Tips for would-be antiques buyers

“Roadshow” hopefuls waited to have items appraised Saturday at the Convention Center.

Brian Feulner for the Boston Globe

“Roadshow” hopefuls waited to have items appraised Saturday at the Convention Center.

Given her experience on “Antiques Roadshow” over the past 12 years, Marsha Bemko has developed a passion for antiques.

“I would not buy a piece of furniture brand new. I can’t imagine doing that anymore,” she said, admitting she did buy new furniture when she first got married. Here are Bemko’s tips for would-be antiques buyers.


Buy what you like.

Buy what you can afford. Don’t buy chipped things. Don’t buy cracked things. Wait until you can buy something in good condition. Even if it’s a $50 glass, you don’t want it chipped or cracked because it’s a value destroyer.

Buy one of a kind. Don’t buy mass-produced items. Unless you’re looking at very old ephemera — things like paper that are meant to be temporary. If you get some ephemera from the late 1800s, maybe it has some value, but for the most part, one-of-a kind objects versus multiples will always be more valuable.

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