Things to watch for
Believe it or not, woodworm is not an automatic ‘no-no’. If there is no sign of new infestation then the chances are that the piece has been treated already and will be fine to bring into the house. New infestations of woodworm show ‘mealy’ deposits around the holes, which look a little damp and fresh. Even if you have active woodworm, it is easy to treat and as long as it isn’t disfiguring a piece you otherwise like, go for it. If you are buying for fun, you don't really need to worry too much about whether a piece has been stripped or over polished but if you think you have spotted a potential money-spinner, buy with care in these circumstances because with the patina of age gone, you may have said goodbye to the value too.
Buy what you like
Fashions in collectables come and go and it is never worth buying something because you think it is worth money. Apart from the dubious morals of buying something for pence in a charity shop and making money from it – the clue is in the word ‘charity’ after all – buying something you think is pretty hideous because you might make money down the line can come back and bite you. It is fair to say that not many people think Clarice Cliff pieces are ‘beautiful’ because the painting is a bit rough and ready at best and their value is dropping in the marketplace today, so tough luck on all those people who bought as an investment. You have been warned. On the other hand, a lovely mellow traditional rug made by the old knotting method will give much pleasure and they are holding their own, price wise.