Antiques dealers, like Gillian Dillon, owner of Dillon & Company in Plymouth, say only make purchases from reputable shops.
The phrase “one man’s trash is another’s treasure” especially rings true for shoppers of antiques.
“You can find things that are unique and different,” said Les Moloneaux, owner of the North River Antiques Center in Pembroke, Mass. “You can find furniture that is hand-crafted that will last.”
The North River Antiques Center and similar shops have a varied assortment of collectibles, from dollar books to furniture and pottery to priceless paintings. North River specializes in wares from Dorchester Pottery Works, books and art by local artists.
“I’ve had someone come and look at a nice piece of Dorchester Pottery five or six times, and when they finally came to buy it, it was gone,” Moloneaux said. “If you find something that is unusual or rare and you want it, then you should buy it.”
Some antiques dealers offer replicas for customers who would like an antique feel without fear of a piece breaking.
“We have exact replicas of original pieces … and we also do newly designed pieces based on traditional styles with a more modern take, usually with an antique finish,” said Gillian Dillon, owner of Dillon & Company in Plymouth, Mass. “To most people, it doesn’t matter if it is a real antique or not, as long as they love it and the price is right.”
Prices can range dramatically: Dillon’s store has accessories and furniture ranging from $100 to $7,000, while used books at North River can cost as little as a dollar.
For novice shoppers of antiques, it is important to purchase from trusted antiques dealers to ensure your pre-war china wasn’t made last week.
“Even people who have been in the trade for years and years and years can be fooled,” Dillon said. “It’s just trusting the person that you’re buying it from.”
Patriot Ledger writer Lana Lagomarsini may be reached at email@example.com.
Antique Furniture Care
- Don't over polish. The idea that older wood dries out more and therefore needs polishing more often is a myth.
- Don't place your antique next to a heat source. The culprit of dried-out wood is the environment, so steer your antique clear of the stove, radiator or fireplace.
- Do wax your wood. The best way to maintain a finish is through high-quality paste wax, and to dust regularly with a soft, lint-free cloth. Any spills? Blot them up as quickly as possible.
- Do ask an expert. If you want to refinish or refurbish your antique, it is best to consult an expert before trying to do it yourself.