Antiques expert says learn before you buy

Gray Boone, editor and publisher of Antique Monthly, says the annual turnover in the art and antiques market in the United States now is almost $8 billion a year.

Mrs. Boone says there are two ways to buy antiques -- with knowledge, and without knowledge. She recommends the former way and says people can learn fast if they will take advantage of the exhibitions, antique shows, museums, conferences, forums, courses, and books and periodicals now available on the subject.

If they want to become truly sophisticated collectors, she points out, they will also learn to pay attention to international economics and check to see how the dollar is valued abroad. They will also watch stock market reports and gold and silver prices.

As to what she feels may be good this year, Mrs. Boone puts 17th-century and early 18th- century English oak, Victorian gold and silver jewelry, folk art, and posters on her list. She believes "19th-century American prints are still the most undervalued area of collecting, with good finds still sometimes available as low as $8 or $12."

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