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How do you determine condition?

by DAKOTApaul on December 16, 2009 · 0 comments

As you go about finding a rarity of interest to you 鈥?whether it is a Lionel Train or a cast iron automotive toy 鈥?the main component to its current value is what we call the condition of the object.

Condition is related to how closely the antique, in its current form, resembles its original state when manufactured. It鈥檚 a comparison, or rating of the piece to its original state.

Now, of course you ask, how do I know what it looked like originally? Well, a lot of this comes from experience in seeing the object as close to its original state, and then being able to compare the difference in other pieces you see. You can also get books and other reference materials that will show pictures, and give details of what the piece originally looked like. I have used both methods.

I also go to auctions, to toy shows, to flea markets, and meet up with other collectors to view their collections. Joining clubs and going to the annual meetings, where they offer tours of peoples homes with outstanding collections, is also a great way to see some truly outstanding examples of antiques.

Attend a well known auction house, and make sure to spend as much time at the preview. There you can get wonderful close-up views of many nice antiques. Talk to the people around you. Ask questions to the auction house. All this will give you a closer idea of its condition.

I also use reference books. In the coming weeks I will be outlining some of the books I use. However, what ever you collect, there are probably some great reference books available. Do a Google search 鈥?go the web sites 鈥?spend a lot of time on eBay. With all these searches you will begin to see the various states of condition, and be a better judge yourself of your rarities condition. Please leave a comment below, and let me know how you determine condition.

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