If you are interested in buying your first expensive antique piece, then you may want to know more about how to buy from an antiques fair or auction.

If the possibility of purchasing your first expensive antique at auction interests you, then you will have to prepare yourself properly beforehand. This should include educating yourself on the antiques field that interests you. You may also consider buying the auction catalogue to find out more about the goods and estimate prices.

Attending the saleroom previews is also a great idea. Such previews, which tend to take place a few days prior to the sale, allow you to have a closer look at the items. You could ask the auctioneer there to give you a condition report for an item if, after viewing, you would still like to buy it. Such a report will have more information about the item. You will need to set yourself a bidding limit ahead of the auction, so it is also well worth asking the auctioneer how much the commission charge is, which could limit the amount that you decide to spend.

During the auction itself, you will need to ensure that you stick to the bidding limit that you have set yourself. When you wish to bid, quickly attract attention by nodding your head or waving your catalogue. The bidding for the item finishes when the auctioneer’s hammer goes down.

Alternatively, you may consider buying your first expensive antique from an antiques fair. A number of different types of antiques fairs exist in the UK. These include vetted fairs where a varied selection of collectibles can usually be found such as textiles, jewellery, ceramics, silver and furniture, in addition to permanent antiques markets. You should arrive early so that you do not miss out on the best items.

If the experience and choice of an antiques fair overwhelms you, you may want to take more time to browse through the stock of an antiques dealer. Many dealers will be happy to arrange a time with you to find out more about their goods at their premises once the event has finished.

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