Art & Antiques by Dr. Lori: Know the value before you recycle or redo
Recycling, re-using and re-purposing are the buzz words in the antiques game right now. I have been advising my audiences at my more than 150 antiques appraisal events across the country that appraisals of your aging objects are more important now than ever before. Why? In great numbers, people are considering old objects as the basis for a fun re-do project.
Before you transform that old treasure, get an appraisal to be sure you are not unknowingly decreasing its value by changing that piece for the better or worse. Collecting is always of interest as evinced by the photos of my big audiences of fans of all ages posted on Facebook and Pinterest.
Yet, the process of collecting a particular antique item from a certain category of collectibles has taken a back seat to the process of putting a vintage or antique item into immediate use as an addition to the existing home or office decor or as a home design project. Now, most people are not collecting for collecting’s sake as they did in the early 2000s.
From the buyer’s standpoint, this is a great time to negotiate with dealers, re-sellers and other traders. Why? It is always smart to negotiate. Always negotiate when you are trying to buy a work of art, antique or collectible. With the state of today’s economy and the renewed interest in home decorating, make-overs and re-designing, your vintage objects are playing more than one role right now.
These aging objects are seen as fine collectibles as well as the basis for craft or re-purposing projects. Those items which were, about 10 years ago, seen as damaged or poor condition antiques made their asking price firm. These less-than-perfect antiques and collectibles required re-upholstery, refinishing or reworking. Now, these are the same objects that become a topic of a negotiation with a seller because buyers see that condition can be transformed.
Many collectors in the middle ranges of the market — not the folks who are paying out a couple $100K for a work of high end art — desire objects that can be the object of their re-purposing project.
What may surprise many people is the number of young buyers in the vintage art, antiques and collectibles market now. I mean young buyers — really young. I have elementary school-age fans who watch me on TV with their grandmothers. There is one 7-year-old fan in Puerto Rico who warms my heart. She wears white gloves like mine and appraises objects at her relative’s houses during family gatherings.
Yes, from tweens and teens searching yard sales and flea markets (like I did as a kid with my dad) to the 20-somethings who are all about assembling objects from the 1920s to the 1980s for their first homes, the young adults, like my college-aged and newly-married nieces, are looking to antiques and vintage objects to decorate their new urban spaces, inexpensively redecorate their new family homes and re-consider the options of using and re-doing Grandma’s old sofa. Change is a sign of the times.
(Dr. Lori hosts antiques appraisal events worldwide and is the star appraiser on Discovery channel’s TV show, Auction Kings. To learn about your antiques, visit www.DrLoriV.com, www.Facebook.com/DoctorLori, or @DrLori on Twitter.)