How to Know What to Look for When Buying Antiques & Collectibles

January 28, 2022 2 Comments

How to Know What to Look for When Buying Antiques & Collectibles

Video Transcription: Hi, this is Jennifer here with City Farmhouse Antiques and I am here with several different pieces and our latest arrivals. I'm not going to do a find of the week this week, I am going to do something a little bit different, but you are going to get to see lots of little finds of the week. I don't have these pieces up yet on our site so if you see something that you like message me and I can help you. What I am going to do is give you some tips on what to look for when buying antiques and collectibles. We can start with this beautiful Lladro. This is a big piece so I am not going to pick her up with one hand. I don't want anything to happen to her. Probably my biggest tip is going to be to look at condition. When I look at condition I am looking for a piece is that is perfect or in nearly perfect condition. We know that some of these pieces are limited edition pieces or in many circumstances the artist may no longer be living. So these pieces are rare and it's not like we can go down to Walmart and pick up another one. Even though they are rare, to retain their value and be highly collectible, we want them to be in excellent condition. Depending upon what the piece looks like you want to inspect everything. Look at every little petal.  This piece stands on a pedestal. I don't know if you can see that down there. I can't take her out. She is probably over 2 feet tall. Here you can see she has her paperwork that comes with her which is also a good thing. Sometimes a piece will come in it's original packaging or box which very desirable for the collector, but again looking at condition is the most important. I have already looked this Lladro figurine over before I purchased her know she is in excellent condition and she has no damage. She already has dust and stuff on her, but that will all come off. Here is another beautiful piece. I have this piece covered up just to protect it. In mentioning the paperwork here you see what they call a COA or certificate of authenticity which is great because it legitimizes the piece. This is by Erte. You can see it there. This artist is no longer living, but I just had to have this. This antique piece of art is titled "Stolen Kisses" a beautiful again original piece by Erte who is a very famous listed artist with the COA. Okay, let's see I'll take you over here. Here I have some Limoges antique porcelain pieces. When knowing what to look for when buying antiques, in addition to the quality and the condition, you want to  consider if it is a full set in the case of plates or stemware. This set happens to be a  fish platter and serving set. They made serving sets just for serving fish. These are antique Limoges, France porcelain pieces. Again, looking at condition can get a bit tricky sometimes too because you have to make sure it makes sense. You wouldn't want an antique piece that is close to 100 years old to look like it just came from the store. You are going to notice on this piece which makes sense you are going to have some wear to what we call gold gilding on the sides. Here you can see it is worn. This is a completely hand painted and hand done old piece so you would expect some wear. This platter is about 24" long. You are going to see again wear to the gold gild here. Again, I don't want damage like cracking or chips. Sometimes crazing you will see which looks like a bunch of tiny cracks in the glaze. That is going to be typical of some of these older pieces, but that is different and not going to be considered so much as damage like a crack as if the piece was dropped or damaged. I don't think I have a piece with crazing handy to show you. We will get that in another video. Of course, looking at maker's marks on the back is another way to guide what you buy. There are a lot of ways to identify marks. It is fairly easy these days with just a google search and you can search the shape of the maker's mark you see and they will come up. Again, like I mentioned, this is a set. That was the scalloped platter and I will show you the plates. Here are the beautiful plates that go with it. Again, we talked about the quality of the gold gilding. Aren't those just fabulous? Again, they are going to have the mark on them that matches the platter. That's how you know it is a full set. Not a full set, but a matching set. I have another beautiful piece here I will show you. This is a turquoise inlaid serving bowl. Isn't that gorgeous? All those different colors of turquoise. Again, you don't see any damage. Everything is smooth. You can also tell when pieces are well made. If this was not well made, it would probably have mismatched pieces. They wouldn't be even. You can tell by the detail of a piece the quality which just comes with practice. You can tell the difference between something that has been made cheaply and something that is put together really well with extensive craftsmanship. Again, those are a few tips on what to look for and what I look for when purchasing antiques and collectibles whether it be to resell or keep as heirloom pieces. A lot of these are heirloom pieces like the Erte as the artist is no longer living and these pieces were part of a limited edition. That is the beauty of collecting. So if you haven't done so, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter so you can see our newest of arrivals as well as tips. The fun part is the history which I give behind each piece. We talk about the find of the week and the history behind each piece which is a lesson in American or World history. Check out our website at and be sure and watch all of our videos for all of those neat history lessons. See you next week.

Again, if there is something you are interested in on the video, but don't see on the website be sure and message us on the website at


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June 06, 2023

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April 13, 2022

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