Few items have quite as much character as antique furniture. Unlike brand-new pieces, which all tend to look alike, vintage and antique furniture pieces are usually quite unique, incorporating beautiful design elements that are sorely lacking in today’s cookie-cutter styles.
Knowing what to look for when buying antique furniture pieces is essential. That way, you can be sure that the pieces you are purchasing are authentic.
The first thing that you should do is learn how to identify the difference between a true antique and a reproduction. For furniture pieces with drawers, one of the easiest ways to verify their authenticity is by taking a look at the joints on the drawers. If the corners of the drawers have dovetailed joints, it most likely is an antique – particularly if the joints look like they were done by hand rather than by a machine.
Look closely at the furniture for any stamps or labels, as well. These can provide valuable clues as to the age of the piece. Oftentimes, these identifying marks are well hidden, so be sure to inspect the furniture from all angles.
The backing of the piece can also give you clues as to its age. Furniture pieces that have solid wood backing are usually older than pieces that have plywood backing. If the backing on the furniture is made out of particleboard, the piece is most likely not an antique since this type of board wasn’t introduced until around the middle of the century.
One of the best parts about buying antique furniture is that you can find some truly unique pieces. Before you invest a lot of money in a piece of furniture, however, it is important to make sure that it really is an antique. The tips above should help you determine whether you are looking at a true antique or a reproduction.