Antique Classics 

58 Pulaski Street, Building 2, 3rd Floor

Peabody MA 01960

(603) 785-5287

2016      Antique Classics. 


Don't Pay More for Reproductions

June 3, 2016



It is always good to know value of anything you buy used, unfortunately there is not a price guide and people that use Ebay as a guide usually end up paying too much! There are some ways to estimate "what is a fair price". Take the prices from discount stores and see what they are asking for cheap reproductions and assume you can buy the original for less if you shop anywhere near the City of Boston. You might assume that everything in Boston is more expensive than outlying areas but when it comes to vintage and antique used items it is best to shop where the supply is more than the demand.


There is simple logic to understand why prices are low near Boston. The first reason is population. There are and there has always been more people living in the Boston area so there were more consumers. Malls have drawn people away from the city leaving vintage and antique items with few buyers. The most logical reason is simply because we believe that original items cost more than reproductions so we don't seek them out leaving them for the informed buyer. But even the informed buyer can't buy the huge supply that is available. Here are some items that are always in large supply and cheap if you just stop and use your own logic - mirrors, lamps, and picture frames: Mirrors are always expensive to buy new and new is usually a high priced reproduction. Old mirrors may be dirty and might need some repair but they are easy to restore and cheap if you use the free information on the internet. When children grow up in the family home and then move out, they rarely take the mirrors, lamps, and pictures with them. Early homes which include most of the homes in the Boston area and nearby cities and towns are over 100 years old - the lamps that look good in these homes may not look the same in a modern home or condo, but some simple changes in the shade or base and these are quickly a better buy than the lamps that are imported. It seems that even old lamps don't get thrown away because old lamps still work and New Englanders seldom throw out anything that still works.


Lastly it was common practice to have favorite photos put in picture frames. Old picture frames were made with real wood and quality metal. Plastic wasn't invented yet for commercial mass production. Old art was often black and white prints and are often found water damaged from being stored in the basement or garage, but old wood frames usually just need a good cleaning and polishing to look far better than artificial wood and plastic frames. Visit your childhood home or a friends childhood home and take notice of the amount of mirrors, lamps, and things in frames and then think about the number of people still living in the house. There are far more mirrors than are used, far more lamps that rarely get turned on, and the number of framed items are everywhere. Ultimately these huge hoards come to market and they create a large supply of original items. Don't pay more for reproductions when originals are available for less money.


                                                                                     ~ Jim O'Connell, Antique Classics


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