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An Insider’s Guide to Shopping for Antiques in Santa Monica

The real pleasure of walking into an antique store in Santa Monica is not just the treasure of unique furniture, art, and glassware you’ll discover, but also the overwhelming feeling of being engulfed by history. 

Some find it comforting to surround themselves with things of great value preserved over time. For others, a visit to an antique store is a sentimental journey because it brings back memories of earlier decades, in many cases going back to childhood. 

When you walk into an antique shop, you feel as if you’re transported back in time, often decades, sometimes centuries.  If you pick up anything–perhaps a musty, hardcover book or a piece of antediluvian jewelry–you can almost feel the weight of bygone eras bearing down on your hand.

If you’re an antique lover, then you know that the real treasures are hidden in small, out-of-the-way shops. And if you live in Santa Monica, then you already know that this seaside city has some of the most fascinating antique shops in the country.

Antiques Worth Collecting

Various kinds of collectible antiques are available. Some people focus on an era, such as the Victorian era, while others prefer interior design pieces like furniture, art, or pottery.

Ultimately, the best way to decide which antiques are worth collecting is to follow your heart and your gut. If you are drawn to a particular type of antique, then it is probably worth collecting things that will increase in value over time.

Here, for example, are a few kinds of antiques that you might enjoy collecting:

1. Diverse Types of Antique Music Boxes: The most charming collection to start with may be antique music boxes. When you walk into an antique shop, you might stumble upon a famous antique music box. These make excellent gifts. For example, one that contains a nostalgic lullaby can be an ideal gift for a loved one, reminding them of an earlier, more carefree time.

2. Vintage Furniture: If you do your research and are patient, you may find some beautiful pieces at reasonable prices. Quality furniture can be quite expensive, but if properly maintained, will appreciate over time.

3. Inspiring Art: This is another aesthetic option for collectors. Remember, though, that not all art is created equal, and it’s hard to tell whether or not a piece will appreciate over time unless you’re an expert. However, there is a high likelihood of finding artwork that suits your taste perfectly since you’ll come across a wide variety of artistic styles.

4. Unique Coins: It is always a good idea to start collecting coins you find in antique shops, as they are relatively affordable. You never know, you may find a rare coin that you later discover is extremely valuable.

5. Intricate Glassware: You can find everything from Depression-era glass to antique bottle stoppers here. The prices are also reasonable.

6. High-quality Pottery: Pottery is beautiful and exceptionally durable. If properly cared for, it will last for generations.

Where to Find Antique Shops in Santa Monica

You can find the best antique shops in Santa Monica by asking someone you know who is an avid antique collector. Once you have a few names, check online reviews to see what others have to say.

The Wertz Brothers Antique Mart used to be one of the top recommendations. Unfortunately, it closed earlier this year, but the owners, Hudson and Robin Messick, have become co-owners of The Mart Collective, which is a 16,000-square-foot store that houses the collections of about 80 different antique dealers.

What to Look for When Collecting Antiques

There are many different types of antiques that you can collect, and each has its own unique value. If you’re interested in starting your own collection, do your research and buy only from reputable dealers. With a little patience, you should be able to find some great pieces that will appreciate in value over time.

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