Everyone likes a good antique

Decor

Everyone likes a good antique

 Combine an antique piece of furniture or art with a modern ambience to create a great effect. Photos by the author

Everyone loves a beautiful antique. Antiques and collectibles can be bought for investment and then stowed away carefully or be used for display as home décor. By definition, an antique is a piece that has been stored or preserved for at least 100 years.
  
However, purchasing one isn’t that easy. That is because it takes expertise to be able to tell a real antique from the item merely posing as one.

It needs years of experience before a person can tell the real one from the pretender or the look-alike. 

And even then, there are experts who will tell you that they had days when they were fooled.

So, be very careful when buying one and consult a reliable expert and even then don’t buy in haste, and preferably get a second opinion too.

Another option is to buy one from a trusted friend or relative especially when you have seen that item lying around for years. Maybe you are lucky enough to have inherited an antique from your parents/grandparents.  Often, an object would have just been an old piece with your elders and became an antique in the time you took to grow up and then inherited it.

Check out old church sales

Besides reliable antique dealers, private sellers, and your elders who gifted one to you, another source of antiques are sales that happen at old churches, dilapidated temples or private homes where you can pick up items, and then bring them home and restore them so they are fit for use.

An auction is another place to pick up an antique though you must know all the rules of bidding before you venture to participate in one.  All antiques are generally expensive and also need careful maintenance.

Though one can talk appraisal and values, ultimately an antique––any item in fact––is worth what the buyer is willing to pay for it. That is what ultimately decides the price tag.

However, it takes much effort to restore an antique to the point where it is fit for display and also capable of standing up to further storage/preservation. Again, you need expert help in this matter as objects which date back to a century or more are susceptible to damage by wrong handling.

Classic interior themes

Antique pieces go well in homes which have classic or old-fashioned architectural and/or interior-design themes.

Interior-designers say they sometimes begin with such a theme right from the architectural stage and at other times, they get requests from clients to add as many antiques to the interiors as possible and that could include not only furniture and artifacts, but also doors and windows including handles and knobs etc.

Paintings, tapestries, four-poster beds, sofas, consoles, dining and study tables besides artifacts are popular choices for those looking to add the antique look to their homes.

Combination

Sometimes, a modern piece of furniture could be combined with an antique piece.  Software engineer couple Ramesh and Ananya Dasgupta have three large central tables in their drawing-room, library and verandah. The central tables have a modern granite, wood and wood-and-glass-top respectively, but supported by the lower half of stone pillars from an old temple.

Restored stained-glass panels from old churches add a touch of the classic in the home of businessman Keith Nazareth and wife Neeraja.

Yalis, four-poster beds...

Sometimes, an antique half-capital is converted into a console which in turn supports a variety of antique décor pieces. In the home of cricket coach Venkatesh Prasad and Jayanti, you find a striking use of antique objects and one example is the puja room with an arch fitted with antique wooden yalis as in temple-tradition.

Ruchi Reddy has a complete antique-theme master bedroom beginning with a large, antique four-poster wooden bed with various designs etched on its head-side and pretty tiles with floral designs too on it. These are teamed with antique rosewood cupboards and sidetables with brass handles.

All these were purchased at sales or from antique dealers’ stores but the artifacts placed on it and in the rest of the house like brass and copper urns and statuettes were inherited by her.

Antique tapestries are harder to come by but the exquisite handmade ones are eyecatching wherever they are placed and generally, they are encased in glass given how susceptible they are to damage from dust and atmospheric pollution in general.

Finally, don’t despair if you aren’t lucky enough to have inherited an antique or can afford to purchase one but still want the antique look. There are plenty of furniture designers and craftsmen who make modern pieces in typically antique design. 

Or you can commission a look-alike by giving these makers a look at the antiques in a friend’s house, as marketing professional S Kiran Kumar while also asking for small modifications in those designs. 

Now his friend jokes that Kiran’s look-alikes look more like the real thing than his own genuine antiques!

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