{Style Expert} Learn to hunt for antiques like a pro

5 FOFs share their secrets for finding vintage treasures:

Jane Grant

Owner of Jane Grant Antiques
Dallas, Texas

An “antique” isn’t an antique unless it is over 100 years old.

“Everything these days is labeled an “antique” but those in the business know it’s not one unless it’s over 100 years old. This comes from U.S. customs rules. You don’t have to pay duty on any item you import that is over 100 years old because it’s considered an antique, but you do have to pay duty on items dating back less than 100 years.”

Her Fave Resources: Antique fairs and markets especially: the biannual Round Top Antiques Fair in Texas (where she just scored a pair of 17th century Spanish doors and a 19th century Italian ceramic platter), the triannual Brimfield Antique Show in Brimfield, Mass., Marché aux Puces de Clignancourt in Paris, Lovers Lane Antique Market and The Mews in Dallas. “Antique fairs can be overwhelming,” she says. “Get as much information as you can before you go. Learn about the dealers, look at maps, and read the show magazine if there is one. For instance, Round Top’s magazine is Show Daily.”

Kathy Peterson

Design Expert, National TV Host and Syndicated Columnist
Palm Beach, Florida

Just because something has a “Sold” sign on it doesn’t mean you can’t buy it.

“I found a very, very old antique pine kitchen table that I loved at a yard sale, but it had a “Sold” sign on it. I asked the woman running the sale for the phone number of the person who bought the table. She gave me the buyer’s contact information, I contacted her and said, ‘I know you spent $125 dollars on this table. I’ll take it off your hands for another $50.’ She agreed. You’d be surprised how often this happens. I had it appraised and it was worth $2,800.”

Her Fave Resources: Thrift shops such as Jupiter Medical Center Thrift Shop, Hospice of Palm Beach Resale Shop and the Animal Rescue League Thrift Store in Palm Beach. Flea markets and yard sales such as the Renningers Antique Market, held weekly in Mt. Dora, Florida and The World’s Longest Yard Sale which spans three states: Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee. A few years ago, Kathy scored an antique chair at The World’s Longest Yard Scale which she revamped into a a “bridal chair” for her daughter-in-law’s bridal shower and featured on HGTV.

Pamela Wiggins

Antique Expert for About.com, author of Buying & Selling Antiques and Collectibles on eBay
Austin, Texas

If you see an item you like, even if you are just considering it, pick it up and hold it as you continue to shop.

“My mother taught me that at a young age. I can always put it back, but I’ll kick myself if I go back and someone else has snatched it up. You can also tell if you’ve got something good if other shoppers, especially dealers, are hovering around waiting for you to put the item back!”

Her Fave Resource: www.RubyLane.com. I’m a dealer there and browse it almost daily. It has a great variety of antiques and collectibles in all price ranges. The dealers are experienced and professional. RubyLane shops also have a three-day return policy which is useful when buying online because it can be hard to get an idea about the color, size and feel of many items through a photograph.

Barbara Hawthorn

President of Barbara Hawthorn Interiors
McLean, Virginia

Don’t underestimate the Internet as a resource for great antiques.

“I’m in meetings 12 hours a day and have to do my searches in the wee hours of the night. One of the best designer resources for antiques is online: www.1stdibs.com. It is 24/7.”

Her Fave Resource: www.1stdibs.com. It features resources from top antique dealers all over the country/world and is organized well. You can look by period, style or any category of furnishings, all price points, etc.

Jackie Talmo

Owner of Jackie Talmo Décor
New York City

Look for antique accent pieces instead of antique furniture.

“I suggest to my clients, to use antiques as accessories and décor rather than as furniture. With smaller antique pieces you can add lots of character to a home and they are easier to mix with contemporary elements. You can also switch them out easily…the feel of a home can look fresh by adding new pieces from time to time or changing around the layout.”

Her Fave Resources: Antique stores such as Olde Good Things, Suzanne Golden Antiques, Knollwood Antiques, Eileen Lane Antiques, Vidal’s Antiques (for lighting) or the flea market on 39th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues in New York City.

Images via NotKeren, FabOverFifty, Love to Know, About.com, The Washington Design Center, and FabOverFifty

12 Responses to “{Style Expert} Learn to hunt for antiques like a pro”

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  2. Dindy904 says:

    I love auctions..I went to my first auction with my Mother when I was about 10 years old. I feel auctions are a great place to find some wonderful things…..you many times can get a great price, plus you meet people that have all kinds of knowledge, and usually love to share it all with you ! A win win situation for sure for the True antique lover….which I am.

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    • FOF Editor says:

      Good point Dindy. Auctions can be a great way to meet other enthusiasts–who in turn, probably know even more secrets to getting the best deals! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Bielizna says:

    Hello are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you require any html coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

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    • KAPUMAKA says:

      No I don’t use wordpress, if your wondering about my pic for the blog it was done for me. I use it on many sites I converse with. Actually wordpress does not work for me, like many others I hear. To get a blog and have someone set it up for you to what you want you may want to look under google for blog designers and they all have different prices and app’s to choose from. Or you could have one designed for what you want in mind. Good luck, hope I helped a little if any. Aloha ~

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  4. Robyn says:

    THANKS FOR THE INSIGHT LADIES !

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  5. Vickie Youngblood says:

    The name of the store in Sanford, NC is Sanford Antique Mall on Moore Street. SAM for short.

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    • Natasha says:

      i just registered and pcrehasud the cookbook online. But im really not sure if my order went through,because my battery went low on my laptop just as i was submiting my order. please contact me and let me know if my order failed or went through. Date order was placed June 3 2009. please call me tod confrim or send me a confromation at the above email. Thanks

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  6. Vickie Youngblood says:

    A small out of the way shop is in Sanford, NC. The movie companies have found this spot and visit it regularly. It is a wonderful treasure trove! Just beware, you need at least half a day to stroll through the large 2 story building.

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  7. Kathleen says:

    I loved this post. Thanks so much especially the ones with websites. Brimfield is amazing and I long to get to The World’s Longest Yard Sale but August is usually crazy here.
    I will be scaning these sights tonight and in the days to come. Thanks much for sharing.

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  8. sisterjtc says:

    Thanks for the tips. This is a great time of year for yard and garage sales. I’ll keep your suggestions in mind.

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  9. harriet derer says:

    really good info !

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