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What to Look for When Buying Icart
You may be reading this as a potential buyer who is window shopping, someone who just inheritied an Icart, or someone who is simply interested in Icart. Here are some tips on how to buy, sell, and get information. There are modern reproductions and modern fakes. How do you tell the difference? I break the main points of interest into the topics listed below and show illustrations to help you understand what you need to know. My wife's mother bought a Icart etching in 1930 from Hudson's Department store in Detroit and it hung in my wife's bedroom while she grew up, so I guess we started as collectors. Eventually, we became dealers, so I offer perspection from both points of view. First, educate yourself. There are many good references on Icart that are fun and easy reading that will help you understand what you are getting into.
AuthenticityYou can buy Icarts from dealers in store and on-line, at major auction houses, regional auction houses, liquidator auctions, antique stores or shows, on line auctions like eBay, estate sales, and probably still at garage sales. How do you know if what you are buying is authentic or is a modern reproduction or an outright fake? Click here for images and further discussion.
Value &ConditionNot all works that are now 50 to 90 years old are in A+ condition. I'm sorry, it just doesn't work that way. In fact, they didn't all start off in A+ condition and in some cases, it is best they aren't. But how do you tell what the condition is now, and perhaps more importantly, what the condition was. Dealers buy works that are not in mint condition and part of their mark-up lies in their knowledge of how to correct the natural aging process though conservation, or cover-up the flaws through restoration. A dealer who advertises he sells low because he buys low must think buyers are fools. Do you think dealers buy high and sell low. No, a dealer can buy low if a work is in poor condition, if he is lucky, has good connections, and if he spends a lot of time looking for works to buy. If a dealer buys a work in poor condition and fixes it up to sell it at a "low" price, you should know what to look for. Click here for more information.
How Not to Get TakenProbably this is what you were looking for in the first place, but you need to read the above three sections first to appreciate some of the comments I make in this section. Some people put the customer first and provide a complete description of what you are buying. Others very knowingly cover up things they believe the common buyer will never figure out, don't volunteer anything, but still stand by their work because they hope you will never figure out what they did, and some people just aren't expert enough to provide full disclosue. Click here for more information.
PriceThere are several references that give prices for works by Icart. If you are interested in pricing please check with those sources. What those prices mean is to be taken at the reader's discretion. Prices depend on confidence of authenticity, condition, and the current market. If you buy from a dealer, you will likely pay more than if you buy on eBay. Of course, if the dealer is reputible, you will know what you are buying, will get a complete disclosue of all of the points I list above, you will get a full return policy, a certificate of authenticity, and perhaps even the provenance of the work. Dealers make money through their knowledge, experience and the fact that they may have a certain work in their inventory that isn't available anywhere else. Click here to find more about pricing.