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 is in the process of finalizing its plans for its 2015 Antiques and Collectible Summer Camp.

The Institute has selected a management group that currently is completing the procedures to allow individuals to register, determining the exact location, and reaching agreements with nearby lodging establishments.

The 2015 Antiques and Collectibles Summer Camp will take place in the greater Lansing or greater Grand Rapids, Michigan, region.  The tentative dates are August 1 through August 6, 2015 or August 3 through August 8, 2015.

The final cost per two-day course remains to be determined.  It will not be less than $250.00 per person.

2015 Antiques and Collectibles Summer Camp Proposed Seminars

  • 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.

    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.

    OS-160  Paper Ephemera

    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 of 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.

    Alternative Selection for OS-160

    OS-175 – Toys, Games, and Puzzles

    Toys, games, and puzzles are among the earliest childhood memories.  This seminar starts with a historical look at the evolution of European and American toys, games, and puzzles.  Emphasis is placed on type, materials and manufacturers.  The main portion of the seminar is a detailed look at the myriad of toy, games, and puzzle collecting categories, focusing on grading and scarcity.  The seminar concludes with an in-depth discussion of conservation, repaint, repair, and restoration and what constitutes the complete unit (object, box, paper ephemera, and packaging) and their impact on value.

Adding your name to the Institute mailing list:

To add your name to the Institute email list, send an email to