You know that moment you have when you see something so beautiful that it simply takes your breath away? Well that exact moment, is what we felt when we saw this stunning piece of artwork at a local up and coming antique store. This find was totally unexpected and all that much sweeter because of it!
This original oil painting dates back to 1910 and depicts the most suspicious little boy that we could ever imagine. The richness and complexity of the color palette paired with the ever so regal feeling that this painting depicts is simply what dreams are made of. And frankly, what every art collector hopes to discover hanging in any antique store.
For us, every part of antique art collecting is important. Right down to the chipped frame that comes with the piece. For most of us living in a world of perfectionism, we hardly stop to admire the charm that comes with imperfections on item's that surround us. So instead of trying to 'fix' any piece you are lucky enough to come across - think, how can I best preserve this piece of art. And most often, the answer is to keep it exactly as-is.
For us, the aspect that makes antique art so special is that it often has a story that follows it. Often the owner of the antique store or of the auction house will be able to provide you with context on the past life of your piece. They may share with you highlights of ownership or the details regarding the artistic techniques used or provide context as to the period it was done in. The history and the stories associated with any given piece can increase its monetary value and often if documentation accompanies those stories, it can also substantial increase the desirability for a collector.
Now, not every piece will have a story that makes you stop in your tracks. And most often or not, you will have an antique vendor tell you that not much is known about the origin of the piece. But we've got news for you, THAT'S OK TOO! It's okay for a few reasons - 1) You can always do your own research on the piece - the internet is a magical place these days! 2) You can always consult an appraiser before committing to a more substantial piece if you are unsure and need extra convincing and finally, 3) Let your imagination run wild a little bit.. We rarely get hung up on a 'lack' of context when it comes to original pieces of artwork. Our checklist usually consists of one question, Do we LOVE it? If the answer, is yes then we let the details slide. The truth is, you may not know the history behind the piece but that doesn't mean that it doesn't have one. And it certainly doesn't mean that you can't spend some time exploring what it may have been. Look for hints such as the artist signature and the date on the back of the canvas etc.
At the end of the day, art collectors don't collect to make a profit. Of course, it is possible and very likely with high end pieces that are often acquired through accredited auction houses across the world. However, it is important to remember that art was not made to be an object of speculation per se. The true value of buying and collecting art comes from the enjoyment of having a wonderful piece in your home. And with this type of mindset, you are sure to have your own breath taken away on your next antique art hunt!