Category Archives: Abbey Group

Strategies For Doing Well At Antique Furniture Auctions

By: Guilherme Nicholas

Nothing beats the excitement of an auction room. The atmosphere is thrilling and excitement is in the air. The scene can also be intimidating, especially for newbies. If you want to take the plunge at an antiques auction but don’t feel confident, read on to learn how to win and feel confident at your first auction.

One of the first keys to doing well at an auction is being prepared. You will want to take a look at the auction before you even think about bidding. Go for a viewing before the day of the auction if you can. While this will take time, you will be prepared on the actual day and you will perform better.

When you are looking at items, don’t rush and be sure to take notes on any pieces that interest you. Make a plan. You can even take a piece of paper and map out a route so you aren’t just wandering around the auction wasting precious time. Not being prepared could cost you a bargain.

Get a copy of the catalogue and check off any pieces you are interested in. You could try color coding your marks. Green marks for items you are serious about and yellow marks for things you don’t want. Red marks can be used for items that are a definite no. To avoid overbidding in the heat of the moment write down the top price of what you are willing to pay. No mater how intense you feel at the moment, stop bidding when this price is reached. Some people get carried away by passion at auctions and don’t think with their heads. They end up paying more than the item is worth!

Everything is sold as is at an auction and it is important to examine each piece very carefully to make sure there aren’t any flaws. You might even want to bring a magnifying glass so you can look carefully for any serious flaws like tears, cracks, or scratches. Be extra vigilant if you are buying a box of something because the broken pieces often end up on the bottom. While you explore the auction be sure to check under tables because sometimes pieces are hiding there.

If you are planning on bidding on furniture you need to know the right way to inspect it so you don’t end up with flawed pieces. First, you want to check out the back and underside of the piece. Look for wood worm, damage, and bad repairs. Open drawers and look for dovetail joints and look underneath to find out the name of the maker.

If you are buying glass or china, look for cracks and chips. Tap the piece and if you hear a clunk, the piece could have a hairline crack. If the piece you are interested in is small, it might not be out on the floor. Ask the auctioneer if you can view the pieces. Ask if there is a reserve price because if that price isn’t met, you can’t buy that piece.

Stay in control in the sale room. Your adrenaline will be pumping and it is hard not to be affected by the frenetic vibe. Do your best to stay calm. Scan the room to see who your competitors are. Here is a trick that the auctioneers often pull to drive the prices up higher. They will pretend to accept a bid even though no bid has been placed. To avoid getting taken by this don’t go beyond the price you wrote down in the catalog.

Above all, have fun. Attending an auction is an experience and it just takes a few visits to get a feel for how it works. Soon you will know what you want to bid on and you will know what price you want to bid.

Simple Guide To Antique Fairs In The UK

By: Michael D Beckwith

Television has given new life to the world of antiques. A slump in the trade during the 90s and early 2000s nearly put some of the biggest antiques dealers out of business. However hit television shows such as Bargain Hunt, Antiques Roadshow and many others, the antiques business has been booming, with no signs of slowing down.

If you are looking to find a hidden gem or bargain antique treasure, there are many antique markets and fairs all over Essex and the rest of the UK. However if you want to save time (and petrol), you should know which ones are the best of the best.

Here are a few of the very best antique fairs the United Kingdom has to offer.

Sunbury Antique Market

This antiques fair attracts a great array of goods and is attended by people from within the UK as well as the European continent. You can find goods ranging from vintage to rustic and antique, all contained a short distance from London and the Kempton racecourse.

This bustling fair often holds a few surprises. You can often find unusual furniture pieces for sale, adding to the event’s appeal.

Ardingly International Antiques & Collectors Fair

One of the top antique fairs in all of England, the Ardingly fair is definitely one that should be on your list. Because of its proximity to the English Channel, this fair attracts attendees from all over the United Kingdom as well as Europe, Africa, and even Asia.

Collectors of fine or traditional furniture, china, glass and silver will be able to find treasures, available in styles from primitive and rustic to industrial. It also has a bustling trade in smaller collectibles, such as postcards, coins, and stamps.

Newark International Antiques & Collectors Fair

This long-standing fair is one of the largest in the country. In fact, the Newark International Fair is listed in the popular book “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.” The Newark fair houses an immense variety of items, and no matter what you collect, you can probably find it here. The sellers and the buyers hail from around the world, giving this fair an eclectic and lively feel.

Whether you are looking for glassware, china, paintings, jewellery, rustic or fine antiques, stained glass or even industrial antiques, you will likely find what you are looking for. The range of items is huge, and they are almost always high in quality with knowledgeable folks on both the selling and buying crowds.

The Malvern Flea Market & Collectors Fair

The final antique market on this list is thesprawling Malvern Fair, located in Worcestershire. This market has been described as everything from “hodge-podge” to “random,” however that is one of its greatest appeals. You will find fine china next to fishing gear, and agricultural tools near ceramics and even taxidermy.

In addition to the collectibles and other antiques, this fair has a more rural feel to it, with vendors offering an array of homemade pickles, jams, chutneys and other such goodies.

You will find a central exhibition hall, along with many interconnected sheds and stalls on the perimeter, however make sure you allow enough time to thoroughly explore every part of this eclectic market and root around for hidden gems and treasures.

How To Buy Antique Furniture At Auction

By: Michael D Beckwith

The auction room is without a doubt one of the most exciting and thrilling places to be. For the first timer, this can be a really daunting place. If you are first time buyer at an auction, then this guide should help you ease into the auction environment when looking to buy antique furniture. Many antique pieces of furniture may need restoration – companies like Abbey Group can help with that.

What should you do?

The most important thing to do before making any bids at an auction is doing some research in advance. If possible, make plans to view the available auction options before the auction day. While this will cost you both money and time, it may keep you from making costly mistakes on the day.

When inspecting the items on auction, do not be in a hurry. Take note of any items that you consider worth buying and write them down. As there probably will be lots of stuff on auction in different lots, it is advisable that you plan a route to take around them instead of wandering about aimlessly. This will keep you from wasting precious time and may present you with an opportunity of finding great bargains.

Do I have antiques?

It would also be advisable that you buy a catalogue. Go through it and mark any items that interest you. In this instance, a coding system would work well – mark any items that you have serious interest in. As for items that ‘could be’ of interest, mark them with a question mark and cross off all items that are of no interest to you. You should consider writing down the highest price you are willing to pay – this may help you to refrain from making overly-enthusiastic bids when the auction commences.

At auctions, all things are sold as they are. As such it is important that you carefully examine any pieces you consider buying. Carry with you a magnifying glass so that you can closely examine items for cracks, scratches and tears. In the event you are buying a box full of items, carefully go through the contents to make sure that there aren’t any broken pieces inconspicuously hidden at the bottom.

When looking around, take time to look under the tables as there may be stowed pieces. Also, it is important that you be very inquisitive – you may end up missing on a great bargain if you are not aware of what is on offer.

When it comes to inspecting antique furniture at any auction, there are a few rules that you need to consider following up on:

Inspect the furniture’s back and underside for damages, obvious repairs or wood worms.
Check if the drawers have dovetail joints.
Look for a maker’s nameplate – this is often placed on the underside of the piece of antique or furniture.
As for glass and china, check for cracks and chips. If you tap a chamberpot or vase and it produces a ‘clunky’ sound, it is possible that it has a hairline crack.

Often, there are items that will be missing at the sale preview. Mostly this is because they are very small and could easily be stolen. As such, when going to a sale preview, consider asking the auctioneer or his assistant if you could view such. If you come across an item with a reserve price on it – meaning that the item has been tagged at a certain price that if not reached, the seller will withdraw the item – consider getting more information about it to know if it something worth bidding on.

It’s the big day..

On the auction day, have in mind that auctions can be quite exhilarating, and if not careful, the adrenalin may take you over. Try your best to remain calm when bidding and look around to know your potential competitors. Often, auctioneers employ a practice called ‘bidding-off-the-chandelier’ or ‘bidding-off-the-wall’. This is where they pretend to accept bids just to drive the bidding price up. Beware of this trick. Have a specific price in your head and stick to it. Do not let this leading trick fool you into making bids higher than your budget.

Finally, do not be too uptight, enjoy the experience and learn from it. Few visits to different auctions will help you build up your bidding confidence and will leave you more knowledgeable about what to bid on, how to bid for it and at what price.

Finding Treasure At Antique Fairs

By: Guilherme Nicholas

The antiques business is making a big comeback thanks to shows like Antiques Roadshow, Bargain Hunt, and other reality shows that feature people finding and selling collectibles, vintage items, and furniture. These shows have made people excited about collecting because people never know what they are going to find, and that treasure that cost a few pounds could really be worth a fortune. In fact, these shows have breathed new life into the industry.

The best way to find that potential treasure is to visit as many antique markets or fairs that you have time for. You can often find treasures for a few pounds if you take your time and have an eye for what to look for. The key is to visit the right fairs. You don’t want to waste your time shopping at fairs that don’t have much to offer. Read on to learn the best antique fairs in the UK.

Newark International Antiques and Collectors Fair

This fair has been around for a long time and it is also one of the biggest fairs in the UK. The Newark International Antiques and Collectors fair is featured in the book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. This massive fair has items that will suit the taste of any collector. People sell here from all over the world and visitors flock from all over the world as well. This adds to the excitement of the fair. You will find, silver, artwork, jewellery, china, antiques and more. Most of the items at this fair are high quality and the fair draws people who have some knowledge of antiques.

Sunbury Antiques Market

The Sunbury market has a wide range of goods from vintage to antique. People attend this fair from all over the UK. A big plus of this fair is that it is easy to get to from London. It is held in Kempton hall which is a lovely venue.
This fair is busy and you can often find a few surprises to add value to your collection. Unusual and rare pieces tend to pop up at this fair which adds to the appeal of it.

Ardingly International Antiques and Collectors Fair

If you are looking for vintage and antique, you won’t want to miss Ardingly. This is one of the top fairs in England. Sellers come from all across the UK, and you will also find sellers from as far away as Africa. As this fair is close to the Channel, it is easier for foreign sellers.

You will find fine furniture, antiques, glass, china, and a range of vintage and industrial items that appeal to just about any collector. You can also find paper collectibles like postcards and stamps. You will even find coins.

The Malvern Flea and Collectors Fair

This fair is both casual and huge. It takes place in Worcestershire and some people feel that the fair is hodge-podge. That is the appeal for many people, because you can find just about anything. The atmosphere is more like a flea market and the prices reflect that. You will find fine china next to old tools, and antiques next to old spoons. You never know what treasure you will find here. The fair has the atmosphere of a small town market as well because you can find people selling jams and other foods. The fair has a main hall and also takes place in sheds and stalls around the hall. This is the sort of fair where you can find something valuable if you just take the time to poke around.