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On the Search for Antique Paintings

If you have ever been faced with the task of decorating a room, then you surely know that a room can't be properly decorated with walls left bare. Having something on the walls really ties rooms together and gives a comfortable, homey feel, rather than an uneasy, prison-like feel. Given the option, I'll always choose the former scenario; however, finding the perfect piece can prove to be challenging. Paintings can get rather pricey, and a lot of the less expensive stock paintings found in department stores are unoriginal and uninteresting. Older paintings are unique and make your room really special; with a little determination they are not too difficult to find.

As with almost anything else, your first stop might be the internet. Websites such as E-bay and Etsy are great options. One major downside of using sites like these to buy your art is that you can't look at it in person first. Try to find trustworthy sellers with good ratings from other buyers. It's a bit more of a gamble, but it's possible to find some great paintings this way.

If you are looking to save money, flea markets, garage sales, and thrift stores can also be great options. The search might be a bit more intensive at these types of places, but it is really worth it if you are able to make a good find. Sometimes people have really valuable antique works without even realizing it, os if you know what to look for you can get great deals.

Finding an art dealer who specializes in antiques is a great way to ensure that your purchase is authentic, though this route will most definitely be the priciest. They will do all of the research on a piece for you, and will be able to give you a more definitive history. Just make sure the dealer is reliable and well-recommended.

Of course you should also know a few tricks to tell a true antique from a fake. First, as an antique buyer you should really examine the painting well. Look at the back of the canvas; it should be dark in color. A lighter color canvas will probably mean that it's a replica. There should be nice texture in the paint, and consistency in age of both the frame and the canvas. Antiques will not have a distinct smell of oil paint, but replicas may because it takes so long for oils to thoroughly dry (WikiHow). Follow these tips, and your collection of beautiful antiques will grow and grow.

Works Cited: "How to Determine if a Painting is an Original or Reproduction." WikiHow. Ed. Ben Rubenstein. WikiHow, n.d. Web. 10 June 2013.

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