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Become A Pro At Spotting Antiques

Dec 17, 2007
Unless you are an expert it can be very difficult to spot an antique and whether it is valuable or not. This is particularly difficult with furniture as some woods are designed to look aged when they may in fact be brand new. There are several tips you can adopt however which can successfully help you to determine whether you are literally sitting on a fortune or not.

Whilst no two antique dealers or shops will agree on what an antique actually is, typically it is described as a piece of furniture with special value because of its age. This is where the disagreements start with some people classifying something that is 50 years old as an antique and others arguing that it needs to be 150 years old to fall into this category.

The first clue that you may have some antique furniture is to look at the joinery on it. Machine - cut furniture wasn't made until about 1860 so if it looks handmade then you can almost be guaranteed that you have an antique. You can normally spot this by how precisely put on and spaced out the dovetails on the drawers are. If they look perfect then you can be pretty sure that it was made by a machine.

How the furniture has been finished is another very good indicator of whether the furniture is an antique or not. Until the Victorian times shellac was the only clear surface finish that was available until 1860 when lacquer and varnish were developed. If the finish is shellac, oil, wax, milk paint or has been French polished then you may very well have a piece of antique furniture in your hands.

If you have been unable to identify any of the above clues then a final test that can be carried out is to look at the type of wood that has been used to build the furniture. If it is made from oak then it is likely to be antique as this was used predominantly before 1700. From then onwards mahogany and walnut were commonly used so this is likely to signify a more modern piece of furniture.

If these tips are followed then it should be fairly easy to determine if your furniture is antique or not. If you discover that it is then your options are either to go to a dealer to have it valued or to simply keep it in the exact same place as you have always done.
About the Author
Conquest House is a beautiful treasure house with a wide variety of antiques for every pocket. antique has all you need from the Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian to Early Twentieth Century ages.
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