Shopping For Others Who Collect Antiques

Having a friend or family member who collects antiques in general or specific pieces can be great for holiday or special occasion shopping. There's never a question what he or she might want, but there are concerns about buying pieces they may not like. There are tricks and tips for cutting down on bad buys, however.

If you want to make sure your gift is one that will make your friend or loved one oh and ah, try these things:

* Before shopping, examine their collection, if possible. Take note of any distinguishing features and ask questions. Show an interest in the collection to learn more about why he or she collects and what, in particular, they might be looking for to round out the collection. * Pay attention to auxiliary items that might help with the collection. If your special someone collects art, for example, maybe gallery lights or an antique frame would be in order? If they collect rare teddy bears, maybe a special display case or box for a particularly rare item would be absolutely perfect. * Make a note of the time period/style collected. If your friend collects hand-painted flower vases from the 19th century, don't buy her a vase made yesterday. She might appreciate it, but it won't help complete the collection. The extra step to find a piece that fits the collection will be greatly appreciated, too. * Look for rare and unusual pieces. If your wife collects hand-made dolls, check online and in shops for something that would go with her collection that she doesn't have already. Maybe she has quite a bit of European dolls and maybe even some from early America, but no handmade Native American pieces.

If careful consideration goes into the purchase, you are more than likely to make the find of a lifetime for your friend's collection. Be certain you have a good general idea of what you're looking for and check antique shops, garage sales and even online auctions for the right pieces to compliment the collection. Remember though that not all like items are collectible. For example, if your grandmother collects antique dog figurines, don't just pick up a dog statute at the local department store.

Ask a few questions of the collector, keep your eyes open and shop around and you'll be the one bringing the present to the party that nets the biggest gasps.

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