Terms Used In Antique Shops
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Terms Used In Antique Shops

For many, imitations are the sincerest form of flattery, but actually it is not when they are used to defraud consumers. When you buy something that was said it is antique, and after certain period you have find out that actually is not and worth much less, then you have certainly felt unpleasant and angry. Buying and selling antique pieces and collectibles is not a simple job. Antiques are easily accessible as there are so many places where you can find them. You can buy them online, at auctions, antique shops etc. But, the question is – Do they offer real antiques and collectibles. To make sure you are buying a real antique pieces it is important to become knowledgeable about the terms used in antique shops.

When someone say an antique, it means it talks about item that is at least one hundred years old. The more older, the more valuable it is the item. The term collectible is used about anything that people collect. In this case the age does not play significant role, except if an item is labeled as a vintage collectible. In this case the item should be at least fifty years old.

The term reproduction in antique shops means item which is made to look like an original, but has no value in the world of the antiques. For example, you probably have seen a new furniture produced in style from 18th century. The same happens with antique jewelry as well. The item is actually new, but designed in the style of certain era. Maybe they do not have any value in the antiques world, but these items can also be expensive, depending on the manufacturing process and materials used in production. Though not nearly as much as antiques.

Do not get confused. Repro isn't short term from reproduction. People usually use this term to describe a new product which is purposefully designed with the intend to be sell with the price of an antique. Shortly, the repro is a fake. For example, an immoral dealer may try to sell you a repro Tiffany lamp as an original. You can find repro items from various categories like silver, glassware, textiles, jewelry, porcelains, etc.

Price guide is another term you may heard in antique shops. It is a book with technical information, descriptions, brief histories and photos about specific antiques. Price guides can be specialized or general. Some cover a range of antiques, from ceramic to furniture, while other are specialized in items like porcelain and pottery.

Auction catalogs are published by auction houses. They give suggestions about how much selling price can vary from asking price. Get yourself a catalog before sale and ask to receive the 'prices realized' list. Thus you will see what items for which price were sold for.


Street Talk

Very interesting and very useful article Alex. I'm not into antiques, but still, like everybody else, I often run into these terms you describe, and often wondered if I had the correct meaning...

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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