Jake Biddington's Investing

Using Patent Numbers in
Dating Antiques & Fine Collectible Objects

Even rookie investors in antiques and collectibles appreciate the importance of age in determining the value of an object. Frequently one finds that sellers guess-timate the age of a piece to show the item in its most favorable light. Weekend collectors--in a post-brunch glow and accompanied by a charming companion--are all too ready to hear the best of an object that has attracted their attention. As we say on the Street: That's what makes a trade.

But my column is about investment in tangibles--not about entertainment. If you are investing in an object for resale, it is useful to have something more concrete than a distant memory of a hopeful conjecture an enthusiastic dealer made in passing.

In 1836, the US Patent Office opened for business. Makers of things great and small have seen fit over the years to obtain patents for their items or processes. The variety of objects patented is extraordinary--everything from machine motors to earring closures.

What follows on this linked Biddington's page is a sort of vintage chart for patented objects: it cross-references the patent number with the year in which the patent was issued. If an item was produced over a long period of time, this chart will tell you the earliest date it could have been made. If an item was only a flash-in-the-pan, then the age becomes quite specific.



United States Patent and Trademark Office
UK Intellectual Property Information
European Patent Office

Happy Dating!

Jake Biddington's Collecting Series:
Art Appraisals and Valuations
Investment Grade Contemporary Art

Jake Biddington Art Investing (Archives):
PPP Test: Judging Quality in Contemporary Art
Art, Time and Technology
American vs. European Paintings
Jake Biddington's Art as Entertainment
Jake Biddington's Vetted Antiques & Art Shows
Jake Biddington's Patent Numbers as a Dating Tool
Jake Biddington's Hard Assets as Portfolio Diversification
Jake Biddington's Buying Fine Jewelry at Auction
Jake Biddington's Long Term Investing
Jake Biddington's Short-Term Investing
Jake Biddington's The Craft of Art

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Jake Biddington works on The Street and is responsible for the opinions & information in INVESTING. Young Jake, as he is known within the virtual BIDDINGTON clan, views art, antiques and collectibles as stores of value similar to stocks or foreign currencies. He sees these items as another type of asset in which to place one's money. To that end he keeps price histories and charting information on various categories of objects. He views some items as long term investments, others as items for a quick trade--and he even sees some as short sales.

COPYRIGHT: Images and information within are Copyright Biddington's, Inc.--except where preceded by individual copyrights of the artists.
Downloading or printing for online or print reproduction of any materials without specific written permission from Biddington's, Inc. is prohibited.

PEDIGREE & PROVENANCE--art words & terms defined.    JAKE BIDDINGTON'S INVESTING--financial advice for art collectors.
BIDDINGTON'S BENTLEY--travel for the art & antiques connoisseur.   MY ART--Art for kids.

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