When buying and selling antiques, there are many antique and vintage categories from which to choose. In my antique business, I’m always on a quest to find unique items, of any category, as my customer base is quite diversified.
If you are considering the start of your own antique business – and if you are looking for a niche to focus in – I recommend looking at the options for architectural antiques. Over the course of several years, I’ve seen this category of antiques flourish in my business and, as a result, it may be a lucrative opportunity for a new antique dealer.
What are Architectural Antiques?
The term “architectural antiques” is a broad category that includes an array of items from wrought iron to pedestals, from water fountains to statues. Essentially, any old piece of décor – used indoor or outdoor – can be classified as an architectural antique if it is old, and if it adds to the character of the structure in which it is placed.
What Time Period is Most Sought?
In most cases, the classification of architectural antiques will hone in on the niche found in English and Italian manufactures from the 19th century. In recent months, I’ve also noticed that French design is taking off. To become familiar with these types of antiques, one only has to take a look at the various photographs and period movies that encompass 19th century England, France and Italy.
Collecting architectural antiques can be a great way for a beginning antique dealer to get started as there are very few dealers who specialize in this niche. Additionally, because these antiques can be used for indoor and outdoor decorating, they are often sought after by interior decorators, designers and artists. This, in turn, can lead to a very lucrative business opportunity.
Challenges in Collecting
Space will be the biggest challenge facing anyone who engages in architectural antiques. Space for storing and space for retailing the collections can be quite cumbersome. So, before starting in this niche, be sure you have the square footage needed to keep the items in proper condition and temperature controls.
When starting an antique business, architectural antiques may be a good starting point. Be sure to focus on specific makers and manufactures, in the right time period, and you’ll find that many professionals and home owners will be knocking at your door to purchase your finds. Specializing in a particular area will give you the start you need, and then you can boost your collection and investing into other items of interest.
What Are Architectural Antiques?
Buildings of the 19th Century
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