Looking For The Perfect Doll Tea Set
There is a wide range of collectible miniature items associated with tea time. One of the most popular is the children's doll tea set. Some of these miniatures even come from the actual era when tea was a very valuable commodity. The value of a miniature tea set often depends on the uniqueness and exquisiteness of the decoration as well as the type of materials used in making the individual pieces. Just like any other collectible items, miniature tea sets are considered more valuable when they come in their original packaging and are in mint condition with each piece still undamaged. Only the very rare sets retain a high value even with a bit of damage.
Many antique enthusiasts, Lewis Carroll fans, and dollhouse collectors decide to collect miniature tea sets. If you are planning to go this route as well, then you would be pleased to know that these collectibles are not very difficult to find. You may search for them in online auction sites or even in your neighbor's garage sale. Here are some of the most effective ways for you to hunt for the perfect addition to your tea set collection.
Look around your neighborhood for a chance to get lucky at a yard sale or two. Yard sales often yield a nice doll tea set that may have been hidden away in the attic for years. Even if you do not find a set in a yard sale, a neighbor just might be able to give you a tip on where you can find one. On your lucky day you may even come across a vintage set that just came out of someone's basement and right into your collection. You may also visit auctions and estate sales, events that usually turn up some very interesting collectible items.
If the weather does not permit you to go out looking for the perfect tea set for your collection, you can still search for it in the comfort of your own home. Browse through online forums where collectors often compare notes. Check out what they are saying about their purchases. One of them may somehow say something to point you in the right direction. Specialty online sites are also good places to search for collectibles. If you know the names of miniature tea set makers, then you can also conduct an online search by name. This is very easy to do since tea sets are often referenced according to maker and origin just like other collectible items.
When you find a tea set that catches your attention, you will need to evaluate its worth before actually buying it. In making an evaluation, there are questions that you need to ask. Find out if all the pieces are still intact. If not, find out which piece is missing. A complete set is a lot more valuable, of course, but you may still consider buying an incomplete set as long as the missing piece is not central to the set's theme. You also need to ask if the set is still in its original packaging and check the condition of the packaging. The packaging's condition is almost as important as the set's condition. In fact, original packaging in mint condition often commands a steeper price.
Does the set come with documentation such as a Certificate of Authenticity? Is it signed by the maker or any important figure in history? These pieces of documentation, signatures, and other special marks also add to a collectible's value. But, whether they have documentation and identifying marks or not, you need to make sure that a doll tea set sold as an antique is indeed one. After all, you wouldn't want to pay more than what is necessary. If you are not very familiar with how a true antique looks, you may check the seller's credentials or ask for the assistance of a professional.