Institute Seminars link

Antiques and Collectibles Summer Camp link

**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 has 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 15 class room 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-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 Jewelry: Understanding the Key Design Periods
* OS-146 Victorian and Edwardian Era Jewelry
* 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 Paintings and Sculptures Valued Under $1,000
* 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.

2015 Antiques and Collectibles Summer Camp

The Institute for the Study of Antiques and Collectibles has finalized its plans for its 2015 Antiques and Collectible Summer Camp.

The Institute has selected a management group headed by Barbara Stevens Jersey of Wonder Woman Estate Sales and Bob Howe of Epic Auctions & Estate Sales to handle the registration process and manage logistics during the period of the 2015 Antiques and Collectibles Summer Camp.

Summer Camp Headquarters:

Quality Suites, 901 Delta Commerce Drive, Lansing, MI 48917. Phone (517) 886-0600.


Each seminar is 15 hours in length, broken into two 7 1/2-hour days. Seminars start at 9AM and contine to 4:30PM each day.

2015 Antiques and Collectibles Summer Camp

August 5 (Wednesday) and August 6 (Thursday) 
OS-100  Authenticating Antiques and Collectibles
It is estimated that well over 30% of the objects found in the antiques and collectibles field are highly restored, rebuilt, reproductions, copycats, fantasies, or fakes.  This course begins with a set of general rules that can be applied throughout the field.  Next, one learns how to supplement these rules through the use of physical and experiential senses.  Hands-on sessions include the study of furniture, glass, ceramics, and metals.

August 7 (Friday) and August 8 (Saturday)
OS-120  American Furniture Design Styles
Furniture forms are examined through a detailed explanation of furniture terminology. The stylistic history of American furniture from the seventeenth century to the present follows.  European antecedents of American styles are explored.  As each style is presented, leading manufacturers and construction innovations are discussed.  The course concludes with an examination of vernacular and regional furniture.

August 9 (Sunday)
Arrangements have been made for participants to attend the Lake Odessa Antiques Show held at the Lake Odessa Fairgrounds.  The Lake Odessa Antique Mall, which has 80 dealers with merchandise appearing in 125 booths and 50 showcases, is offering special incentives to encourage seminar participants to attend.

Participants can also explore the antiques malls along I-96 and along the western Michigan shore line.

August 10 (Monday) and August 11 (Tuesday)
OS-160  Paper Ephemera August
The seminar begins by examining the historical evolution of paper, handwriting, topography, and various document types.  The main section of the seminar is a detailed look at the myriad paper ephemera collecting categories, with emphasis on authenticating techniques and collecting tips. Although a specialized seminar is scheduled for prints, this seminar touches on the basics. The seminar concludes with tips for the storage, preservation and display of ephemera items.

Harry L. Rinker, antiques and collectibles expert, will be the principal instructor of the seminars.


$ 249.00 per person per seminar.


$ 649.00 per person if registering for all three seminars. This includes a $98 discount from the individual prices of all three seminars!

Full amount due upon registration.

Cost per seminar includes all seminar materials, lunch each day, break snacks and beverages.

Quality Suites offers a breakfast service, free to those staying at the hotel.  For those not staying at Quality Suites, you may purchase this breakfast for $4.00.

Refund Policy:

  1.  $50 fee if cancelation is before July 9, 2015.

  2. $100 fee if cancelation is between July 9 - July 23, 2015

  3. No refund if canceling after July 23, 2015.

If there is a waiting list and it is possible to find someone to fill the spot, a full refund will be made.