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    Treasure hunts and antiquests: how to find your perfect antique online

    Treasure hunts and antiquests: how to find your perfect antique online

    Wednesday 17th January 2024 at 10:11

    By Emma

    Treasure hunts and antiquests: how to find your perfect antique online

    Theatrical binoculars with guilloche enamel, with a handle

    Image credit: Antiquon

    Internet shopping for antiques should be a piece of cake!

    If you have ever shopped for antiques or collectables online, you know the internet is a treasure trove. It can also be a minefield.

    If you want to shop online for a specific piece, you should know how to navigate the web.

    We’ve mapped out our guide to how and where to buy antiques online. So, searching for that perfect piece will be easier.

    Improve your antiques search outcomes with better enquiries.

    Swedish armchairs

    Image credit: Patricia Harvey Antiques

    Before you start, get clued up about your item:

    • Do you know the age or period? Genre? Material? Colour? Pattern? Style? Maker? Artist?
    • Do you already own the same or similar piece?

    If not, you can look it up in Miller’s guide or online.


    Is it Ming you’re looking for?

    Blue and white Ming style Cricket Chenghua mark. Republic period 1912-1949.

    Image credit: Antiquon

    The first step in online hunting is a good search engine. Go straight to Google (not Bing).

    Then, you need to know how to do a thorough search. Most people have a pretty good idea of how to do a basic search, but when details matter, you will benefit from some advanced techniques.


    Far from elementary

    If advanced search is new to you, let's get started.

    Googe search for antique book

    1. Search google.com.
    2. Below the search box, select the result you want: Images, Shopping, Videos, News or Books.
    3. For more search options, go to the right of the search bar and click Settings, then Advanced Search.

    Optimise your quest

    An impressive early 20th miniature suit of armourImage credit: Martlesham Antiques

    Advanced query fields allow you to select words or phrases to include or exclude from your results.

    You can select:

    • All these words” (results return all the words you enter).
    • This exact word or phrase” (includes your exact word or phrase).
    • Any of these words” (displays at least one of your words).
    • None of these words” (excludes all of your words).
    • Numbers ranging from” (includes a number, or date, between the two numbers you enter).


    Use Google Image search.

    Antique Library Magnifier, English, Bronze, Magnifying Glass, Victorian, C.1900Image credit: London Fine Ltd.

    You can use Google Lens to search for an item from a photo.

    Your results might include:

    • Search results for objects in the image
    • Similar images
    • Websites with the image or a similar image


    1. On your computer, go to a web browser. Go to Google Images.

    Then either:

    1. Click Search by Image.
    2. Click Upload a file
    3. Select an image
    4. Click Open or Choose


    1. Find the image file you want to search with on your computer.
    2. Click the image, hold down the mouse, and drag and drop it into the search box.

    You can also search with an image on a website

    • On your computer, go to a web browser. Go to the website and the picture you want to use.

    Then either:

    • Right-click on the image and click copy image address to copy the URL.
    • Go to Google Images.
    • Click Search by Image. Paste image link.
    • In the text box, paste the URL and click Search.


    • Right-click the image and select Search Image with Google Lens to display results in a sidebar.

    Ebay resuts for dog image search

    There are a few more tips here:

    Narrow your search results with filters

    Search tools and filters

    Punctuation and symbols in Search

    X marks the spot

    Art Deco RARE Antique Solid Silver Spade Caddy SpoonImage credit: Wallis Silver

    You can also try X (Twitter) to search for subjects! See how here.
    Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube all have search facilities too. Type your query into the search bar, or try entering a hashtag!

    Just type # before a relevant keyword or phrase (without spaces). Click on a hashtagged word in any message to see Tweets or posts marked with that keyword.

    Where to seek the richest finds?

    Renaissance Gold & Point-cut Diamond Finger Ring

    Image credit: Ancient Jewellery

    Whether you are open to temptation or know precisely what you are after, nowhere offers more choice than a quality online marketplace.

    What is an online marketplace?

    Victorian shop, library or collector showcaseImage credit: Henry Gregory Antiques

    An online marketplace is a virtual store where you can buy or sell goods and services with solid site security and a superb shopping experience. Think eBay, Amazon, and Antiques Boutique.

    • 14% of shoppers prefer an online marketplace for a first-time purchase (Statista, 2022).
    • 37% prefer an online marketplace for repeat purchases (Statista, 2022).


    What to look for in a professional online antiques marketplace

    A Pair Of Opera Glasses Image credit: Roger Grime Antiques

    Take our site, Antiquesboutique.com:

    • Search rankings: We appear on page 1 of Google search for many categories of decorative items (you will have seen us before!).
    • Mobile-optimised: We are fast to load and shop on desktop and mobile.
    • Quality images: Our pictures are large and retina quality, allowing you the best view of your item. Some buyers even upload videos.
    • Quality control: We maintain high standards and quality controls on the listings and images. We do not allow new or reproduction items.
    • Range: We intentionally have a broad range of antiques, art, jewellery and collectables at diverse price points.
    • Established UK business: Managed by Antique website specialist Antiques Web Design by ph9, established 2004, based in Derby.
    • Customer service: Our sellers are obliged to respond within two working days. And we are on hand to help you and them.
    • Direct contact with the seller: We put you directly in touch with the dealer whether you buy from their site or ours. Whatever is easiest for you and them.
    • Regular updates: Our email newsletter and blog go out to ‘000s of subscribers every month
    • Instagram: Follow us on social media for the latest images
    • Easy searching: We have multiple categories, sub-categories, price and period filters built into our search functionality. You can create a wish list or go directly to our latest items page.

    Antiques Boutique sub categories list

    Antiques Boutique price range filters

    AntiquesBoutique.com is one of the highest-ranking Antiques marketplaces in the UK.

    The site was established in 2019 to help our antique dealer clients create a world of beautiful Antique, Art, Decorative and Vintage items online.

    We offer a broad church of antiques and vintage collectables from high-end to more affordable pieces.

    Our fundamental belief is that the web should be simple!

    How often have you shouted and sworn at a website because it wasn’t doing what you wanted it to do?

    We make buying online as easy as possible for both buyer and seller.

    We exist to make the sustainable world of antiques easily accessible to mainstream enthusiasts.


    And that’s why we wrote this article for you! Through our blog, we aim to create a comprehensive resource where our experienced dealers can help you to know what to look for when buying antiques, what makes certain items unique, and share their specialist knowledge.

    Seek and you shall find

    Antique, Pair of Binoculars, German, Neo Universal, Cp Goerz, Berlin c.1920Image credit: London Fine Ltd

    As an antiques lover, you will do most of your online hunting through Google (other mainstream search engines are available!).

    But Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels can be useful for tracking down more unusual items or references.


    The better your search skills, the more likely you are to find specific objects. Add as much detail as you can to your search, and check your spelling!


    The best online antiques marketplaces are quick and easy to use, with high-resolution images and a broad range of antiques.

    Antiques Boutique is run by Antiques Web Design by ph9, who specialise in creating websites for Antiques, Art, Vintage & Militaria dealers. We help buyers find beautiful items for their home, office or clients.

    Antiques Boutique

    By Emma
    Wednesday 17th January 2024 at 10:11

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