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Factors In Deciding To Restore An Antique

Updated on April 17, 2014

Following an effective day of treasure hunting at the local flea markets, thrift stores and estate sales you return home pleased as punch at the deal received on your latest acquisition. As dreams of massive profits from reselling the item dance in your head, the realization strikes that the item you have purchased may not be in optimum condition and that perhaps a bit of restoration is in order. Stop right there, put down the belt sander and the gallon of boat varnish and consider your next move carefully - it can literally save a mistake that can cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Deciding to restore an antique is a risky proposition at best and should never be entered into haphazardly. To start with you need to make an objective, common sense assessment of the item in terms of what it's maximum value may be both in it's present state and in near perfect condition if restored to original condition. But long before this can be determined you need to become a bit of a detective and discover as much information as is possible as to the history of the piece. Just because an item is an authentic "antique" does not mean that there is monetary value automatically attached because it possesses the designation of an antique. Dozens of factors enter into considering the value of an antique with one of the most frequently overlooked being the popularity on the current collectible market. A good way to discover these answers is to search online for historical information and the result of current sales of your specific antique - this will give you a ballpark idea of where a good starting point in determining value may reside.

Once armed with a reasonable amount of knowledge the next step in deciding to restore an antique is to have it appraised by a local registered antique appraiser. Ask questions and listen carefully to the responses of the appraiser and most often the path to take will become evident quickly. Don't feel insulted or take it personally if the appraiser informs you that your item has little to offer in the way of profits should it be restored - the only thing an appraiser is getting out of the interaction is their fee for their professional opinion, nothing more.

If it should be determined that to restore an antique is to your benefit, seek only those that qualify as professional antique restoration services. Obtain several estimates, check references and form a clear understanding of the work to be performed before reaching a decision. Take photographs of the antique before leaving it with a restoration service, and get a contract signed by both parties as to costs, repairs to be made and the date of the project completion.


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