Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Researching Vintage

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

Pictured above is my friend "Red".  I have been feeding him and members of his family for 10 years now.  I've watched him teach his babies to eat and gotten him to call me when he's ready to be fed...or I should probably say, he's taught me to come out with his peanuts, when he's ready to be fed:)
...as you can see from my title, Red is not the topic of today's post but I wanted to give him his photo credit on this blustery New Jersey day.

I have recently started a Vintage & Antique Research/Reference Quick Link Guide for both Buyers and Sellers.  Click the link below, then choose a category from the left and you will find a plethora of corresponding reference links.


Over the years, I've noticed that some sellers are quick to parrot the research info that they may find in another listing.  Years ago, this may have been a good way to go but with so many new sellers in the vintage/antique market today - going directly to the source is a better and more accurate course to take.  Ofcourse, if you know the seller and their expertise, obviously this isn't always necessary but even then, tidbits of historical and designer info, may be lost.

Timelines, backstamps and hallmarks are always the main issues and tracking down the proper info may take visiting more than one site.  Additionally, and primarily with pottery and porcelain, historical info can help you identify a piece with more accuracy.  During the 20th century, wars played a big part in backstamps.  For example, a Germany mark versus a West Germany mark and back to Germany again.  Occupied Japan pieces, were manufactured only during the time period that the US Occupied Japan from 1945 to 1952.  Knowing this, you should price accordingly...once these pieces have disappeared from this short 7 year period, they will never be seen again.  Pricing this way, not only benefits the seller but also the buyer, who will be purchasing an item that will continue to increase in value over time.

As sellers vary in age, what we remember clearly, also varies.  So if you're not familiar with a particular time period, do a little research into the styles of that time.
These methods of research maintain the integrity of our pieces and keep a pretty clear written account for our future vintage/antique sellers.  I'm sure that deciphering the "Revival" periods - especially the one that we're currently experiencing - will be quite the challenge in 20 or 30 years.

So please stop by and take a peek at the guide, you never know what you'll find:)