- TIPS ON SELLING and BUYING ANTIQUE FURNITURE
Hardly a day goes by without the national
reports featuring a story about an amazing work of art or
antique that has been discovered, purchased for virtually
nothing, and then sold at auction for an incredible sum
If this is your dream, be prepared for
some big disappointments. Auctions are a good place to
find some quality antique furniture at reasonable prices,
but you are not going to make your first (or second for
that matter) fortune at one.
The auction process is fairly straight
forward, so here it is:
BUYING AT AUCTION CHECKLIST
ANTIQUE FURNITURE CATALOG
The items featured in an auction are listed in a catalog in the
order in which they are to be sold. It is usually published a
couple weeks prior to auction. The catalog generally gives you
a fairly detailed description of each piece of furniture,
including the date it was made, the type of wood it is
constructed of and in many cases a conditional guarantee of
authenticity. Most also contain estimated prices.
A few days before a sale takes place, the furniture will be put
on view to the public. It is important to take the effort and
view the auction beforehand.
you view a furniture sale, make sure you examine the pieces you
are Interested in carefully. Look on top, under around, pull
out drawers, look under table tops, lift chairs and look for
signs of alteration. If you are uncertain
about something, ask to speak to the expert in charge. He/she
will probably be able to give you more information on the piece
than was included in the catalog description.
TO BID and BUYING
you start bidding on the day of the sale, most auction houses
will expect you to register with their accounts department
(giving your name, address and possibly your bank details).
They will then issue you a "paddle
bidding usually starts below the low estimate in the catalog
and will rise in increments of generally 10% of the realized
price. So, an item that is estimated at $100-200 might rise
in $10 increments.
people bidding for the first time worry that coughing at the
wrong moment could generate a very expensive bill -- take
heart, this is almost impossible. Only after the auctioneer
clearly sees you are interested in a particular piece will he
even give you a second glance.
the piece is sold, the auctioneer will ask for your "paddIe"
number and write this down in the "auctioneer's
in mind, there is a cost for bidding. On top of the hammer
price (the price at which the bidding stops) the winner will
have to pay the auction house premium, usually between 10% and
17% percent of the winning bid plus taxes.