Below, you will find all you need to know when considering purchasing Antique Ceramics, with some expert advice and some handy tips from our resident Interior Designer.
Expert Antique Dealers Advice
When it comes to collecting antique ceramics there are a number of key features antique specialists suggest these include the following.
1. Follow your heart -
That is not to say you should ignore your head. It is important to buy what you like but consider where you want the direction of your ceramic collection to lead.
2. Quality -
Wherever possible you should find the best quality piece that your budget can stretch to, this will ensure that you have the best investment possible for the future.
3. Consider the Condition -
It may not be in great condition, but for its time it may actually be acceptable for the particular piece, that said the better the condition the more desirable the antique ceramic will be.
4. Ask Questions -
There is no harm in asking the antique dealer as many questions as possible about the item; this may indeed work in your favour when it comes to sell the piece in future. It is better to be informed on the subject of your antique ceramic than be unsure of its historic worth.
Interior Designers Guide to Buying Antique Ceramics
Our loveantiques.com interior designer Lizzie Greenaway believes that the beauty of antique ceramics is that there is such a wide range of items to choose from you are able to incorporate them into many aspects of your home; from an antique dinner service, to figurines for the mantelpiece or an antique vase for your flowers.
Ceramic pieces can be small or large so can be adopted in any space without being too imposing, even the smallest home can enjoy the delights of antique ceramics. She suggests matching the period and style of antique ceramic to your décor, it may be you have a whimsical interior so romantic ceramics from France may be fitting, or for a more traditional interior a classical antique dinnerware set may be appropriate.
Extra Considerations When purchasing Antique Ceramics
In terms of authenticity there are a number of ceramic marks that will be evident on the item of antique ceramics, the mark will be impressed, incised, printed or painted. Over the years many antiques will have suffered some damage or distress, this is not to say they are not desirable.
In an age when we are more environmentally aware than ever before purchasing antique items is the perfect way to ensure that you keep your carbon footprint as low as possible. Antique ceramics are not only good for the environment they are also extremely attractive and unique; reusing and recycling has never been so appealing.
Valuing Antique Ceramics
Marks will help you identify the origin and value of your ceramics. Ceramic marks are generally applied in four ways; they may be painted, printed, impressed and incised. Antique ceramics that are in perfect condition can yield very high prices, those that are slightly damaged or have been restored may be less valuable; however if they are rare they can still command large sums of money.
It is essential that your ceramics are packed securely and safely to ensure safe delivery. It is often necessary to pack antique ceramics using two boxes, one inside the other, the double layer helps protect against damage. Secondly, fill the void between the boxes with bubble wrap or polystyrene fillers. Wrap at least several layers of bubble wrap around your antique ceramic, covering its entirety, this will ensure safe transit and stop them cracking or breaking if they are bumped or dropped. It is always important to insure your valuable antique pieces before they are transported in case of an unfortunate accident.
The higher the temperature the ceramics are fired at the less porous and more durable they are, saying this the reason most antique ceramics get damaged is down to the way they are handled. Where possible try to handle the item as little as possible. If handling is necessary remove jewellery, clean your hands and handle the item with gloves on where possible.
If you are cleaning your antique ceramic item be careful not to clean marks off that may actually have some historically significance. If the item has been restored it will also be more sensitive when it is being cleaned. If items have been restored or repaired there may be some weakness to the structure of the piece, be aware that this can disguise problems that may be present, so it is important to be careful.
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