Are You A Collector?

Photos by Carlos Alejandro

Photos by Carlos Alejandro

With the Delaware Antiques Show fast approaching, November 8–10, it’s time to get in the mind-set of a collector. A collector possesses focus, knowledge, enthusiasm, and discipline. A collector is interested in a specific kind of object that he or she has studied and sought out.  Here are some rules of thumb to follow if you are interested in getting your feet wet in the world of collecting:

  1. Collect What You Enjoy

Remember that these objects are going to take up space in your home and you will see them every day, so be sure to collect things that speak to you and that you enjoy.

2.  Make a Mistake

Even the best collectors have bought whoppers. You may be blinded by the pursuit and capture. If you do make a mistake, there may be a remedy; a reputable dealer will take back any piece he or she guaranteed.

3.  Do Your Homework

Learn about what you like. Read a lot. Pick brains.

4.  Buy the Best You Can Afford

Quality counts, and good quality costs more than bad. Remember the top of the market keeps its value.

Photo by John Wynn

Photo by John Wynn

5.  Don’t Buy an “Investment”

Value is one of the most difficult issues to tackle about antiques. Old does not mean valuable. Much that is old is junk. Unless you can buy at the top of the market, do not look at antiques as an investment.


6.  Don’t Be Shy

Most antiques dealers are more than happy to talk about the wares in their booth. Don’t feel that because you engage in conversation you have to buy something. Just understand that, for the dealer, the best way to make you a buyer is to get you interested and excited.

7.  Protect Your Collection

Light, water, dust, sunlight, and small children can all damage antiques. The Winterthur Guide to Caring for Your Collection is a great resource to help you. If you amass a valuable collection, insure it.

Photo by Johnn Wynn

Photo by Johnn Wynn

8.  Ignore the Rules

Collecting is about the pleasure you take in finding, buying, and owning objects. It’s meant to be enjoyed. If rules stand in your way, ignore them.

9.  Have Fun!

Always remember to have a good time!


Excerpts from Some Tips for New Collectors by Forbes Maner, DAS Committee Member

For more information on the 50th Annual Delaware Antiques Show click here.




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