Instructions to recognize antique furniture

Antique pieces of furniture are timeless decorative items that reflect a unique and distinct style. More and more people across the globe are now looking for antique furniture pieces to spruce their home décor. However, very few people actually know what antique furniture is.According to the definition as well as experts, antique furniture is those pieces of furniture that are aged more than 100 years. In addition, furniture pieces valued for their unique workmanship and rarity are also often addressed as antique furniture despite of their age.

As antique furniture pieces are being copied amazingly to produce new pieces, recognizing antique furniture has become a difficult task. Professional dealers and auction houses also get fooled many times. Well, no need to worry.

Closely examine the antique furniture piece in bright light, such as sunlight. Try to look for any kind of emblems, marks or signs made by the furniture maker. The marks are generally in the form of label, stamp or hand written code and are generally found at the bottom, back, inside compartments and drawers.  Moreover, antique furniture will definitely show signs of wear and tear. So try and look for signs of aging. Some common aging signs are distorted polish, color bleeding and more.

Try to identify the material used for crafting the material. In 1800’s, maple, oak, pine, birch, walnut, rosewood and cherry were the commonly used materials. In addition, wood is also known to shrink with age. So signs of shrinkage are generally found in all antique furniture pieces. If the furniture happens to be made of synthetic materials such as plastic than it is assured that it’s a newly made piece.

Explore the finish featured by the furniture pieces. In the earlier times, oil and waxes were the common materials used for finishing. So, touch the paint to see how it feels. Oil and aged paint will definitely feel hard, whereas new paint has little tenderness when pressed.

Inspect the construction and hardware used in the furniture piece. Old screws and nails were never uniform, and they must have been blended with the wood with age. In addition, wood pieces were earlier joined together to form a furniture piece unlike the machine made furniture pieces available today. So asymmetrical finish implies that the furniture is antique.

Published by in How To, Tips, and Advice, on April 21st, 2011



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