Baton Rouge, like most cities, has its share of places to shop for antiques, which can be furniture, farming or kitchen implements and more. Whether you’re an experienced antique shopper, or are new to the hobby, you may find some tips here to make your experience more enjoyable.
Even if you are not really into antiques, one or two can infuse a home with warmth and personal style. Unlike most new furniture, your antique furniture purchases will hold their value and even increase over the years. Antique furniture was built to last, so you should find better materials and a higher-quality construction than in most mass-produced furniture. Additionally, antiques have character and a sense of history.
In order to be an official “antique”, an item must be at least 100 years old. Items younger than that which are at least 20 years old, are called “vintage”. “Collectibles” can be any popular item, regardless of the age, and some collectibles may be vintage while others may be antique.
Besides antique shops, you may want to explore antique “barns” (where several vendors sell together), as well as flea markets, fairs, auctions and estate sales. Sometimes even garage sales can produce treasures. Once you have your eyes open to finding antiques, you may be amazed at the sources you will find.
Watch out for items which present themselves as antiques, but really are not. Some of the phrases that tell you that the item is not an antique are: “In the style of”, “Of the same period” or “Influenced by”. Usually, these items are knockoffs.
Do you know the importance of provenance, which is the place of origin or earliest known history, when it comes to antiques? Provenance is generally provided only for higher-value or rare antiques. It is important to have this documentation if you ever plan to resell the item and it also helps if you want the item insured.
Sometimes the fun of shopping for antiques involves haggling over the price, particularly if you feel it is overpriced. This doesn’t mean you’re cheap. It’s part of the antiquing experience, to find out how low you can get the owner to go. Antique dealers usually build a haggling price into the price of the item, so feel free to haggle.
A good tip for antique shopping is to decide how much you want to spend before you go out shopping. If you see something that interests you, try circling the store again and ask yourself if this is something you will still want in a few weeks. If the answer is “Yes!”, then purchase it.
Sometimes you may fall in love with an impractical antique which may be used only for display. But some antique pieces can be as practical today as they were when they were made.
To get you started, here are a few of the antique dealers in Baton Rouge: