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American Antique Weather Vanes
by A. B. & W. T. Westervelt

The weather vane found a welcome home in the expanding America of the 18th and 19th centuries. It served an important function, but also had humorous and homespun motifs, bold and vigorous design, and spirited air of American individualism and independence.
                                   
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Collecting Antique Furniture for Beginners
by Bob Brooke

 

The crafting of solid, hand carved furniture is a dying art. Antique furniture's popularity is on an upward curve simply because it's an expression of a personís character, as well as a decorative object, and an item of investment.

If youíre a beginning collector interested in antique furniture, the old saying holds true: "Buy what you like and can live with, buy the very best you can afford, buy from reputable dealers with experience, and if you do all these things your investment will continue to appreciate."

Antique furniture covers a wide range of types, designs, historical periods and styles--American, English, Continental (German and French) and Oriental. All have their following, and within each of these classifications are sub-classifications indicating both style and historical period. Practically, antique furniture can be considered as English, European, American and Chinese.

Wood type-mahogany, walnut, oak and pin predominate--significantly affects value in antique furniture. The type of furniture, practicality, hardware and construction details are also important in determining value as is the originality of all the composite parts. Many pieces of antique furniture have replacement panels or have had hardware added due to breakage. This lowers the value of a piece considerably. Also, many owners of antique furniture use lemon oil under the misguided belief that it helps preserve the wood and therefore enhances its value. This canít be farther from the truth. All lemon oil does is dry out the wood, darken the patina, and decrease a pieceís value. The only polish that should be used is pure beeswax. Before purchasing a piece of antique furniture, rub it to see if an oily film is left on your hand.

A fine Biedermeier secretary from the 19th century.Begin by purchasing small pieces, gradually building up to larger more expensiveĖand thus more valuableĖpieces as you expand your collection. Most older (prior to 1830) pieces should be purchased with their original patina. However, itís acceptable to buy Victorian and later pieces with their finishes cleaned or restored. Some furniture styles, like Biedermeier from Austria, actually increase in value once they are restored.

But most antique furniture collectors donít buy on investment potential alone. Most pieces can still be used, so buying a piece of furniture that will not only fit into your decor but will have some use adds to its enjoyment. And while a few collectors purchase furniture from a particular period, most mix styles and periods based on their personal interest. To help varied pieces fit better together in the same room, you should try to use similar wood tones.

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How to Recognize and Refinish Antiques for Pleasure and Profit

Book: How to Recognizing and Refinishing Antiques for Pleasure and Profit
Have you ever bought an antique or collectible that was less than perfect and needed some TLC? Bob's new book offers tips and step-by- step instructions for simple maintenance and restoration of common antiques.

Read an Excerpt

Provided by: News-Antique.com