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**Institute for the Study of Antiques and Collectibles logo

As the digital age progresses, national antiques and collectibles expert Harry L. Rinker recognized the growing need for in-seat education in order to gain knowledge and insight about antiques and collectibles objects.

After receiving repeated requests from members of the trade and inspired by his February 2014 appearance at the Conference, Rinker decided to revive his Institute for the Study of Antiques and Collectibles beginning with a 2015 Antiques and Collectibles Summer Camp scheduled for August 2015.

The new Institute for the Study of Antiques and Collectibles focuses exclusively on object education.  This approach allows the Institute’s seminars to appeal to the broadest trade audience – appraisers, auctioneers, collectors, dealers, estate sale managers, museum curators, and others interested in learning more about historic objects.

Seminars will be taught by experts within the field, with emphasis on the ability of the instructors to effectively communicate their knowledge.  Whenever possible, hands-on material will play a role in the instructional process.

Initially, seminars will be taught in-seat.  A maximum of 30 participants will be registered for each course.  Each seminar will be two days in length, comprising 13 classroom hours.

The goal of each seminar is to shorten the learning curve of the participant and to provide insider tips usually not shared by members of the trade.  Participants will learn techniques that will reduce the amount of time they spend researching objects.

Long range plans are being made to offer the seminars on line.  While affordable technology is available, online training will not be offered until a solution is found to (1) allow the incorporation of handling actual objects and (2) a sufficient testing program is created to ensure the participant has adequately learned the material.

Object Seminars

Each object seminar focuses on five key areas: (1) identification, (2) a full understanding of the scope of the collecting category, (3) authentication, (5) grading and (5) determining value.

Students are encouraged to bring pieces from their own collection for analysis.  Reading lists are supplied in advance.  Participants are encouraged to read the material prior to attending the course.

An asterisk (*) indicates that the seminar has been taught at the early Institute for the Study of Antiques and Collectibles and that a course description and an outline is on file.

  • * OS-100 Authenticating Antiques and Collectibles
  • OS-101 Techniques and Resources for Researching and Valuing Antiques and Collectibles
  • * OS-105 American Glass
  • * OS-11 American Ceramics
  • * OS-115 American Country
  • * OS-120 American Furniture Design Styles
  • * OS-121 Twentieth Century American Furniture
  • * OS-125 Dinnerware, Flatware, Stemware, and Tabletop Accessories
  • * OS-130 Dolls
  • * OS-135 European Ceramics
  • * OS-140 Folk Art
  • * OS-145 Understanding Jewelry: An Introduction
  • * OS-146 Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian Jewelry: An Introduction
  • * OS 147 American Twentieth Century Jewelry – From Tiffany to Trifari
  • * OS-148 Costume Jewelry
  • * OS-149 Dating Jewelry
  • * OS 150 Metal, Precious—Gold, Silver, and Their Plates
  • * OS 155 Asian Antiques and Collectibles
  • * OS 160 Paper Ephemera
  • * OS 161 Prints
  • * OS-162 Books, Maps, and Incunabula
  • * OS-165 Understanding Fine Art: Paintings, Watercolors, and Prints
  • * OS 17 Textiles
  • * OS-175 Toys, Games, and Puzzles
  • * OS-180 Victoriana

Harry Rinker will select the individuals who will teach these seminars, approve all teaching materials in advance, and monitor the instruction to see that the Institute’s high standards are met.

Master Classes

Master classes are taught entirely hands-on and limited to no more than twenty-five students.  A student must complete the basic OS seminar related to that subject before taking a master course.

Master classes under consideration are:

  • * MC-400 Authenticating Antiques and Collectibles
  • * MC-44 Researching Jewelry

Obtaining Information about Institute Seminars

If you would like information about seminars offered by the Institute for the Study of Antiques and Collectibles, email and ask to be placed on the Institute email list.

Seminars: Each seminar is 13 hours in length, broken into two 6 1/2-hour days. Seminars start at 9AM and contine to 4:30PM each day.

2016 Antiques and Collectibles Summer Camp

OS-101  Techniques and Resources for Researching and Valuing Antiques and Collectibles - July 11 & 12 (Mon & Tue)
This seminar focuses on how to identify an object. It begins with an analysis of general research techniques available in print and digital format and how to determine the right questions to ask. The seminar continues with a detailed look at identification skills in eight key areas – Ceramics, Collectibles, Ephemera, Glass, Furniture, Jewelry, Metal, and Textiles. Each general topic includes a detailed analysis of its secondary market and pricing considerations and ends with a short list of suggested reference titles. Participants are encouraged to bring examples from their personal collection or stock to be used as research examples.
Instructor: Harry L. Rinker

OS-165  Understanding Fine Art: Paintings, Watercolors, and Prints -
July 13 & 14 (Wed & Thu)

The seminar begins with an introduction into the various techniques used to produce paintings, watercolors, and prints. A chronological introduction to the history of painting, watercolor, and print making in America, with some reference to European trends, follows. The heart of the seminar is devoted to exploring research techniques used to authenticate, date, identify artists, spot conservation, restoration and/or repairs, valuing, and determining the most appropriate secondary markets. The seminar includes art associated with artists who are professional and academically trained, semi-professionals, skilled amateurs, amateurs, and mass production artists of Big Box and roadside art. Participants are encouraged to bring examples from their personal collection or stock to be used as research examples.
Instructor: Harry L. Rinker

OS-175  Toys, Games, and Puzzles -
July 15 & 16 (Fri &Sat)

The seminar focuses on toys, games, and puzzles dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. A brief chronological history of toys, games, and puzzles is followed by a quick study of the evolution of toys, games, and puzzle collecting. After an examination of general scarcity, condition, desirability, and value considerations, the main portion of the seminar focuses on the major subcategories within toys, games, and puzzles. Each subcategory includes an identification of the most desirable units, a current secondary market analysis, and trustworthy printed and digital references. The seminar concludes with a section on spotting reproductions, copycats, fantasies, and fakes. Participants are encouraged to bring examples from their personal collection or stock to supplement the hands-on sessions.
Instructor: Harry L. Rinker