February is always a great time for markets in Nashville. The month started with the esteemed Antiques and Garden Show, followed by the Tailgate Antiques Show on the 17th-19th. The Tailgate event always offers a variety of truly unique and funky items which is exactly why a few of the R. Higgins team ventured to the Tennessee Fairgrounds last weekend. With Roger as our vivacious leader, we shopped from booth to booth making deals, winning battles, and working the ins and outs of antique shopping…
Ladies and gentlemen, straight from the Antique Master’s mouth, here are some helpful hints for antique shopping:
1. Start with a list of what you are looking for, and then throw it away.
When it comes to antiques what you need is never what you find, so just go for the pieces that catch your eye. It’s the one-of-a-kind items that you stumble upon that draw interest and bring unexpected elements to your home.
Also, always look at the “good stuff” even if you can’t afford it. This trains your eye to recognize great pieces when they’re hiding amongst the not so great things.
2. Do your research.
Ask around and shop with recommended dealers. It’s important to know who you are buying from and that their reputation is satisfactory. Carefully check a piece’s general condition and structure before you buy. If you see flaws, don’t hesitate…negotiate.
3. Consider your setting.
If you want the best, go for it, but make sure you are able to maintain the standard of the piece. That gilded Italian console for a family room used by the dogs, kids, and crazy aunts may be a mistake. One soda can ring and it’s never the same.
4. Go big or go home.
Scale plays a significant role when it comes to antiques. Spend money on a large unique piece instead of a handful of small objects. Your purchases should help make an impact in your home, not turn it into a cluttered collection of odds and ends.
5. Don’t be intimidated.
Going to market can be intimidating to the novice, but don’t let fear get in the way of going after what you want. Educate yourself on the buying process and ask the dealers questions. A good dealer will take pride in offering as much information on their products as they can. Most of all go with your instincts and enjoy the experience.