Where it all Began…
‘Vintage’ has become a kinda catch all for anything that is not quite old enough to be Antique (“Wiki defines Antique as 80-100 years of age, and displaying some degree of craftsmanship”), things that we think of as treasures, or oddities or both. Vintage is also a term used by those trying to hawk their unsellable old stuff!
I think that the Wiki definition is quite simple, yet can help us identify the good, bad, and ugly of the vintage and antique world. Let me give you a few tips, we can even call them rules of the pick; whether you’re antiquing, thrifting, or yardsaling that can help you come away a happy camper and often save you a ton of money!
First Rule: ONLY BUY ITEMS THAT YOU CAN LIVE WITH IF YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO RE-SELL!
This rule is very important (I had to learn this the hard way!) Often whether you’re buying for yourself or not, we can get caught up in that ‘Make a Quick Buck’ mindset that especially in our tough economy often does not pay off. Only buy what you would like in your own home (and make sure your wife is onboard if you have one!). A good example is this:
I sold this Platt case with contents for $45 and $15 shipping. I got the Platt case for a good price turned around and sold it (for less than I probably could have gotten). The bar tools were in good shape and I would use them if they did not sell, plus the case was in excellent shape and would make a great display piece. So this pick is a win, win!!!
The opposite is this ultra cool Antique(?) Bedwarmer. The reason I say Antique with a question mark, is I cannot pin down an exact production date. The coal bedwarmer was used up to the 20th century; this item seems to be in incredible shape for that age; I think that it could be a well made display piece. I have yet to have any interest for it on my Etsy site, plus this piece will be difficult to ship, and it is just not my wife and my style.
Lesson learned! Only buy things that I would be comfortable keeping and displaying.
This Cigar Barrel is one of my art pieces: The base is ‘Barrel Aged’ cigar barrel with antique newspaper, a large collection of cigar rings and a well worn vintage 1950s ‘tear drop’ knob to top this piece off. Cigar boxes can be easily turned into working humidors to store your cigars in. I often keep my eyes open for vintage knobs, magazines, and newspaper at reasonable prices that can be reused or repurposed in my own art. If you do art or craft type work, vintage has a look and feel that no modern items can bring to your pieces.
Rule # 2: ALWAYS BE GROWING AS A PERSON AND AS A COLLECTOR
Recently, I meet an antique dealer who had a huge collection of trading cards from Star Trek, college and NFL football, Racing, and even what he termed “fantasy cards,” but were really adult cards. I really have not collected cards since I was a child (and I thank God for that since the collectables market is near dead), but as I stood there talking to the dealer who wanted $3000.00 for the collection; which he would never get despite the time, sweat, and money that he personally put into collecting (I would estimate he put 15,000-20,000 grand into it). As I stood there, I realized an important part of collecting and salvaging; Things are only worth what someone is worth paying! So only collect and work on pieces for yourself, never to sell or for a long term investment!
Sometimes, I take vintage items to sell for other collectors into consignment. I do not like to sell memorabilia because it really is not my thing, but I have a collection of classic film actors signed photos.
This Hayley Mills I put on etsy and it brought $80.00 and $5.00 for shipping which is actually around what it would have brought in the heyday of the collectables market, which just goes to show you, collectors collect and there is no rhyme or reason. Selling vintage and antique items is simply about bringing joy and nostalgia to collectors’ homes!
Rule #3: HAVE FUN! ..SERIOUSLY HAVE FUN.
I love to find items that I have no idea what they are or what time they’re from and do the research; and LEARN! Please contact me if you have any questions.
Follow my store and art on Twitter @vintageseven
And stay tuned to my next piece which will be later this week on BANKSYNYC
daniel j dunlop