Antiques and postage – is it worth it?

One of the most important decisions to make after you’ve decided on your next antique purchase is how to get it safely on your sideboard. Many a recent acquisition is unpacked and found to be in pieces with perhaps just a single sheet of bubblewrap or paper around it or even a few empty Evian bottles!

Obviously some people selling their own possessions aren’t likely to appreciate how delicate these items can be. Antique dealers on the other hand know exactly how delicate these items are and they are also aware that if the item doesn’t reach its destination in good condition, they will likely loose the sale and have to get the broken item posted back to them.

Take a look at the terms and conditions of the many companies offering postage and parcel deliveries. Most do not insure antiques and in fact some have a list as long as your arm of items that are prohibited. However, they do still accept antique and delicate items and will even charge you for enhanced compensation if you are willing to pay for it, but try to get your money back on a broken antique and it can’t be done. The only way you can get compensation for such an item is if it goes missing in transit. Then you may have grounds for compensation.

Larger items – anything over a certain weight, size or cost will only be sent using an insured courier. We have been using a local branch of a large specialist transport company called Pack & Send. Through our years of experience we have found them to be the best allrounder for deliveries and cost and they fully insure. If an item needs to be sent with a courier, we will get a quote from Pack & Send or you can contact them directly and pay them separately. Of course you are more than welcome to come and collect or arrange your own courier, but please be aware courier companies who fully insure your items will be more expensive than the usual postal companies.

We have recently set up e-commerce on the website which is allowing us to sell smaller items such as jewellery for a set postage price directly from our website. There are 3 different areas we send purchases to 1) UK, 2) the EU & 3) Rest of the World and the prices to post items rises slightly with each area. We can post 1-3 items for the same cost as posting one, 4-6 for twice the cost, 7-9 for 3 times the cost.

But what about items that cannot be added to your cart because of size and weight but are still eligible to post? Then we will need to know what part of the world we are shipping your item to, again there will be differing costs if you are in the UK, EU or the Rest of the World and those costs are dictated to us by the Post Office. We cannot give a list of costs because each item over a certain weight or size will cost different amounts. These items will have an Enquire button in order to provide your address.

This Le Verrier dancer can be sent to Europe by the Post Office for approximately £80 fully insured.

This huge Archer weighing over 30 kilos was sent to a museum in Oklahoma, USA via Pack & Send for £384.45 including insurance.

This large bronze Indian Girl by Marcel Bouraine was sent to USA by Pack & Send for £416.94 fully insured.

This item cost more to send than the larger, heavier item above due to the higher value of the Indian Girl and the consequent higher insurance cost.

Ivory – The ever changing and important issue of Ivory import restrictions means we do not send Ivory outside of the UK. We do understand that items of a certain age containing less than a certain percentage of Ivory can be shipped to some locations, however we are not just dealers in antiques but lovers of antiques and as such we’d hate to see a beautiful piece of art destroyed, so we have put a self imposed restriction on sending Ivory internationally. We have heard tales of Ivory items being destroyed by US customs due to their restrictions on imports.

Insurance – We will not send any item, no matter how small without it being fully insured. This is a simple business necessity.

Prices correct September 2020.

Next Blog: Lindsey B, the woman, the legend.

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