How to find reliable antique dealers?
Once you start looking you’ll find thousands under the general heading of ” Antique Dealers “. Your task is to shortlist and optimize those most likely to produce the best results for you.
Focus on antique dealers who have been established for at least 30 years or more. This will eliminate hundreds and provide you automatically with dealers who have built up a reputation they wish to preserve. They will also have gained a huge amount of knowledge about antiques gathered over years of trading and importantly, an understanding of how the antique market has evolved today.
In the old days the best antique dealers were members of the British Antique Dealers Association Ltd., founded in 1918, and would usually attract the best clientele.
How do antique dealers work?
Traditional antique dealers will attend local antiques shows and auctions in order to source the finest items. They develop relationships with the organisers of shows as well as the auctioneers and so they are usually well aware of any special antiques that come onto the market.
The best dealers will develop a large clientele of customers. Some of these will be serious collectors who will regularly make purchases over the years and are glad of the dealer’s knowledge of the market, his appreciation of the collector’s taste as well as the expertise required to recognise the best pieces.
Reliable traders are able to spot the fakes or items that have been restored. One of their most important jobs is to be able to verify the antiques as being genuine. Some of this is made possible by the professional relationships they build up in the trade.
Sometimes they will also have an antiques shop and will not only have fine antique furniture but also stock objets d’art of all descriptions. Nowadays you will find that many dealers are marketing their stock on the web with a showroom available to view. The savings gained by not having to run a high street shop can be passed on to the customer.
Once again the best advice is to find an antique dealer that has built up a reliable business over many years, often passed down through generations.