Giving other search engines badly needed competition, online juggernaut Amazon.com is moving into the collectibles world to take dealers’ inventory out of the labyrinth that is Google search and away from eBay’s costly listing fees. Read More +
Two simple tips can give antiques retail store owners an edge in improving a customer’s retail shopping experience. Columnist Wayne Jordan says antiques dealers must make shopping in your store a fun experience. Here are two techniques (one hi-tech, one low-tech) that other retailers use to ensure their customers enjoy shopping in their stores. Read More +
What’s a shop owner to do when kooky customers ask for the impossible? Grin and bear it and take a tip from these funny stories of Customers Gone Wild by shop owner Melanie Thomas. Read More +
Finding a hidden treasure at a yard sale or antiques show is always memorable but why are we haunted by the antiques we pass up, overlook or leave behind? Columnist Melaine Thomas shares her greatest hits (of mistakes) and the lessons she learned passing up a $25 Georg Jensen bowl. Read More +
Antiques dealer Melanie Thomas makes the case for transforming our trade into one children dream about. It’s time to replace the stereotypical ‘little old man on the corner’ with ‘the entrepreneur’ who is tall, dark and handsome (or at least middle aged with a full head of hair) and rich. Read More +
Firearms expert Bob Ball recounts how as a 9-year-old he bought vintage guns on a trip to America’s largest military surplus store. Read More +
If you were able to ask an appraiser on TV or an auctioneer could they, in fact, precisely define the concept of patina for you? Probably not. As it turns out, the definition of patina is a lot like the definition of pornography. It’s hard to say what it is but you know it when you see it.
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Furniture Detective Fred Taylor asks after a piece of antique furniture is stripped, what happens next? The purist will say to finish it in some exotic concoction of wax and oil and leave it alone. The hack next door will recommend three coats of tinted gloss polyurethane rubbed between coats with fine steel wool. The professional will say: "Sand it first." Sand it? Why in the world would you sand it? Because preparation is 90 percent of finishing, and the best finish in the world won’t look good if the piece isn’t properly prepared for the finish. So what exactly is the objective of the sanding process?
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Furniture Detective columnist Fred Taylor says in an effort to determine the range of the age of a piece of furniture, we have the beginnings of a built-in time line if the piece has drawers. A drawer is a fairly difficult thing to build when you get right down to it. It is a five sided box that must fit perfectly within a case (a six-sided box) and be removable on demand without binding or breaking either the drawer or the case.
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One thing to bear in mind while searching for your next antique furniture treasure is that this stuff, by definition, has been around the block a few times, and the road has not always been smooth. Sometimes, old furniture, like old cars, tends to shed some parts when the going gets rough. And while some missing pieces are perfectly obvious, others aren’t, and it takes a little detective work to confirm that vague feeling that something is awry.
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