Owning antiques is an experience that can be fulfilling in many aspects. Whether you own antique pieces because you purchased them or because your ancestors passed them on to you, having them has advantages, and here are some of them:
- History – Antiques are symbols of your heritage and act as heirlooms that can be passed on from generation to generation. Because of that, owning them is like being able to touch a part of history. Each piece has a story, and they serve as silent witnesses to important events in your family or even those that took place in different areas of the world.
- Craftsmanship – Antiques are typically hand-made and were constructed using the finest materials and intricate methods that make them resilient and sturdy. Though antique pieces are not invincible to dents and marks, their structure is strong enough to withstand the test of time.
- Uniqueness – Antique pieces are not mass-produced, and that fact alone increases their value. Rarity is one of the qualities that make antique pieces sought-after and well loved. In fact, an antique item can add a dash of character or personality in a particular space, which common pieces usually can’t do.
- Timeless design – Antiques are known to transcend through trends, thanks to their timeless design. Today, antique pieces can be the focal point of a particular area in your home. In some cases, they provide the right amount of contrast to a room with a rather modern design. Regardless of how old it is, an antique piece will always fit in present times, and may even be the perfect ingredient to elevating the aesthetic appeal of any space, room, or home.
- Helpful to the environment – Going for antique pieces is a form of recycling. Aside from the look that antiques exude, they are also eco-friendly to some extent.
- Appreciating value – If they are preserved well, antiques can be worth so much more in the future. Yes, prices of antiques do rise and fall, but as long as you take care of them properly, there’s a high likelihood their worth will go up or at the least, stay leveled.
Antiques are valuable pieces, and whether you own them out of passion or the goal of gaining profit in the long run, you need to know how to take care of them properly.
The first step to preserving your antiques is to be familiar with the things that ruin them, and the steps you can take in order to avoid their harmful effects to your valuable pieces.
To help you get started, we have listed five things that you should avoid if you want to preserve the value and quality of your antiques. You’ll be surprised to see that some of these things may seem petty mistakes, but their impact can cost a lot. Let’s look at each of them.
Things you Should Avoid
Neglect is the first thing that can ruin your antiques. Although they are made to be sturdy, that doesn’t mean that you should just leave them in one place and forget about their maintenance. Antiques need proper care in order to preserve their value.
Upon acquisition, you need to determine the proper ways of maintaining your pieces so that you can retain its worth for years on end.
Not doing your research
Antiques are not ordinary household items because they hold a lot of value—both emotional and monetary. Since that is the case, taking care of them is not simply going to the hardware stores, picking up maintenance tools, and doing the necessary cleaning and repairs yourself. It doesn’t work that way.
Antiques require special care and attention, and it requires research to know how to properly clean, restore, and refinish them.
- Cleaning – Cleaning is necessary to keep the dirt and dust away from your antiques. However, it may also affect the value of a particular piece if it’s not properly done.For instance, cleaning, can remove the patina or any special markings on a piece. This can tremendously decrease the value of an antique.Do your research before applying any maintenance step on your antique pieces to avoid any unintentional damage.
- Restoration – Although you want to maintain your antiques in good conditions at all times, refrain from doing restorations without any research to back it up.Of course, there are cases when you can apply restorations yourself. For instance, you can simply glue a piece of gem that popped out of an antique ornament. However, don’t proceed to repainting an antique furniture without doing your due diligence or seeking an expert’s advice on whether or not it’s an ideal move to make.
- Refinishing – When it comes to antique pieces, refinishing should be done with extreme caution. If a piece holds value such as special markings and a distinct history, it’s typically not advisable to have it refinished even if you think it will enhance its appearance. Just like with the cleaning and restoration, don’t refinish an antique without proper research because when it’s done wrong, the value of the piece can be lessened dramatically.
Direct Sunlight and Moisture
Just like what it does to pictures, direct sunlight can cause damage to your antiques. It may cause your antiques to become brittle, fade in color, and even break. So place your antiques away from direct sunlight and heat. Just the same, don’t let it get exposed to extreme cold and moisture.
Keeping antiques away from direct sunlight or extreme cold is not just about storing it indoors. Make sure that you place it in an area where sunlight and moisture don’t seep through.
Poor storage can cause damage and breakage to antique pieces, which will ultimately lessen their value, aesthetic appeal, and even their functionality.
The general rule is to put your antiques in a place where you will be comfortable to stay in. Simply stacking up your antiques in the basement or the attic is a no-no. Storing them in such places can expose them to high heat or moisture, which can cause damage to them over time. Likewise, it’s also not advisable to simply leave your antiques exposed out in the open where they are susceptible to breakage.
A display cabinet is a good place to store your antiques. They provide protection from breakage and at the same time, allow you and your guests to take in the visual appeal of your antique pieces.
Meanwhile, you can also put your antiques in one room and arrange them into a museum of some sort. Make sure this area has the ideal temperature, dim lighting, and is away from any cause of breakage or damage.
Children and Pets
Having children or pets around can be fun, but when you have antiques you need to be extra careful.
Children and pets are naturally curious, and when they come across an antique piece their instinct is to touch it or check it out. However, this may result to unwanted marks, damage, and even breakage. Just to be on the safe side, see to it that your antiques are out of the reach of children and pets.
Preserving antiques is not just about maintaining its monetary value; it’s more of taking care of the heritage they represent. If you have antique pieces, whether as a collection or inheritance, make them last longer and avoid the five things discussed above.