Collecting antiques is an activity with a quite long-lasting tradition. As a matter of fact, the passion of collecting antique pieces such as archaeological artifacts, sculptures, paintings and gems was already born in the Roman period. But what is meant by antiques? How has collecting changed? How was the figure of the art dealer born?
What are the antiques?
With antiques we refer to objects, furniture and pieces of art that belong to a previous epoch. The term antiques can refer to different categories of objects (books, ceramics, vases), pieces of furniture, paintings and sculptures which have at least one-hundred years. Antique pieces, differently from modern pieces, present a historical-artistic value and an artisan and artistic quality. Often, pieces of furniture or antique objects are rare, precious and important pieces. Items realised by important artisans or artists, with the usage of precious materials and a manufactory of quality.
Collecting antiques, even if differently from how we intend it today, is quite an old passion. As a matter of fact, in the Roman Age already, there is news of important figures buying Classic Greek sculptures even at very high prices. Subsequently, collecting antiques mainly focused on Greek and Latin books and manuscripts. At the end of the 18th century, when the figure of the modern art dealer was born, in bourgeois families it was usual to collect antique pieces: sculptures, paintings, cameos, gems and books. In these years, and then mostly in the 19th and 20th centuries, we witness the development of a type of collecting not only grand anymore.
After a strong passion for antiques in the 20th century, we observed a decrease in research, especially in regard to antique furniture. However, in the last few years, antiques collecting is experiencing a comeback: as a matter of fact, architects and interior designers use antique pieces of furniture and decoration even when furnishing modern environments, creating a personal style, rich in taste and history.
The figure of the art dealer
The term art dealer (in Italian ‘antiquario’) derives from the Latin antiquarius, a lover of classics who mainly dealt with the imperial library; in the Middle Age it was who copied old Greek and Latin manuscripts. From the Renaissance, the art dealer takes on the role of a knower of the antiquities and collector of antique pieces, which he was collecting both for himself and important figures. However, the character of the modern art dealer was born at the end of the 18th century, when the art dealer mainly becomes a retailer of pieces of art that buys and sells sculptures, paintings, objects, furniture and decorations to his clients. The art dealer can deal with various categories of pieces or be specialised in a specific epoch or category.
How to collect antiques
The first step to start an antiques collection is that of frequenting art galleries or antiques shops to get to know the collectors and gallerists’ world. In this way, it is also possible to inform ourselves on the current market of what one desires to collect, not to risk buying objects at a higher value than the real one.
An antiques collection can be eclectic or centred on an epoch, a theme or a specific type of object. Deciding how to create your own collection can thus be another starting point.
Finding an entrusted art dealer is surely important to have a reference point in the market and create an antiques collection of high level. A serious art dealer certainly boasts of various years of experience and guarantees the authenticity and the value of the pieces that are to be bought, thanks to his professionality and knowledge of the market and of the antiques.
Buying antiques from Antichità Giglio represents a certainty both for the quality of the pieces sold and for the guaranteed professionality and availability. Lino Giglio is also a consultant of the Tribunal of Milan and offers thus the conviction of relying on an expert, who guarantees the authenticity and the provenance of the sold pieces. If you wish to buy pieces of art or antiques, visit our online Gallery or come visit us in via Carlo Pisacane, 53 in Milan.