WHAT IS AN ANTIQUE?
Just because it’s old does not make it an antique.
According to U.S. Customs Laws on antiques, they are “any work of art, piece of furniture, decorative object, or the like created and produced in a former period, 100 years before date of purchase.” However, with automobiles an antique or classic car is only 25 years or older.
ARE ANTIQUES VALUABLE?
They can be.
But again, value is not based upon age. Value is derived supply vs. demand and desirability. If you have a supply of 10 antique “widgets” but only 2 buyers, the fair market value is low. Take those same 10 widgets and find 50 or 60 ready, willing and able buyers and the value increases. So this item, in the same condition can have several different value ranges based upon a specific point in time.
ANTIQUE CLEANING DOS AND DON’TS
When it comes time to put your treasures up for auction make sure to not clean them. Although you may think it will increase the value, quite often it has the opposite effect, hurting the value; this is especially true with metals of any kind or wooden furniture. True collectors and experts (which most of us are not) want this aged look with its natural patina. Many times unscrupulous people who create replicas, in an effort to deceive collectors, will leave the reproductions outside, in the elements and dirty them all to create the patina that collectors desire. One other important thing to remember is to never apply polishes; ever! If you need to clean an item, make sure to use a dry terry cloth and take care to not scratch the surface. A mild, “No More Tears” type of soap maybe used, again with a soft rag; gently wipe the surface making sure not to scrub. Most importantly…When in doubt, leave it alone!