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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Questions for an article


I'm writing an article for about "antique collecting for beginners." If I may, I'd like to ask a few questions for the story (below). If I use your answers in the story, we will reference the name, title and website (if any) you give me.

Thank you for your time,

•   What qualifies something as “antique?”
•   If someone is ready to start collecting antiques, what is the first thing they should know/do?
•   Where are some good places to find antiques?
•   What are some other important things beginners should know about collecting antiques?


My deepest apologies for taking so long with this reply.  The late summer to September transition was a tough one this year.  I will attempt to answer your questions as best I can.

1.  If you ask a "purist", most items would have to be over 100 years old to really be considered "antique".  However, I'm a little more flexible than that given today's changing antique landscape.  I would say most items that are over 50 years old today would generally qualify as "antique" with very few exceptions.

2.  They should know how to do research.  If you want to be good at collecting, you need to know what you are doing and how to find the answers regarding the items you are looking for.  Since we all can't possibly know everything there is about the vast world of antiques, getting questions answered through "thorough" research would be the best advice I could give.

3.  Any antique shop/antique mall you can find, although many are starting to disappear at an alarming rate.  I would also say regional antique shows, antique auctions, the internet (Ebay, Etsy, Ruby Lane, Trocadero, etc.), Craig's list, yard sales and even the classifieds are all viable methods of hunting for antiques.  It mostly depends on what you are looking for.

4.  It's a slow process and take your time.  It's always better to be careful in the beginning and learn as much as you can.  And don't be afraid to make "some" mistakes, as that is part of the learning curve.  Lastly, HAVE FUN.  Collecting is always funand exciting when you enjoy what you are doing.

I really hope this helps Sarah.  If you need any more information, I am always willing to assist and I promise to be more prompt in the future.


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Dennis Wolbach


I endeavor to answer all questions relating to the "identification" of American Art Pottery from the period of roughly 1880 through 1920. I specialize in the area of arts & crafts period pottery but do not limit myself specifically to that time period.


I have 20+ years experience buying, selling and identifying American Art Pottery both on the web, to private clientele and in a brick and mortar shop in Massachusetts.

Masters degree in Education.

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