Don't To Be Fooled in Antique Collecting
How can you tell? That is essentially the question that we need to answer. Today, ironic as it sounds, the latest hi-tech machines are able to create different kinds of products and make them look old. It is quite unfortunate that a number of people take advantage of collectors and professionals alike, trying to sell fake items as the real deal. But the sadder part of this story is, even some of the expert antique dealers get fooled.
Experience is probably one of the best weapons against fakes. Experienced antique dealers often develop a sort of sixth sense with regards to identifying the real thing and the fake ones. But, of course, being an experienced dealer doesn't mean you have to rely solely on intuition. Your knowledge about the antiques gives you an edge over fakers.
If you're still a beginner in this trade then there are three important words of advice for you: research, research, research. You need to know everything about antiques and that means everything. From historical information to the most trivial facts, you never know when a bit of information can help you identify the authenticity of the item. You can go to libraries, to flea markets, or the web. There are a lot of places where you can dig up information.
If you still haven't developed that sixth sense of yours, then make use of what you have. You have five of them.
(Yes, 5 senses -seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting). Observe closely every surface, corner and side of the item. Look for the obvious signs and the not so obvious ones to see if the item is a fake.
For example, how a piece of furniture is assembled will give you an idea of when it was made. Antique ceramics often have a rough bottom as opposed to newer ones. You should also feel the surface. Attempts to make the items older will always be noticeable so be sure to check on those. Look at areas which exhibit normal wear and tear.
Another thing that might be a give away is the price. Although antiques often don't have a fixed price, it is common to undervalue or overvalue an antique piece. Still, be wary of a seller that gives you a big discount immediately after you've rejected the first offer. The fact that he's in a rush to sell the thing might be a sign that there's something wrong with the item so don't be fooled.