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An introduction to collecting antique vases

Collecting antiques is a hobby that many do for pleasure and investment purposes. The right glass vase can be worth a fortune to the right buyer. For someone new to collecting antique vases, the first thing to learn about is value.

Assessing antique vase value

Age Age is important, but it is not necessarily the main factor in determining the value of any antique. However, age combined with other factors determines the true value of any piece. Some period pieces bring in more money, depending on how old they are, whilst others don’t. One example of this is Depression-era glassware. It is fragile, rare, and so very hard to collect. Although not the oldest glassware out there, it can still be one of the most valuable pieces. Purpose The purpose of any glass, pottery, or ceramic vase is another influencing factor in value. The more unique and unusual the purpose, the more value it may bring in. Antique flower vases usually don’t hold as much value as a unique ladies' spittoon or cremation vase. Quantity Mass produced vases, such as ones in department stores, generally are not worth much, even with age. This is especially true if the manufacturer is still producing vases and glassware. However, vases of limited editions made by manufacturers who are no longer around, or by single artisans, may hold a high value. One rule that many people follow is that the fewer the number of vases made, the rarer it is, therefore the more valuable it probably is. Condition Condition is one of the most important factors in antique vase collecting. It doesn’t matter what antique markings it has if it is in broken, poor condition. A whole, unbroken vase in good or great condition is worth more than a vase that has a piece missing or glued back together, or even a crack in it. Markings Maker’s marks and manufacturers markings are very important in determining value. Despite how gorgeous, old, or rare a vase may be, if it does not have antique markings to determine who made it, it may be worthless. Markings tell you who made the vase so as to verify its authenticity. Along with the manufacturer’s name, the year or other identifying traits can enforce its authenticity and value.

Collecting tips

-If you are collecting for investment purposes, always have your pieces appraised by a professional.
- The easiest way to start a collection is by choosing an historical era or a type of vase to collect.
- Never buy a vase sight unseen or without a return policy. It is easy to use techniques to make ordinary vases appear antique. Always protect yourself before buying.

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