We all know that sometimes, vintage and antique pieces are better than modern pieces, and that the hunt for such pieces is indeed exciting even if it is difficult at times.
Here, collectors Erica Concepcion-Reyes and Trish Chua-Juico share some tips for having an enjoyable experience in looking for good vintage and antique pieces.
Vintage vs. antique. Vintage always means that it’s the best of its era. A designer can have vintage pieces that are very iconic of his style. It should be indicative of the best of his work. Antique is a hundred years old, but in some cultures, it can mean more than that—for Japanese, it’s more than a hundred years.
Check before you buy. Wood has a patina that it can only get over time; collectors prefer that. Look at the condition, always. For some people, the more distressed and the more you can see the age of a piece, the more they’re drawn to it.
Look at the grain of the ivory to see if it’s old or new. Unlike a brand new item, it will never be in perfect condition, but it doesn’t really matter because if it’s made well, it lasts through time.
Embrace flaws. Don’t be bothered by dirt and marks or cracks, but don’t buy broken pieces, like something that was just glued together. It’s important that you handle the piece, hold and inspect it.
Clean properly. Don’t use water or strong chemicals when cleaning wood. For sterling silver, use a gentler silver polish. With ternos, you have to air them out. Don’t store them on a hanger because the weight of the dress puts too much stress on the shoulders.
Never dry clean anything that’s really old because dry cleaning is very harsh. Always hand wash vintage fabric. With alabaster or blue and white pots, use mild detergent and water. Never use brushes with hard bristles—you’ll scratch the jars if it’s porcelain. Use an old toothbrush to get to the corners.
“Handle with Care”, originally appearing on Vol 11 No. 3 of Metro Home and Entertaining. Guidelines shared by Erica Concepcion-Reyes and Trish Chua-Juico.