5 Tips For Buying Antique Furniture That Will Last For Generations

11 October 2023
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Antique furniture is an investment, not only in money but also in time. When you buy an antique piece, you are investing in history and craftsmanship. However, buying the right antique furniture can be tricky, and you must be aware of the points to consider.

Look for signs of quality.

When purchasing antique furniture, pay attention to the finer details. Look at the joints, construction, and materials. Solid wood furniture tends to last longer, so avoid pieces made with particle board, which can deteriorate quickly. Additionally, look for signs of detailed craftsmanship, such as dovetail joints, which indicate a high level of skill and accuracy. Also, keep an eye out for fine details like intricate wood carvings and inlays.

Get to Know the Era.

Antiques can cover many periods and styles, so it's essential to have an idea of the era of the furniture you want. Each period had its unique design features, such as for example Rococo, Classicism, and Modernism. Knowing the era of the piece you are purchasing is crucial because it will dictate its value and significance. Many pieces can be expensive, so make sure the piece you are considering holds a reasonable value.

Do your research.

Before making a purchase, research the piece you want to buy. Start by searching online for information on the style, era, and designer. Additionally, seek out reputable dealers and ask for provenance — a record of ownership or history of the item.

Look for Authenticity.

When buying antique furniture, always check for its authenticity. Scrutinize the materials used and the type of furniture (antique or reproduction). It's essential to differentiate between antiques made in the era and more modern reproductions, which can reflect different craftsmanship and materials. One key tool you can use to authenticate antiques is to look for furniture makers' marks or signatures.

Consider restoration.

Many antique furniture pieces have undergone several restorations throughout their history. However, it's important to know if the piece you want to buy has undergone substantial restoration. While some types of restoration are necessary to keep the piece's structure and integrity, others can lower the piece's value. If the piece has undergone several repairs, check for original parts, especially the drawer knobs, pulls, and hinges. These details indicate whether the piece has been significantly altered. 

Reach out to a vintage furniture shop in your area if you would like to learn more about this topic.