Tag Archives: Collecting Tips

Do You Believe the Myths?

Antique furnishings are much more than “old” — they’re affordable, useful, sturdy, and stylish.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “antique”? Expensive? Old? Fragile? Stuffy? As a specialist at Skinner auction house, I know that these stereotypes are often undeserved. Not all antiques are unfashionable, pricey, or breakable collectors of dust. There is a secret underbelly to this world of old things that is surprisingly affordable, useful, sturdy, and stylish.… Read More

Guide to Collecting Antique Jade

Mention jade, and most people think of a green stone, when in fact, jade comes in a variety of colors. In addition to the familiar rich green hues, antique jade may be white, lavender, yellow, brown, gray, or reddish-purple.

Another important thing to understand about jade is that there are two different types of jade stones: nephrite and jadeite. Both can be found in river beds, or mined at depths of ten to twenty feet, and both come in all colors, though nephrite’s colors are less vivid than the colors of jadeite. Hence, identifying the two stone types can be difficult.

Antique Weathervanes, Part I: Horses, Roosters, and Cars… Oh My!

Collectors of American antiques love weathervanes. In fact, people love them so much that during the 60s and 70s antique weathervanes started disappearing from roofs across America. Thieves were stealing the valuable vanes in the middle of the night. I heard stories of weathervanes being stolen away by helicopter – they swooped down and lifted weathervanes off of barn roofs.

Historic Southwest Pottery Guide: from Acoma to Zuni

Now is a good time to buy Southwest pottery. A large amount of material is coming onto the market, and for that reason you can easily find great, affordable pottery from the American Indian pueblos. Before you buy, it’s best to study the material and determine what appeals to you. Some people collect for rarity; others collect to decorate their Southwest-themed abodes.

Finely decorated pottery that was used by the people themselves is always very desirable. The rarest historic pottery is from Santa Ana. Because of their innovative designs and the fact that their pottery tradition ended at about the turn of the 20th century, a large Santa Ana olla could bring $100,000 or more.

A Guide to Wallace Nutting Furniture

Wallace Nutting (1861-1941) is perhaps the most recognizable name of the manufacturers discussed in my previous post. Before starting his furniture manufacturing business, he made hand-colored photographs, and is perhaps best known for this work. He produced millions of photographs including Colonial-themed interior views, bucolic landscapes, gardens, foreign locales, still life arrangements, people, and other more unusual subjects that fall outside of these earlier examples.

7 Fine Art & Antiques Websites Worth Visiting

When we started the Skinner Antiques & Fine Art Auctions blog in 2010, this was one of my very first posts. I continue to rely on the first four websites mentioned below for art, antiques and collectibles news. In addition, I’ve added three new sites to my retinue of regular morning reading about the antiques auction market.

Antiques Insurance Guide: Documenting Your Valuables

When it comes to protecting your personal possessions and financial well-being, having a home inventory is important if something happens and you need to file an insurance claim. And, if you own antiques or fine arts, the unique nature of such items makes having detailed documentation crucial so that you’ll receive appropriate insurance compensation if a loss occurs.

Stringed Instrument Guide: What to Look for in a Composite Violin, Viola, or Cello

Composite instruments are those that have had one or more of their original parts replaced. They can represent a significant opportunity for string players who are seeking a good value in a playable 18th or 19th century violin, viola, or cello.

If you have found a composite instrument with a sound that you love, your next step is to determine its fair market value. This can be difficult at times. As a player, your first consideration is naturally sound quality, but it’s also very important to know if the instrument will hold its value should you ever need or wish to sell it.… Read More

Wedgwood Jasperware: Now is the Time to Buy

Wedgwood jasperware has been in production for well over two hundred years. In the manufacturing of jasper there are two primary categories: solid jaspers were turned or molded from a solid piece of colored clay; and jasper dips were made by dipping the typically white solid jasper body in colored clay to give the surface an entirely different appearance. In both varieties, Wedgwood’s typical classical subjects and foliate designs were applied in relief, often in a complimenting color or colors. With two, three, four and five color examples, the possible combinations of colors are nearly endless.

Antiques Insurance Guide: How to Protect your Valuables

Do you know how much your antiques, fine arts, jewelry and other valuables are worth? You might be surprised at the value of what you’ve collected over the years. Whether you have an extensive collection or just a few high value pieces, it’s important to clearly understand how your valuables are protected by your insurance.

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