Before people can truly become skilled at antiquing, they need to know a lot about the areas that they’re interested in studying. People who are only superficially interested in say, Victorian art, aren’t going to be able to recognize the real thing very skillfully. They also won’t have that much appreciation for the real thing even if they do manage to actually get their hands on it. Antiquing really isn’t for the fainthearted. You need to have a certain amount of passion and discernment in order to truly manage to become good at antiquing in almost any niche.
When it comes to fine arts, you should know a lot about materials, art tools, and techniques and how they apply to the eras that interest you. You should know what kinds of artwork were popular in a given era. You’ll be able to recognize authenticity that much more easily that way, and you’ll be able to weed out all of the forgeries.
Learning about all of this stuff is going to help you feel really immersed in your hobby, which is part of what you should want in the first place. Knowing about all of the tools that were used to make the artwork that you love will help you feel a lot more connected to it. Knowing about how the artists actually went about creating the art is going to have a similar effect. When you know about the styles of artwork that were popular in a given era, you will learn something about that era in the process, making you feel as if you’re a part of it in a way that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
Really, you’re becoming skilled at antiquing to make sure that you actually succeed at getting the real thing when it comes to antiques. However, you’re also becoming skilled at antiquing in the sense that you’re really learning what the hobby is all about and why people feel compelled to hold onto these artifacts of the past in the first place.