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Article: Our Sourcing Services

Our Sourcing Services

Did you know that we offer custom acquisition services? We at The Great Republic love working with clients to find unique antiques and collectables.

What we offer

Looking to start a collection but don’t know where to begin? We work with individuals, families, businesses, and private and public institutions to source and curate antique collections, tailored specifically to your interests and budgets. Whether you're looking for signed first editions, WWII propaganda posters, or rare maps, let our trained team of experts assist you in building your dream collection.

We know these items are important investments. From private sourcing to archival framing or binding, we will help you navigate the world of antiques to build your own private collection.


How it works

Discover the process of acquisition with this recent example:

Our client came to us with the hopes of finding an antique cookbook. He had interest in some incredible titles, and finally settled on an original early printing of Hannah Glasse’s The Art of Cookery after we discussed the options. Following a conversation about The Art of Cookery and its publication history, our client asked us to tracking one down.

Our team members will work with you from start to finish! After extensive research, we presented our client with three choices for an early edition of this title. Each option was carefully explained, with details of condition issues, binding styles, and publication information. This allowed our client to be confident with taking the next step- acquisition.

We tracked down a rare volume from 1767, complete with stunning marbled boards and three-quarter leather binding. The condition was very good, especially considering the age of the book and past use. After a conversation about pricing, we moved forward with acquiring the book and taking our client’s half deposit.

We will help you acquire original antiques and make them your own with custom framing or bookbinding. This book was intended as a gift, so our client wanted to make it special. We employed the help of Keith and his team at Felton Bookbinding Ltd. We approached Keith with the task of creating an archival slipcase for this early edition of The Art of Cookery.

We got to work creating the design for the front of the slipcase. Our client liked the idea of matching the colored cloth of the slipcase to the color of the leather spine on the book; you'll notice that the slipcase and leather spine of the book are both black. Next, we found a photo of an illustration that was original to one of the Art of Cookery editions; the image shown inlaid on the slipcase. This was the perfect illustration to use for the side of the slipcase. Next, we came up with the idea to place gilded lettering on the slipcase, reading “The Art of Cookery by Hannah Glasse.” Keith at Felton Bookbinding was even able to match the font of the slipcase text to that on the spine of the book!

With some time and effort, we were able to make our client’s dream a reality. We track down desirable antiques and collectables to fit your needs. Whether you know exactly what you’re looking for or not, we are here to help! Contact us today to discover the options for custom acquisitions of rare antiques and collectibles.

How to get started

In order to find you exactly what you are looking for, we need to identify a few factors before the process begins:

  • We require information about what it is you are trying to find. Is it something that you know a lot of information about, i.e. a first edition copy of Breakfast at Tiffany's, or is it something more general, such as a Civil War era antique?
  • We ask for a price range that you are willing to spend. This will help us identify what may be available within your price range, and suggest other items if necessary.
  • We require a deposit to be paid in order to acquire an item for you. We ask for half of the total agreed upon price to be paid before we acquire the item from a seller (this can be paid after we identify the item that we will acquire, but before we actually purchase it from a seller.) The second half will be paid at an agreed upon time, most likely once all work on the item is completed or once you come to pick the item up at one of our retail locations.

We can certainly help you find what you're looking for, if we do not already have it in our inventory. However, be aware that given the nature of these rare items, many items are not readily available on the market. Depending on the rarity, it may be months to years until an item comes up at auction, so be aware.

As a rule of thumb, we only take on acquisition projects for items that fit well with our store theme of Americana. Since we have the most experience acquiring items in this general collecting focus, we ask that you only contact us for items that would be identified as Americana.


Frequently asked questions

How quickly can I acquire an item with your sourcing service?

It depends on the item. The example above was completed in a turn-around time of about three and a half weeks-- from the initial conversation through payment and pick-up from our DC store. Items can take much longer depending on a variety of factors, so we ask that you are patient. Depending on what is readily available on the market, we usually give a timeline of about one to two months. Let us know if you are working with a limited time frame, and we can let you know what options would be available to you.

Can you frame or bind my acquisition?

Yes! We can work with you to have an item framed or bound. In the example above, we produced a custom slipcase for the book. Binding work is generally a quicker process than framing, so allow 4-6 months for framing projects. We also encourage our clients to acquire unframed items and frame them themselves, using one of our recommended framers. This way, you have the ability to choose the framing style you prefer and have the work done on your own schedule.

Do you charge a fee for sourcing services?

No. Our sourcing service is free to you! We will work with you from start to finish.

How do you determine pricing for my acquisition?

We determine pricing for your acquisition the same way that we do so for our retail items- through an evaluation of the market, as well as taking into account acquisition costs, restoration, and binding or framing costs. We will oftentimes provide you with an estimated price range before we acquire, to accommodate for any unforeseen restoration projects, extra shipping charges, etc.


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