Antiques, according to Wikipedia is defined as a collectible item at least 100 years old. An antique is collected because of its age, beauty, rarity and condition. Those of us who are collectors tend to have a certain style that we like. For instance, I tend to collect more on the lines of primitives, such as in the picture above. That style I think goes with the type of home that we live in. I just can’t see mid century modern furniture being used in our old log cabin.
Collecting primitive antiques can sometimes be challenging as to where to find these pieces that are so coveted today. They are getting harder and harder to find. The piece pictured above is a Green Bean Sheller. It had a date on the inside of 1901. I wish I could have talked to the lady who used this in her kitchen. I haven’t seen very many of these and it is one of my favorite pieces in my kitchen. I picked this piece up many years ago in Hillsville, Virginia at the famous Flea Market during Labor Day. This piece may be a slight new to be totally classified as a primitive but I love it just the same.
That is what is so great about collecting if you truly love a piece, it’s Ok to sway out of your normal time period on some things. I also love the farmhouse look that is popular right now and I am able to incorporate some of those pieces into our home too. Such as the Bread or Cake keeper shown below I picked this piece up in the Amish area of Pennsylvania this past June. I love it. I think it was a good find as I haven;t seen too many of these either. It would have been used to hold your cakes or bread after it was baked in the cookstove. I think it would have also been used around the early 1900’s. By mixing these antiques I’m able to get both styles that I love so much.
I found this gathering basket not far from where I live. It is huge. It is also very old. I think it dates back to the 1800’s. I sometimes feel I have to travel a ways to find truly unique and old pieces. This one proved me wrong. Which brings up the subject as to where to find antiques. There are many different answers, from antique malls, flea markets, antique shows and auctions. The latter is one of my favorite ways to obtain an antique. The country auction. They can be very exciting at times. One of the best auctions that I attended was in January of 2016. It was so cold those days. It was one of those auctions that only comes around once in a lifetime probably. The auction lasted for three Saturdays and the quality and quantity of the pieces were amazing. I was able to win a few pieces that I hope to never sell. A table that I purchased was from the county that I live in, in North Carolina. I was loading this table into the back of my truck and when I turned it upside down to lay it flat on its top, I noticed little round circle indentions under the table top. A gentleman had noticed them too and he told me they were made from a sewing bird that had been attached to the table years ago. It always makes the antique you are purchasing even more special if that piece has a story with it. That is not always easy to obtain and sometimes impossible. So when you are able to learn about the owner of the antique and how the piece may have been used or acquired it adds to the value of the antique.
Another way to acquire antiques is to have them handed down to you. The black wool jacket pictured above is actually my great grandmother’s jacket. The dress hanging beside of it was found in the eastern part of North Carolina. I call it a work dress as it seems to have that look about it.
One of the best ways to learn more about antiques is to visit museums, historic homes, and to research antiques that you are interested in. Go out there and go to shows that you know will have good antiques. Even if you think they will be too pricey go anyway it is such a good way to see antiques you might not have seen before, you will almost always learn something new. Pay close attention and ask questions of the dealers. Most of the time they will love to talk about their antiques. I think a truly good antique dealer will most of the time buy what they love so they will be passionate about the things they have in their booth.
I hope this gives you a little more insight as to collecting antiques. It truly can be a fun hobby or business to be in. I can promise you will learn a lot about the history of our country, your state and even your own family along the way.