Is It Really Vintage?

I decided to write this post after taking part in a forum discussion on ArtFire about the listing of vintage items for sale with little or no information to verify authenticity. The identification of vintage items is not a science. Oh, it's easy if a manufacturers mark, copyright or item name is found on a piece, but what if there's no information to be found? That's when the research begins - on the internet, in books, and through experts or appraisers. Often, however, there IS NO information to be found on a particular item. In that case, we just have to go by our gut instinct and other comparable items that are up for sale. Examining style, wear, patina, quality of workmanship, what substance a piece is made of, etc usually give an accurate picture of age. But even appraisers can be fooled and sometimes don't agree on things. As for vintage pricing, an item is only worth what someone is willing to pay. So if we have something without much factual information, it should be offered it at a price we think is reasonable and comparable to similar items. It often happens that we sell an item for much less than it is worth (just happened to me!) but that's all part of the business. Vintage is a variable market. Prices change all the time. We just do the best we can.