from goodness knows where, but who are certainly highly skilled in boosting viewer ratings.
A depth of knowledge in this business is not acquired overnight. It involves many complex aspects such as:
1. Constant research and study and the handing down of expert knowledge from generation to generation.
2. The hard reality of both buying and selling which entails making a profit and, no less significantly, taking losses in the long and arduous journey of gaining knowledge.
(How many self-styled ‘TV experts’ and ‘auction house front desk recruits’ have much experience of either of the above?)
3. Any dealer who has been in this business for more than 30 years clearly must know the business through and through, or would have gone out of business long ago.
4. It follows that the wise potential buyer of antiques has every reason to use the established trade in order to gain insight into the realities of current market values backed by people who are in the front line of buying and selling.
Consult dealers with a track record of a minimum of 30 years, who will be looking ahead to the next 30 years. There will most likely be several in your area who should take pleasure in discussing all aspects of the trade with you. If they don’t, leave immediately.
No slick website, media guru or auction house recruit can be a match for that vital personal contact with a well established dealer, who backs his sale with a full and detailed description and invoice – not estimates, euphemisms, escape clauses, 25% premiums, nor hidden costs within pages of small print.
When considering your purchase think carefully about all the above.