Transporting antiques

How to organise?

In the guide you will find:

Transporting antiques presents unique challenges due to the value, uniqueness and often fragile and delicate nature of the items. To ensure the safe and efficient transport of antiques, careful planning, proper protection of the items and selection of appropriate transport methods are essential. In this guide, we will discuss the key aspects of organising the transport of antiques that will help to avoid damage and ensure valuable items arrive safely at their destination.

How to secure antiques before transport?

Securing antiques prior to road transport is key to avoiding damage to valuable items. Below you will find detailed tips on how to do this professionally:

Thoroughly inspect the items: Before packing, carefully inspect the antiques for any existing damage, defects or details that may affect how they are packed. Document any existing defects in case you need to make an insurance claim.

Select appropriate packing materials: Secure antiques with materials such as bubble wrap, polythene foam, moving blanket or cardboard. Provide different sizes of cardboard boxes to fit antiques of different shapes and sizes.

Packing antiques: Start by wrapping your antiques in bubble wrap or polythene foam. For extra protection, use more than one layer of material. For particularly fragile items, you may want to use extra layers of foam or moving blankets.

Placing items in boxes: Match the size of the box to the item so that there is not too much free space. Fill the empty spaces with materials such as paper, bubble wrap or polythene foam to avoid items moving around during transport. Place the heaviest items at the bottom of the box and the lighter items at the top.

Labelling of boxes: Mark boxes of antiques as "Glass" or "Caution - Fragile" so that drivers and transport company employees know they must handle them with care.

Determine transport details: Decide whether you want to organise the transport yourself or use a specialist company. If you decide on a transport company, choose one that is experienced in transporting antiques.

Transport insurance: Before transporting, make sure your antiques are properly insured. Contact your insurance company to determine the type and extent of insurance that will be most beneficial for the items being transported.

Remember that proper insurance and careful transport planning are key to preserving the value and safety of the antiques being transported.

What are the methods of transporting antiques by land?

Transporting antiques by land requires special care and planning due to their value and often fragile and delicate nature. Here are the different methods of transporting antiques by land:

Transport by car: For smaller antiques that can easily fit into a passenger car, this may be the simplest and most economical transport option. However, it is important that items are adequately protected from damage by using soft materials such as blankets, bubble wrap or special mats.

Transport by van: For larger antiques that do not fit in a passenger car, a van can be hired. In this case, it is advisable to ensure that the load space is properly secured and that professional packaging and systems are used to secure the items.

Specialist transport companies: In the case of very valuable, large or difficult to secure antiques, it may be best to use the services of specialist transport companies that are experienced in transporting works of art and antiques. Such companies have the right vehicles, equipment and trained staff who can take care of packing, loading, transporting and unloading antiques.

Combined transport: In some cases, such as when the transport route involves different modes of land transport, such as car and train, combined transport can be used. In this case, it is necessary to adequately secure the antiquities at each stage of transport and to coordinate between the different carriers.

Transport on pallets: Some antiques, especially those with larger dimensions or weight, can be transported on pallets. Pallets make it easier to load, transport and unload items and can provide additional protection against damage. However, it is important to note that transport on pallets may not be suitable for all types of antiques.

It is important to plan the whole process carefully before transporting antiques, to choose the right method of transport and to ensure that items are properly secured. If in doubt, it is worth consulting experts or using specialist transport companies.

What influences the cost of transporting antiques?

The cost of transporting antiques depends on a number of factors that affect the complexity and requirements of transportation. Here are some of them:

The value and uniqueness of the antique: Valuable and unique antiques may require specialised packaging, insurance and additional security features during transport, which increases the cost of transportation.

Weight and dimensions of the antique: Heavier and larger antiques can generate higher transport costs due to the need for larger vehicles, specialised loading and unloading equipment and adequate staffing.

Fragile and delicate nature of antiques: Antiques that are easily damaged, such as ceramics, glass or sculptures made of delicate materials, require particularly careful and specialised packing and transport, which can affect transport costs.

Distance and transport time: Longer routes and shorter delivery times usually generate higher transport costs. Express shipments are more expensive than standard shipments.

Transport conditions: For antiques that require controlled conditions, such as constant temperature or humidity, transport costs may be higher due to specialised vehicles and monitoring systems.

Carrier: Companies that specialise in transporting antiques may offer a higher level of service, but their prices may be higher than those of general carriers. Comparing quotes from different companies can help you choose the most suitable and competitive option.

Customs and tax charges: When transporting internationally, customs fees, taxes and any required documentation must be taken into account, which can affect the cost of transport.

Additional services: Some transport companies offer additional services such as conservation consultations, specialised packaging or storage of antiques. The cost of these services is usually added to the cost of transport.

In order to optimise the cost of transporting antiques, it is advisable to plan the transport process carefully, choose the right carrier, accurately determine the requirements for packing and securing the items, and be as flexible as possible with delivery times. Good recognition of your needs and adequate preparation will minimise the risk of damage and reduce the costs associated with transporting antiques.


What types of antiques are most commonly transported?

Antiques can be classified according to many criteria, such as historical period, artistic style, material or function. Below is a breakdown of antiques by design, construction and size:

Antique furniture:
Chairs, armchairs and sofas: various styles and periods, e.g. Baroque, Rococo, Art Nouveau.
Tables: dining tables, coffee tables, desks, consoles.
Wardrobes and display cabinets: various designs, decoration and uses.
Beds, bedrooms: various styles, sizes and materials.
Chests, bedside tables: various constructions, styles and functions.

Paintings and sculptures:
Paintings: oil, watercolour, pastel, various styles, techniques and sizes.
Sculptures: stone, marble, bronze, wood, various sizes, styles and techniques.

Decorative antiques:
Vases, bowls, amphorae: various materials (porcelain, glass, metal) and styles.
Mirrors: various shapes, frames and styles.
Clocks: table, wall, cabinet clocks, various periods and styles.
Cutlery, crockery, applied porcelain: various styles, designs and periods.

Collectable antiques:
Coins, medals, decorations: various periods, countries and materials.
Books, manuscripts, maps: various periods, subjects and bindings.
Stamps, postcards, photographs: various periods, subjects and techniques.
Militaria: weapons, uniforms, helmets, banners, various periods and countries.

Technical and scientific antiques:
Cameras, projectors, gramophones, radios: various periods and technologies.
Scientific instruments, e.g. microscopes, telescopes, globes: various periods and designs.
Typewriters, mechanical calculators: various periods and models.

Textile antiques:
Textiles, tapestries, carpets, curtains: various styles, designs and techniques.
Clothing, jewellery, accessories: various periods, styles and materials.