Military antiques are one of the most popular types of antique collections in the world. Every country has their own form of military with their own form of traditions and history making, so collecting antiques from these fields is an fascinating hobby for those interested in history.
However, there are so many military antiques and they cover such as wide range of areas that it is often difficult to know how to begin a military antique collection. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Pick One Particular Collectible or One specific War Period
The best place to start is by choosing one particular collectible or one particular war to begin your collection. For example you might concentrate on only collecting antique medals or guns. Or perhaps you will want to choose to collect only antiques from the Second World War and from a certain battle or two.
Look For Antiques in Good Condition
An antique bayonet that looks almost new is worth more than one that is rusted through. A well preserved uniform is more collectible than one that is filled with moth holes and has missing buttons. However, keep in mind that if you are collecting an antique gun that is supposed to have a bayonet attached having that bayonet even if it is in poor condition will make the gun worth more than one without a bayonet at all. You will also need to keep in mind that an item that is not in pristine condition but is extremely rare to own may be worth far more than military antiques that are in great condition but are extremely easy to come by.
Learn All You Can About the History That Surrounds Your Chosen Memorabilia
Make the effort and take the time to research the history surrounding your chosen memorabilia. For example if you have chosen to collect medals given out during WWI learn what each medal was given for, how many were given out during the conflict and what the criteria was for awarding the medal. Knowing more about the general history will help you determine which medals were more valuable and what additions will round out your collection.
Know the Places to Search
Know where to go to find the type of military antiques you want. While auctions are always a good bet there are also less known places to look such as eBay, estate sales and other places. When you do make a find take the time to find out as much as possible about the individual antique you are interested in. Personal stories adds to the joy of your collection and records, photographs and other materials may increase the items value.
Collecting military antiques can be an interesting and lifelong hobby that will bring you many hours of pleasure both in searching for items to add and in viewing your collection. By starting slow and only purchasing those items you truly want to add to your collection you can build a military antique collection of which you can be truly proud.