Perhaps you want to add an eclectic look to your home, or you want to showcase your interest in a historic period or exhibit your love of a particular collectable. Do-it-yourself interior designers who want to furnish their homes in a truly unique style that reflects their personality and interests can start their hunt in the world of antiques and vintage wares, where you can develop your own décor.
Here are some basic definitions you may find helpful. True antiques are most often over 100 years old. Items are considered vintage or collectable if their lineage is less than 100 years old. To further distinguish the terms, collectables are often pop culture items. How to find that antique or collectable? How do you get started?
As with any kind of purchase, let the buyer beware. You’d do well to learn as much as you can about the types of items in which you’re interested. There are genuine antiques and dealers and others who are perhaps not so reputable out there.
A good place to begin your research is right at home via your home computer. You can find some truly valuable online resources such as The British Antiques Dealers’ Association (BADA). This organisation of professional antiques dealers is a treasure trove in its own right.
The BADA web site includes a list of dealers who belong to the organisation. It also offers information on spotting genuine antiques and collectables that cover such areas of interest as porcelain, artwork, pottery, period furniture, metalwork, textiles, coins, stamps and ceramics to start. Chances are you’ll find something to pique your interest that warrants further investigation. Even if you don’t buy, you can use the time spent doing research to educate yourself about what to look for and where to begin looking for it. At the BADA web site, you can rest assured that the antiques shops listed are the real deal.
While you’re online, you can search for auctions and estate sales in your area. Many times, you’ll be able to find some bargains. One of the pluses of going to an auction or estate sale is it gives you the opportunity to shop in person. Again, even if you don’t make a bid, you’ll become more knowledgeable about what to look for in your area of interest. Generally, it’s a good rule of thumb to buy what you like.
Often shopping for antiques is like a treasure hunt. You cover a lot of ground and see a lot of examples of what you’re looking for. Perhaps you don’t even know what you want, but will know it when you see it. Be forewarned: Once you begin antiques shopping it’s addictive. In fact, there’s even a word for it: antiquing.
You can indulge and practice your antiquing skills by visiting reputable and well-known antiques fairs like The Peterborough Festival of Antiques. This venerable antiques marketplace offers a superb way to shop in person. If you don’t live in a major city, it’s a chance to see up close wares from shops located far and wide. You can talk to the sellers and even bargain over the prices. Most of the festival participants are eager to talk antiques – they love them or they wouldn’t be in this business. Additionally, they can help you navigate the world of antiques and offer suggestions and helpful hints about how antiques and collectables can enhance your home.
Organised by Bob Evans Fairs, The Peterborough Festival of Antiques is one of the largest antiques festivals in all of the United Kingdom and, indeed, in all of Europe. This festival is held twice a year — in the autumn and in the spring during the Easter holiday. This fall the fair is scheduled for Friday, September 28 and Saturday, September 29.
The Peterborough Antique Fair covers a lot of ground – literally. Recent years have seen over 2,000 antiques and collectables dealers participate in the event that is held at The East of England Showground in Cambridgeshire. Dealers are located within four buildings that are permanently on site. There are also display marquees and pitches across the showground. Vendors come from all around the United Kingdom and some even from abroad. Early birds often get the best deals, so plan your day accordingly.
Early entry to the autumn antiques fair on Friday, September 28, is from 7 am until 10 am with an admission price of £15. After 10 am and until 4:30 pm admission is £7.50.
Saturday, September 29 entry begins at 9 am and runs to 4:30 pm with an entry fee of £5.00.