How To Start a Vintage Collection

How To Start a Vintage Collection

What to look for when building your collection of vintage décor and furniture
What to look for when building your collection of vintage décor and furniture

Buying vintage furniture online is wonderful for those who want the experience of browsing an antiques shop, 24/7. However, it’s easy to become lost in all the fabulous things available for sale, especially for those who are new to the game. Here are ways to focus a search and sharpen the eye.

Choose a Material

Material is a great way to focus a collection. If you’re naturally drawn to ceramics, glass or textiles, you can build a collection by learning to differentiate a designer’s work by researching their process and technique. Additionally it helps those who are new to buying antique and vintage items online, and might not yet be ready for a stunning 20th-century dining table.

When Starting, Go for Smalls

Smaller pieces can be more approachable for starting a collection, posing less of an investment (but no less interesting) for new collectors. Modernist silver tableware, Fornasetti plates and ceramic objects are all excellent choices.

Know Your Options

Original pieces often have signs of age. Scratches and signs of wear are part of the appeal of vintage, but one can opt for a brand-new reissue or a licensed reproduction of a classic. Both reissues and licensed reproductions are made by reputable manufacturers using original design specifications and honoring the creators’ legacies, including paying royalty fees. A reissue can be done (although not necessarily) in a different array of colors and materials, while licensed reproductions often stay as close as possible to the original materials. The recent tizzy caused by the reissue of Ray Wilkes’ "Chiclet" sofa shows that there is (literally) room for those chasing the thrill of owning a piece dating from its original period as well as design lovers who embrace the opportunity of owning great design, past or present.

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