Shopping around for furniture is not an easy thing to do; fun maybe, but not easy. Now imagine how difficult it is to shop for antique furniture.
Remember, for something to qualify as an antique is has to be atleast a century old. Finding a good piece with a 100 years plus on it, is obviously not a walk in the park, but it could be worth it. I mean who doesn’t want their home to look different and have a different feel to it?
Let us equip you with a few tips that will make your hunt less painful and more fun. Plus, you will definitely impress the sales people with your antique knowledge.
- Knowing what you want always helps. Be sure of what kind of piece you want and try to envision it in a particular room with the rest of your furniture.
- Specific woods were used during different periods. Learn about which materials were used during the time period in which you are interested in. That way, you will be able to know the age of the pieces you come across.
- It doesn’t have to be expensive just because it’s antique. Some antique items are cheaper than regular furniture. So do compare prices and keep in mind that the older it is, the more valuable it is.
- Look for gently used pieces. Just because it’s antique doesn’t mean it has to be trashed. Also avoid furniture made with inferior materials and with poor detail.
- Be thorough, always check the furniture, ensure that the entire piece is made in the same way and of the same wood. Make sure that the legs are proportional, closely examine the paintwork. You don’t want to take a fake antique home.
- A few marks and scratches should be expected, considering that the pieces have been around for more than a hundred years. However, make sure that the marks are convincing. A repolished surface means the piece barely qualifies as an antique.
- Some defects on the furniture can be used to your advantage. Try to use them to negotiate a better price with the seller.
Now that you know how to shop for antique furniture, you will need to know how to distinguish between originals and remakes.
There are quite a few ways to tell:
- Wood is known to shrink over time, so there will be signs of cracking, warping, and fading. If there are none of these signs on a wooden piece, then it’s probably a remake.
- An antique mirror should be very thin and slightly warped. If it looks new, then it is probably new.
- Always closely examine the paintwork. There should be obvious layers of paint with dirt in between each layer. Be careful, as dark wax is sometimes used to copy this effect and you may be able to smell it if it was recently applied.
- Also beware of pieces made of exotic timber and / or pieces that have exaggerated details with a mixture of styles from different eras.
They say transforming your home to a certain era is eco-friendly. So, good luck with re-using and saving the planet.