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Contemplating antiques? Here's how to buy

By Metro
Dec. 4, 2017 at 9 a.m.
Updated Dec. 4, 2017 at 9 a.m.

Vienna, Austria - July 4, 2011: Antiquities shop window shopping seen from the street - Kohlmarkt street in Vienna. The vintage store sells old clocks, old mirrors, old table sets, old furniture, vintage objects, vintage lamps, vintage books and other hobby items

Antique furnishings, decor, coins, and toys remain popular among consumers. Unlike the mass-produced merchandise of today, antiques have history, and their endurance through decades, if not centuries, is a testament to the quality craftsmanship and materials used to create these often timeless pieces.

Antiques also might be more affordable than many shoppers think. Savvy shoppers may find mid-range "brown furniture," which constitutes some antique wood pieces, more affordable than reproductions. Homeowners and apartment dwellers who want their rooms to stand apart often rely on antiques to provide a unique ambiance.

Antique shopping also is a "green" endeavor. Antiquing is an eco-friendly practice, putting to use items that have been recycled and reused.

Antiques also can be a good investment, as they generally retain their value while adding texture, contrast and personality to any room of the house.

Understanding antiques can take time, but even the novice can develop an eye for pieces that strike their fancy. And thanks to the wealth of information about collectibles and antiques available online, shoppers have constant access to information about antiques at their fingertips. Shoppers may even be able to comparison shop on their mobile phones.

Mid-range antiques can be particularly easy to buy thanks to the available inventory. Novices may want to begin by exploring mid-range antiques. As they gain more knowledge and expertise, shoppers who covet antiques can move on to high-end pieces that are more expensive. Some antiques are put in the same category as fine artwork and are considered just as valuable.

Another reason to browse and shop antiques is to learn about the value of similar items homeowners may already own. For those looking to downsize a collection or simply liquidate an estate, antiquing is a great way to get hands-on experience.

Rummaging through antique stores or markets can be a relaxing experience as well. And many antique enthusiasts find shopping for antiques is like a treasure hunt to find that coveted piece and unearth a bit of history in the process.

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