Dishonesty in business practices has been around since the time people started conducting business, this is nothing new. One only has to go to the Bible to see how upset Jesus was in the temple (Matt 21:12) to understand how irritating it is to come across less than honest business people. This kept in mind is the inspiration for the creation of this blog and for my completing my accreditation on Antiques Appraisals. I am constantly amazed and disgusted at the misinformation and absolute lies that are told people when looking at or for a particular antique.
When looking at a piece for possible purchase, examine the joints, wood grain, overall construction and stability of the piece. Ask yourself these few questions:
Does the piece seem authentic?
Does the piece pass the smell test?
Does the piece speak to you?
Does the piece fit your original goals?
Does the piece seem too good to be true?
Is the asking price in your budget?
When determining the authenticity of a piece, you must be knowledgeable of the construction methods of the time the piece is from. Are the fasteners correct, is the hardware correct, is the form correct. Determine your answer and move on from there.
When asking yourself if it passes the smell test realize this is not the actual odor of the piece, but rather this refers to the old saying “Something smells fishy, or something is rotten in Denmark” In other words does the piece look true to the story the seller is telling or is it just questionable. Determine your answer and move on from there.
When asking if the piece speaks to you, in essence you are asking yourself is this what I want for where I need it. Determine your answer and move on from there.
When asking yourself if this fits your original ideas, make sure you have set parameters before venturing out for a specific piece so that you don’t just “settle”. You may want a certain time frame, a certain style, certain wood/color, etc… These need to be determined prior to your antiquing adventure.
When determining if a piece seems too good to be true, ask yourself “Am I falling in love with this piece just from the story or first appearance? Or have I done my due diligence and am making an informed purchase. We all make purchasing mistakes, but the goal is to minimize this as much as possible.
Finally, when determining if this fits my budget, know before setting out what you want to spend and how much you want to go over if you find “the piece of a lifetime”
This all seems like common sense, but it is easy to be caught up in the moment. I have seen this so many time as estate sales as more than one person is looking at a piece; at auctions I have seem so many emotional purchases that just turn into regret when the heat of the moment cools.
Know what you want, have knowledge about the piece so as not to be miss-lead, set a budget and shop with knowledge in hand.