Tag Archives: Collecting Tips

Guide to Buying Antique and Modern Furniture: Why is Joinery Important?

Understanding how a piece of furniture was made before you buy can prevent you from having to replace or repair the piece. In the long run, this knowledge can save you money and time.

For centuries, craftsmen constructed furniture using hand tools and different methods of joining together the various parts to create a whole. Hide glue, nails, and wood joints were popular and practical methods used to hold a piece of furniture together.

How to Buy Antique Furniture made from Wood

Choosing a piece of antique furniture for your home can be a genuinely rewarding experience, But it can also be a challenge to select the right piece with so many options and limited time to consider them. Many antiques are one-of-a-kind pieces and once someone else has snapped one up or it’s gone through auction, you’re out of luck. The best strategy is to understand exactly what you’re looking for before you go shopping.

Here is the list of things I think about when I’m searching for antique furniture made from wood.… Read More

Guide to Dedham Pottery: Modern Antiquity in Blue and White

I have worked in the world of antiques and modern design for over three decades and have learned to love many styles. But as a life-long lover of both nature and the arts, I continue to be inspired by works from the Arts & Crafts movement, when artists took their cue from the natural world around them. Nature’s inspiration is especially evident in pottery from the Arts & Crafts era. One of my favorites is Dedham Pottery, which was founded by Hugh C. Robertson as Chelsea Pottery in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1891, before moving to Dedham, Massachusetts in 1896.

Support New and Emerging Artists at the Museum School Art Sale December 8-11th in Boston

I was delighted to accept a recent invitation by Skinner to guest blog on two topics near and dear to my heart: collecting and the Museum School Art Sale at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

In my varied roles in the art world – gallery owner, former host of Antiques Roadshow, museum administrator, and husband of Skinner CEO Karen Keane – people often ask me about the process of collecting: what it means, how it’s done, and even what constitutes a collection.

Holiday Shopping Guide: Why I Buy Gifts at Auction

Vanilla. Its essence is delightful in a holiday cookie, but not so much in a holiday gift. We’ve all given them; we’ve all gotten them: gifts that are so unremarkable, so unmemorable, so “plain vanilla”, that they leave both the giver and the receiver feeling rather “Ho-Ho-Hum.”

The truth is, we all want to give and receive unique, thoughtful, and personal holiday gifts. But this seemingly simple task becomes daunting when all that is offered in stores and online is a homogenous array of “stuff.” Not only is it boring and uninspired, much of it is ill-designed, poorly-made, mass-marketed, and overpriced. So what’s a well-meaning gift-giver to do?

Autograph Value Guide Part II: Rarity & Condition in Signed Historical Documents

There are two remaining factors in collecting signed documents, and they really apply to any type of paper collectible: rarity and condition.

Collectors must remember that paper is fragile and so often does not survive. The very term for paper collectibles, “ephemera”, literally means something that is fleeting and does not last. That’s why when a rare signed document comes to market in great condition, the sky is the limit for serious collectors and records are continually broken.

Autograph Value Guide Part I: Three Tips for Collecting Historical and Famous Signatures

Signed documents, such as letters, manuscripts, memos, and other important papers, are one of the fastest growing collecting areas at auction. The personal nature of signed documents connect us to the world’s most important figures, and the stories that they reveal make history come alive in a way that no textbook ever could. If you wish to collect a little history of your own, follow these tried and true tips.

Surprise and Adventure at Auction: A Wine Buying Guide

The worlds of auction and wine were destined to collide; both embrace a spirit of connoisseurship, a sense of adventure, the thrill of the chase, and a certain amount of whimsical gratification. Wine auctions are great fun, though entering the wine auction world may feel intimidating at first. This wine buying guide offers six brief strategies to get you started on what I hope will be a thrilling lifelong pursuit.

How to Identify a Daguerreotype: 5 Considerations When Looking at Early Photography
Daguerreotype | Weather Vane

How do you tell the difference between a daguerreotype, ambrotype, and tintype? If you’ve been browsing through the Early Photography Collection of Rod MacKenzie, you’ve seen these three types of early photography many times. Here are four questions to ask the next time you’re trying to identify an early photograph.

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