Coxsackie Antique Center

Where Yesterday Meets Tomorrow

Antiques Jargon

Have you ever looked at the price tag on an antique item and wondered what it was talking about? Here are a few tips

"As Is" - This means the item has a defect of some sort. Don't ignore the notation. Search out the damage. And don't assume that one "as is" note means there is only one defect.

"As Found" - This means the same thing as "as is." Some dealers think "as found" sounds less serious than "as is." To us, it sound like they didn't bother to wash it. Or perhaps they just mean that they didn't inflict any damage on the piece. In any event, you should carefully examine any "as found" piece looking for the damage.

"NFS" - This means "Not for sale." It could be a display piece, it could be a decorative piece intended to make the sales merch more attractive, or it might simply be a piece that's too new to sell at the Center.

"Hairline" - This means a crack. It's should be applied to a short tight not very visible crack (a line the size of a hair) but sometimes the dealer has very expansive ideas about hair sizes. Items with hairline cracks should not be used for food.

"Spider" - This is a series of "hairline" cracks radiating out from a single point. It could be caused by an impact or it could be caused by heat or cold. It's usually found in the bottom of a bowl. Items with "spider" cracks should not be used for food.

"Manufacturing flaw" - This means there is a defect on the piece that occured during the production process. There might, for instance, be a chip under the glaze. Or incomplete glazing. or there might be a color error. This is a defect that detracts from the piece, but not by as much as damage that occured during use. The extent of reduction in value is for you to decide.

"Crazing" - Over time, many ceramic glazes develop a network of very fine cracks. These are not cracks in the body of the piece, they are cracks in the glaze. Some people consider them a defect, others consider them an attractive addition to the piece that helps demonstrate age. (But crazing can be caused artifically so it is not a conclusive proof of age. Some fakes even have craze lines printed on.)


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