How to Spot Authentic Antique Furniture


Many of us turn to antique furniture as key elements that can turn a dull home into something that comes out of interior design magazines.

Buying antique furniture is a serious business. We desire to invest our money in quality antique furniture and fixtures. Some people go as far as traveling overseas to seek out great pieces they want to purchase.


In order to help you spot genuine antique furniture, use this cheat sheet when purchasing one.


  • Wear and tear

Wear and tear is a good sign when it comes to antique furniture. After years of changing ownership, it’s no surprise antique pieces may look worn and shabby- the good kind of worn and shabby.


  • The evidence in the patina

Patina is the  dark of shiny surface that naturally forms in wood or leather when used for a long period of time. A real antique wood furniture has a certain glow about it that develops as time goes by. This is impossible to be copied and is often a deciding factor in determining genuine antique pieces from the fake ones.


  • Check for dovetail joints

Dovetail joints in wood are those that connect pieces of wood by placing pieces together, kind of like what we do in puzzles. If a furniture is too uniform and sleek, it is most likely done using modern tools and equipment. Real antique furniture is done by hand so that cutting and piecing together is rarely perfect.


  • Look for the secondary wood

During the olden times, using secondary wood, usually a less expensive one in places that it cannot be seen are common. When you cannot find a secondary wood in a furniture, the item is likely to be recently made.


  • Inspect the furniture’s boards

In a true antique furniture, it is normal to find boards that are made of planks of wood in different widths. It is also common that a furniture is made of a single plank of wood. This is true for chairs and tables. During those times, a plank of wood is utilized completely to avoid wasting source materials.


  • Furniture handles and nuts

A true antique furniture has a handle made up of a single piece of metal, usually in the form of brass. Constant pulling may result to wrecked furniture handles so replacing them is typical. When this happens, check the nuts attached to handles. Nuts made in the past are circular and irregular while newly made nuts are machine-cute and hexagon in shape.


  • Examine the nails and locks

Locks attached to an antique furniture are made containing wrought iron that are gripped by nails made of iron. 18th century locks are made of brass and steel.


  • Carving examination

The carving is the exquisite part that makes an antique furniture stand out. An authentic and completed carving is a factor that increases the price of an antique. Moreover, an antique piece that has an inlay design has a higher price because of the difficulty of the work involved in it.


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