Shopping for Art, Antiques & Collectibles in New York City - New York City Article
Collecting Art & Antiques, 101:
The thrill of collecting has many appeals; you may like specific items for their specific style, or covet them for their distinct and peculiar beauty. Many designs may not be available in today’s modern world, or could represent memories of a time gone by. Some collectors are also simply curious and fascinated by an item’s intricate craft, or the stories it longs to tell.
Whether you already own special antiques, art or other collectibles, or are merely interested in becoming a collector, you should start by narrowing down a range of items or categories that you like. The world of collecting can be a bit overwhelming, as nearly anything can be considered "rare" and "collectible" with the right amount of age.
Understanding the Value of Antiques & Collectibles
The value of antiques and collectibles can be subjective and certainly depends on an item’s availability. Merchandise that is in high demand will bring more money, but the age of an item does not necessarily affect its value. In the same way, the cheapest items aren't always the best and the "best" (most expensive) items don’t always ensure a nice profit.
Some antiques may take several years to gain in real value, so it is important that you have a passion for the pieces you purchase. Any piece purchased should be enjoyed for aesthetics first. The benefit of a financial long-term gain should be a secondary concern. Buy the things you like!
As you search for the perfect piece of art, the ideal antique, or another item to add to a collection, pick it up and get a feel for the item. Spend the time to inspect the bottom, top, sides and look at it from every angle. Always ask about authenticity, damage and/or restoration. If you don’t ask no one has to tell you. Qualities such as age, how an item or autograph was acquired, color, gradiation and carving details are very important. Alterations in color or polish may diminish the value of the item.
Where to Shop for Art, Antiques & Collectibles in New York City?
It's very important to develop a trusting relationship with your dealers. They can assist you with all of the concerns mentioned above and can also be an asset in helping you find additional pieces that may be of interest to you and fit into your collection. Art, antique and collectible dealers can also be invaluable in determining fakes and inauthentic pieces.
When you purchase the perfect item for your collection, remember to always get a receipt. The receipt needs to include the age of the item, material, any damage or restoration and its value. Whether you’re looking for art, antiques, sports and entertainment memorabilia, rocks, gems or fossils, all of the
above mentioned advice applies to the purchase.
It would be hard to find a city with more shops than NYC, but our favorite showroom for art, antiques and collectibles is the Manhattan Art & Antiques Center, located at 1050 2nd Avenue, between 55th & 56th Streets.