Blog by Dr. Lori

3 Repairing Tips for Antiques

by Dr. Lori Verderame
3 Repairing Tips for Antiques

So you have a broken antique Windsor chair or cracked Hummel figurine and you want to know if you should repair it or not. That is a good question. Here are three tips when it comes to repairing or restoring an antique, painting, print or other work of art. Remember that antiques are one of a kind, so you are taking a risk if you don’t follow these three repairing tips before you repair it.

1. Get an Appraisal First

Before you embark on any repair of a work of art, antique, or collectible, you need an appraisal first. Why? Because you want to know the value of your antique or Duncan Phyfe Furniture before you spend money to repair it. Also, you want to know the value of your antique before you repair it in order to evaluate whether or not the cost of the repair is justified. That stained glass window may not be worth repairing if the cost of the repair far exceeds the true market value of the it.

You don’t want to pay a lot more for the repair or restoration of the antique only to find out that it is not worth it. Plus, an appraisal is needed so you know how much to insure the piece for while it is being repaired. Bring your damaged piece to one of my antiques appraisal events. I can value your antique and offer my opinion on repair options specific to your piece and how to best proceed.

2. Get your Antique Insured

Pitcher

Many people just assume that an antiques restorer or repair person will protect your valuable antique or artwork with insurance coverage while it is being repaired in their shop. Many restorers do not carry such insurance coverage while repairing valuable antiques in their shop. This is a question you must ask of your restorer before you agree to have him or her work on your piece.

What if there is a fire or a flood at the restoration shop which damages your piece? What if the restorer damages your valuable Meissen porcelain piece unexpectedly and it cannot be repaired? What if the repair requires your antique to be transported to another specialty facility for repair and it is damaged in transit? These are important considerations to make before you leave your valuable artwork, antique, heirloom, or collectible with the repair person or the professional restorer.

3. Repair will Affect Value

Many people regularly ask me, If I get my piece repaired or restored will its value change? Yes. Any time you alter a piece, you may alter its value too. Sure, a repaired needlework sampler could change the antique’s value for the better, increasing its value from the value of a damaged piece to the value of a repaired antique. Also, it could change the value of your repaired antique sampler for the worse if the restorer does a poor job of restoring the piece or damages the piece in some way. However you have your work of art or antique restored, the value will change.

Whenever you have a piece of art, Rembrandt print or a Steiff teddy bear that requires repair, be sure to investigate the restorer and check his or her references. Ask for a firm price for the repair work before you agree to let him or her touch your piece. Review many before and after photographs to show proof of their skill set to fix your valuable antique or Eastlake furniture and information about assessing how good his or her work looks and stands up in the long term. You can always contact us to help.

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