Antiques are gaining popularity. And that also means that many modern furniture items look antique, even if they aren't. So how can you know if you have a piece of antique Stickley furniture or just a look-alike? There are some hallmarks that antique furniture items have that newer furniture items won't.
Oak or Pine Wood
Oak or pine woods were commonly used centuries ago. They are sturdy woods that were common and easy to work with. Maple, mahogany, and other more exotic woods only became popular and trendy later on. While not an indicator on its own, a piece of furniture being made out of oak or pine wood is generally a good sign that it may be an antique.
Most antique furniture isn't designed very precisely. Though the decorative areas may be symmetrical and well-designed, the joints will likely be uneven and have some asymmetry to them. It also goes without saying that these joints will usually be wood-on-wood bonds, such as dovetail joints, rather than involving bolts or screws. Joints are a good way to tell whether a piece is an older one.
Many antique furniture makers used to create a seal of sorts underneath the item of furniture or in another obscure place. These maker's marks often have a date on them -- though not always. Modern furniture usually just comes stamped with a serial number or a brand name instead.
Shellac or Staining
Shellac is a type of finish that was dominantly used on antique furniture. Light staining, oiling, and other similar finishing methods were also commonly used on furniture. Sometimes furniture was simply polished without any type of outer coating. If an item of furniture instead has paint or lacquer, it's very unlikely that it is an antique. Lacquers and other types of thicker finishes were developed more recently. There is one exception - sometimes furniture may be repainted or reconditioned over time by those who own it. If a piece of furniture looks truly antique, it may be worth it to determine what's under the finish.
Of course, the best way to ensure that you're dealing with antique furniture is to see an antique dealer. Antique dealers can give you a better information on exactly what you have and whether or not it could be valuable. Not all antiques are worth a lot of money -- but the ones that are can be worth a sizable sum.Share
11 July 2016
When it comes down to it, your furniture is pretty important. In addition to offering your guests a comfortable place to sit, furniture also allows you to make your home truly unique. I have purchased furniture several times over the years, and I think that I have learned a lot about what to look for. On my blog, you will learn all kinds of things about furniture, including what to ask, what to look for in different pieces, and how to approach salespeople without seeming rude. You never know, these tips might help you to solidify a beautiful home in no time.