To an antique lover, nothing beats the satisfaction of creating a whole set of randomly acquired antique furniture. But if you just love antique but aren’t exactly an expert, you’ll want to keep that urge to shop on hold until you get a good working knowledge of what separates genuine from bogus.
Considering the costs involved, you’ll definitely want to be sure you’re getting a hundred-year-old armoire and not a cheap replica. Antiques are quite high in demand and scammers are quick to jump at the first chance to con anyone who might not be skilled at discernment. Fortunately, it’s something anyone can learn with the right amount of interest.
There are actually many markers of genuine and authentic antique but one of the first you’d like to look into in a piece is its dimensions. Remember that wood contracts with age by up to an eighth of an inch per foot. If something looks too perfectly balanced from all sides, that should be a red sign. You’ll also want to look into how sturdy the furniture remains to be after all that time. You can do this easily by sitting on the antique sofa, for example, and feeling the thing under your hand while observing for cracks or openings.
As with anything that grows older by at least a hundred years, you’ll find real antique to be randomly discolored. If it survived all that time, it must have left some wear and tear marks. But although there will be these signs of age, nothing should make the corner blocks become a different color from the surrounding wood. If they’re not of the same color, different materials must have been used. This is yet another red sign for anyone who doesn’t want anything short of authentic.
Spotting the real thing will need you to pay attention to the littlest details there are in something you’re made to believe to be antique. Knobs, screws, handles and other metal attachments should be perfectly in place, meaning no plugged holes which could be a sign that the furniture has been altered. If, indeed, it is antique, it would have lost its value.
And then you’ll simply want to take your dealer’s word for it. Not that you’re casting prejudice on anyone, but you would like to ask for some form of guarantee with a purchase. Ask everything you need to know about that particular piece you’re eying. Somehow, you’ll get an idea of its authenticity just by listening to the way the dealer answers. Sometimes, it’s not as easy as that but if you listen closely, you can always ask others’ opinion on what the dealer has told you. Educating yourself by simply reading appropriate literature will put you in a better position when shopping for antique furniture. Then you can further enrich your knowledge by expanding your reading to modern furniture and making comparisons.