Before buying antiques, check for ‘marks’

Fsp Invest, 24 Jul. 2013

Tags: alternative investments, antiques, mark, why marks on antiques are vital, what a mark tells you, persian carpets

You need to check one crucial factor when you’re looking for alternative investments, be that antiques or art. And that’s the ‘mark’. Whether it’s the maker’s mark or a signature, it’s a vital aspect to check. It can tell you so much about a piece…

Have you ever watched the Antiques Roadshow on BBC?

If you have, you’ll know that one of the first things an appraiser does when he or she first comes across an item is pick it up, turn it over and check for marks.

And we’re not talking about scratches, tears and stains here. We’re talking about the maker’s mark or signature.

Marks can tell you a lot of things about an item.

A mark can tell you three vital things

Here are few of them, explain the research team at The South African Investor
  • If an item is real or fake.
  • When the piece was made – for example a coin will have a mint date on it.
  • Who made it.

You’ve probably noticed signatures in the corners of a painting. But did you know that Persian carpets carry the names of their makers on them too?

Even Persian carpets have a mark

Yes, that’s right, somewhere within every carpets design you’ll be able to find the weaver signature.

It may be small, but next time you walk past a Persian carpet store, go in and ask the dealer about this fascinating feature.

And speaking of carpets, only master weavers can sign their name into the carpet.

If an apprentice or less experienced weaver created your favourite woven masterpiece, you’ll only be able to find the weaver’s initials or signature mark.

So when you buy a new piece to add to your collection, make sure you ask the expert what the mark tells you about your piece.

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