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The Queen Anne House
by Janet W. Foster

Queen Anne–style houses are arguably the most charming and picturesque of all Victorians. In this first-ever book on the American Queen Anne style, you’ll learn about their places in the history of American architecture.
                                   
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The Best Collector is an Educated One
by Bob Brooke

 

In the vast timeline of history, collecting antiques is a relative newcomer, having gotten its first real impetus around the Centennial Exposition held in Philadelphia in 1876. Since then, thousands of people have collected everything from hand tools to tea sets, from glassware to armoires. Some of these items have historical significance. Others recall the everyday life of ordinary people.

As a collector, your taste may lead to watches or clocks, china teapots, toy trains, furniture, jewelry, silver, and any number of ceramic and pottery pieces. Your lucky acquisition of an admired piece may lead to your determination to get more of the same, or at least to find out more about the object. Curiosity is a collector's strongest character trait.

Today, American collectors are as diverse as the things they collect. They’re people of every age and character, from every educational, social and economic level. They collect everything from highboys to paperweights. And even though they’re all individualists, they all have in common an inquiring, acquisitive, and compelling interest in items of the past.

To be a good collector, it’s important that you be an educated one. You have to learn to have an “eye” and a “feel” for good, authentic examples of your chosen antique or collectible–to recognize an authentic piece and learn how it should feel. Glassware is a good example. Old pieces have a crispness to their edges not found on new ones. If you decide to collect Depression Glass, you’ll need to improve your sense of touch since manufacturers signed virtually no pieces and many of the patterns have since been reproduced.

There are many ways you can learn about antiques. The most obvious is by reading books—especially those on particular kinds of antiques, price guides, and antique encyclopedias. You can also find information about what you collect in antiques newspapers like AntiqueWeek and magazines like Southeastern Antiques and Collectibles.

But antique collecting is a hands-on avocation. While visiting museums and historic houses can help increase your knowledge of how objects have been used in the past, neither allows visitors to touch pieces. However, the information gained from such visits is immeasurable. It’s here that you’ll learn to discern real antiques in a historical setting.

To learn how an antique or collectible feels, you need to visit antique shows and shops. At the former, you’ll usually find knowledgeable dealers, many of whom are specialists who only do shows. Most are more than willing to share the knowledge of their specialty.

Unfortunately, not all antique dealers are as knowledgeable as most people believe. While higher-end dealers make it their business to know the provenance, or history, of items they’re selling, lower-end dealers concentrate on the selling part of the antiques trade, satisfied to move pieces quickly without knowing much about their history.

In short, the better informed you are about what you collect, the better chance of buying additional pieces at prices below their market value—uncovering real bargains. The bottom line in antique collecting is to buy low and hopefully sell high, but that usually doesn’t occur until after holding onto items for at least 10 years.
 

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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