If you have always wanted to find antique bargains that will appreciate in value, these tips to buy antiques from Judith Miller, star of the Antiques Roadshow, will be of great use to you.
“First, decide which rooms you want to furnish,” she says. “Traditionally, you start with reception rooms that people might visit, rather than rooms that only you are going to go into.
“Second, decide on a style before you start. And make sure it is within your price range. There’s no point choosing Chippendale if you can’t afford it.”
Third, and more fundamentally, I need convincing that the antiques route is the right path to pursue. Surely, in the current economic climate, we should be saving money by buying cheap, mass-produced stuff?
“I’d say the reverse was the case, actually,” explains Judith. “We’re in a recession, and having money in the bank is no fun, as interest rates are so low. So instead of buying pieces of furniture that are made of glued-together MDF, and aren’t going to last 10 years, let alone 100, you might as well buy older pieces. They look lovely, will last, and will end up making you a profit.”
It helps, of course, if you know precisely which things are going to increase in value, as opposed to decrease. That’s where Judith comes in. “Twentieth century is very much in vogue and Victorian isn’t,” she declares with total confidence. “I spend a lot of time on the Antiques Roadshow disappointing people with how little their Victorian pieces are worth. Recently, there has been a move against all that 19th-century fussiness.
“Personally, I blame my daughters [aged 30 and 32]. Like so many of their generation, they simply don’t use teapots, or cups and saucers. What appeals to them, when they’re buying antiques, is mid-20th-century modern,” Miller said.