Collecting antiques is a popular pastime in both the United States and Britain, and undoubtedly there are plenty out there looking to sell off normal items as antiques. It can be difficult for a new collector to distinguish between a fake and an authentic antique, and it can take years to immediately spot exactly what sets the two apart. 

There are some tips to keep in mind, however, that can help novice collectors make better purchases when trawling for a new item that they can add to their collection. Experts agree that there is one universal rule to keep in mind when trying to establish authentication: if it looks new, it probably is.

This applies to most antiques, as even the ones that haven’t been moved around for years still sustain some signs of wear and tear. But it can’t always be this simple, and sometimes in order to spot a fake, a collector will need to be aware of a few things.

Being Misled

The above-mentioned rule is one that tricksters are very aware of, and will go to great lengths to make an item look older than it really is. Soaking linens in tea to give them an aged appearance is quite common, and this kind of misleading is common among the antique world.

Always be on guard when negotiating with a dealer (not the same kind that you’d find when playing online casino games). Demand as much information as they’re willing to give, and if something doesn’t add up, then they are most likely hiding the truth. Another warning sign to keep an eye out for is the number of items that the dealer is selling. Antiques are valuable because they tend to be rare, and a dealer that has a few dozen of the same item is probably not selling authentic product.

Armed With Knowledge

There is no substitute for knowledge, and taking the time to learn the finer details of the items that you are collecting can help when making purchases in the future. Handle authentic antiques as much as possible, and ask other collectors and dealers as many questions as you need to. Reference guides are also invaluable, and should be part of your authentication tools. Comparing different antiques is also a good way of learning to tell the differences between a fake and authentic piece quickly.

It can also help to get hold of a fake, benchmark piece. These can sell for relatively cheap, and allow you to compare it to other pieces that you find along the way.

Reputable Sellers

Sellers and dealers aren’t all out there to scam prospective collectors, and there will always be dealers that seek authentic products and are out to earn their buyer’s trust. These are the kinds of people to look out for while out making purchases. One easy way of identifying a legitimate dealer is by questioning their merchandise’s authenticity: anyone selling a fake is sure to be offended by the allegation.

Categories: History