We often come across exquisite price of an antique that we think is an excellent buy. You really do not know what kind of condition it is in because your naked eye cannot really pick out hidden defects. So we should show caution before we buy anything depending on what the eye tells you in the normal light.
The real antique hunters have a great and effective tool called black light. As an antique collector or trader this is the first tool you should have. This tool will spot any repairs or modification and help you determine the age of the item.
If an antique expert worked on your item and made some incredible repairs you will not ever spot it under normal light. There are also age-paint test that you cannot detect. The black light is able to bring them out in ultra violet test.
This is amazing that what your naked eye cannot detect this ultra violet light can. That is because the small repairs are so hidden and done well only the black light has the capability to reveal. This is proved scientifically.
By no means make this your ultimate test. I am only introducing you the start of many tests you will have to perform before you can trust an antiques and buy it. Let me show you what you do with test on porcelain and glassware.
For porcelain take it to a dark room and shine your black light on it all over looking carefully for any break in the pattern. There are versions of black light which you can even carry in your pocket. If there are modifications or repairs it will show clearly and you cannot miss it.
What you should be looking for is the break up in the final finish that is where it will show. Any small curve or line that is out of the pattern is your clue. You will know it. You cannot miss it. The glow on it will reveal if there is recent paint work on it. This determines your age.
In glassware you need to be aware two important varieties, the Depression and Vaseline glass work. These items should glow in the ultraviolet black light. During the period prior to 1930 artists used uranium oxide with their finish on glassware. This will show in the test. If it does nothing the work is recent and not antique.
So if you are a beginner this article on 'Why Is A Black Light Effective On Antique Porcelain And Glass' will start your hunting in the right direction.