Tips for Purchasing Antique Furniture

Many people like the thought of owning antique furniture, and some even go so far as to become avid collectors. But everyone has to start at the beginning and buying that first piece, without any knowledge, could mean the difference between a piece to show off and getting scammed out of a bunch of money.

One thing you need to understand is that antique furniture is considered to be any furniture piece that is over one hundred years old. Therefore, if it looks new, then it probably is and not an antique.

Antique Furniture

Antique Furniture

You should also be aware that wood will shrink at a rate of 1/8 inch per foot over the years. If the piece you are looking at is perfectly square with no signs of shrinkage in the different pieces of wood, it has either been extensively refurbished or not an antique in the first place.

Things like this need to be taken into consideration when you go out to purchase any kind of antique furniture. You should also try to check how sturdy it is. Even after hundreds of years, a hand crafted piece of antique furniture should still remain sturdy, although it might have a bit of wobble to it due to the legs shrinking at different rates.

You should make sure that all the fittings and hardware are original as well. This is not as easy as some might think. It will require a very good eye and knowledge of the types of hardware used over 100 years ago. But you can check to see if there are any holes that have been filled or plugged. If you see any, then this piece has been restored or has had aspects of it changed to make it look like it is an antique.

You should also ask the dealer or person you are buying the antique furniture from if there are any warranties or original papers that go along with the piece. Most dealers will attempt to gather as much information about a particular antique to guarantee that it is one hundred percent original. If you have papers that show this piece is, indeed, an antique, then you will have no issues with selling it later on.

Aug 12th, 2012 | Posted in Antique Furniture
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