Antiques, items that are at least 100 years old, appeal to many due to their age, beauty, rarity, and condition. Contrastingly, collectibles are dated less than 100 years old, but still hold much of the same sentimental value. Antiques typically represent an era or time period throughout history, such as the Victorian or Colonial periods.
Because of their age, antiques must be handled with extreme care. They can become brittle or more delicate as the years pass, which is part of what makes them so valuable. Time has a way of ravaging antiques, including maple and teak furniture, and these may need to be repaired or restored. Antique dealers, professionals who buy and sell these items, may provide repair and restoration.
Antiques can include anything from porcelain dolls and office machines to phonographs and typewriters. Furniture, a big part of the antique business, may suffer damage over the years, such as mahogany dressers, solid wood dining tables, pine and ash coffee tables, or cherry end tables. It takes special tools and equipment to achieve, such as cleaning supplies and woodworking tools.
Antique dealers should be skilled at spotting reproductions versus the originals, and they should have a vast knowledge of history. There are many museums, galleries, and antique shops dedicated to preserving anything from oak and pine cabinetry and music boxes to fabric and paintings.
Some conservators specialize in the repair and restoration of antique automobiles, while others focus on the old adding machines and cabinets, formerly a significant staple of offices. From music boxes and phonographs to autos and typewriters, antiques can be restored to their former glory by any skilled professional.
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If you have antiques that are not in the best condition, then you might want to contact an antique repairing and restoring company. Some companies focus on certain types of antiques. They might be experts at restoring antiques with mechanical function like typewriters, adding machines, music boxes, office machines, and phonographs. Others might be experts at solid wood restoration and repair of furniture, tables, cabinetry, and other items that are made of maple, pine, cherry, mahogany, teak, ash, and oak. When you contact the antique restoration and repair company, ask them how long they have been in business. Those with several years of experience should have conservators who can restore and repair your typewriters, phonographs, music boxes, and other wood and mechanical antiques. Ask them if they have a cabinet shop for cleaning, repairing, and making reproductions of your cabinetry. Ask them if they offer written quote services. Once you have talked to several businesses and gathered their quotes you will be able to pick the one that is best for you. Ask them if they guarantee their work so that you will be compensated if they cause further damage to the antiques while trying to repair them. Ask the companies where they are located so that you can visit them to discuss your antiques and show them what needs to be done. Pay close attention to the level of courtesy that companies use when they are answering your questions. You can use this to help you determine how much they really value their customers.