Trash or Treasure at the Galesburg Antique Mall

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Old-fashioned window lettering hints at the treasures waiting within Yesterday's Antiques.

With antiquing, knowledge is power.

And Laura Gibbs-Kirven started her education early. She learned to bid at antique auctions when in the sixth grade.

She now is a certified personal property appraiser and president of the Galesburg Antiques Mall Co., which offers 30,000 square feet of antiques in the Seminary Street Historic Commercial District.

She offers these tips to beginning antique shoppers.

  • Shop reputable places.
  • Collect only what you like and only enough to display and enjoy.
  • Examine condition. Feel for cracks and chips. Even chipped glass can deem something almost worthless.
  • Ask staff to evaluate an antique.
  • Take care of your purchases. For example, protect fine furniture in winter to prevent drying.
  • Some good investments include fine furniture, Americana pieces, Roseville pottery, Indian artifacts and fine quilts.
  • If you want value for your money, consider exquisite textiles or fine jewelry. Often a textile that took 100 hours to complete may cost only $30. Used gold and diamonds can cost much less than new at jewelry stores.

Still don’t know where to start?

An easy way to start your antiquing project is to complete your grandmother’s partial set of dishes or revisit your childhood and try to furnish that old dollhouse in mom’s basement. For many men, antique collections revolve around other interests. Duck decoys and old tools are some favorites among men.

2 Comments

  1. Jack Mulligan

    August 24, 2016 at 9:38 am

    I think it’s a great idea to always examine the condition of any antique you are interested in. I have been trying to get into antiquing and I have bought several items that proved to be worthless because of damage. If you’re shopping an antique mall, it’s always a good idea to go with a friend who can take a second look at what you want to buy for damage. http://www.midtownmercantilemerchants.com/

  2. Luke Smith

    November 9, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Thanks for the advice to shop reputable places for antiques. I imagine reading online reviews and maybe going to a gallery exhibit before buying would be good ways to ensure that the items are good quality. I’ve been thinking of getting into antiquing, and your list will give me the know-how to get started!

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