Rare antique furniture or junk: How to tell the difference

Whether you are collecting antique furniture or refurbishing your house, it’s good to know how to tell if what you are buying is a genuine antique. If you have inherited furniture from your family, you can assess its value to see whether it is worth keeping. Another option is to go shopping at second hand stores or auctions. Once you know what to look for you may be able to find valuable antique furniture for sale at a low price.


The best way to evaluate the value of your furniture is to get advice from a professional. Experts will be qualified to tell you whether the furniture is an imitation or not. Although consulting with a professional is advisable, you can also learn what to look out for yourself.



Here are some tips on how to spot a genuine antique:

Make sure you do your research before you purchase the furniture. While there are plenty of genuine antiques just waiting to be discovered, there are also numerous imitations.


An antique is defined as furniture that is precious because of when it was made. Pieces that are adorned with skilled artistry are particularly coveted by collectors and home owners alike. The age at which an item is defined as an antique is subjective. It depends on whether you are shopping at general antique stores or a specialised dealer.


One of the main things to look out for when buying antique furniture is the joinery. Machine cut pieces only came into production around 1860. Look at the dovetails where the wood is joined and if they are not precise, then it is likely that the piece was handmade.  Handmade items also have less dovetails which are placed further apart. This is typically an indication that the piece was produced prior to 1860.


If the furniture is perfectly symmetrical, it is probable that it was made by machine. Look at the rungs and spindles as on hand made furniture they will not be uniform. Imperfections are an indication that the item is genuine and not a machine made replication.


Another factor to look at is the finish that was used. Older pieces usually have a shellac finish as other finishes were only developed later on. Oil or wax finishes predate shellac. It may be difficult to identify the finish in the store, but if you can, it is better to determine the finish before you buy the furniture.


The type of wood that was used is another indication of the piece’s age. Oak was the predominant wood that was used prior to 1700. You can also find maple and mahogany pieces. Although the wood can be an indication, it is better to focus on how the piece was put together.


The pieces that you choose to buy will also depend on your personal style and the décor that is already in your home. Buying antique furniture can be a great investment if you know what to look for. You can also buy items that are not in their optimum condition and refurbish them to increase their value


With an array of antique furniture for sale in South Africa, you can find stunning items to add to your collection on www.JunkMail.co.za. Whether the pieces are for your personal use or an investment, it is important to know what you are looking for.


Selling your antique furniture? Why not place your free ad on Junk Mail today?

Neshika Thakurdin

I'm Neshika Thakurdin, I'm 24 and I'm an experienced Search engine Optimization (SEO) Engineer at Junk Mail classifieds with a national diploma in Marketing.

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