A Beginners Guide to Antiquing on the Main Line

Antique dealer Nick Vandekar offers his advice.

By Deanna Passaretti

Antiques aren’t just for grandma’s living room. People of all ages enjoy antiquing, seeking out the perfect piece for their home. There are plenty of ways to incorporate these unique, and often historic, pieces into home décor. The Main Line has no shortage of one-of-a-kind antique stores which can transform a modern home with a vase from 1730, a dining room table from the Revolutionary War period, or even a simple aged sculpture to mix in with modern art. Never been antiquing before? Don’t worry—Main Line Antique Show Manager and third generation antique dealer, Nick Vandekar, knows how to help a first-timer. 


Vandekar started antiquing in London with his father, grandfather and brother, where they owned an antique store about 30 years ago. After decades in the business, Vandekar knows how quickly the antique business can change with the trends of the times. He believes antiques move in cycles. Currently, the antique trend is to mix contemporary and modern pieces throughout the home, making it simple for anyone to get started antiquing. Don’t be afraid to put an antique ceramic next to a flat screen TV, while mixing a contemporary painting and an 18th-century table beneath, he says.


For those who have never been to an antique store, Vandekar’s best advice is to get to know the dealer. Antiquing is much different from a shopping experience at commercial furniture store because not only do most pieces have a story to tell, but the dealer wants to know the customer and recommend specific items. 


“Let the dealer know you’re going to be in it for the long haul,” Vandekar says. “They want to develop a relationship with you as much as you do with them.”  Equally important, make a strict budget before entering a store. Getting carried away is very easy, especially…

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