Befuddled by antique shows, dealers and auctions? Here are a few pointers to bear in mind when you're looking for that perfect item!
- Research first, then shop. Learn as much as you can about what you'd like to collect - use books, the internet and experienced dealers as your resources.
- Shop prepared! Bring a measured floorplan and photos of your home to make sure the antique pieces will fit there.
- Carefully inspect objects for damage not immediately apparent - items in poor condition are very hard to resell.
- Decide ahead of time how much you're willing to spend at an auction so you don't get carried away while bidding.
Exploring the wealth of the Berkshires' treasures can be overwhelming. Five area antiques dealers offer their sage words of advice for both the novice browser and the seasoned collector.
- "Look at items slowly and carefully so that by the time you buy it, you'll already love it." From Elise Abrams Antiques in Great Barrington.
- "Look for the best quality you can find for the money you have to spend. You should also try to learn the origin of the piece, get a guarantee of authenticity, if possible and don't travel without a good reference book." From Coffman's Country Antiques Market in Great Barrinton
- "Before you leave an antique shop, fill out a card with your name, address, telephone number, types of antiques you are interested in and your price range." From Blue Peacock Antiques, in New Ashford.
- "Be sure to get to the preview of an auctions ale at least once before the actual auction. If you keep within the pice estimates when bidding, you'll be safe." From Bradford Galleries in Sheffield.
- "If you see something you like, buy it right away. Don't assume the piece will be there on another trip. Remember, if you don't like the piece later on, antiques will always have resale value." The Amber Fox in Williamstown.
Photo of dishes courtesy of Ice House Studio.