When evaluating antique furniture, there are many techniques that can be utilized by anyone who wants to make an accurate valuation. There are particular warning signs to watch out for in antique pieces that indicate newness, and they can be discovered easily if one learns about them ahead of time.
On the other hand, there are indicators of age that can be observed, which are helpful to know about because they imply higher value in the furniture. It may be costly and time consuming to have antiques appraised by an expert, so it can be helpful to have a basic education on the signs to look out for when judging the value of antiques.
Indicators of High Value
In this section are some characteristics of age (and higher value) that can be seen in antiques. A general concept to be aware of is that wood and glass tend to become warped over a long period of time. For example, wooden tables that may have been perfectly round when it was built will most likely not still be perfectly round if it is truly an antique, because the wood will have become warped. The same can be observed in the glass that is found in antique mirrors and other glass pieces.
In wooden furniture, look for variations in colour. These occur in old furniture because certain segments of the furniture are exposed to light for many years, while others, like the back of a dresser, are not. If there are signs that the furniture has been reupholstered several times, this can indicate a higher age and value. General indicators of age can also include normal wear tear and build-ups of dirt or dust.
Indicators of Lower Value
It is also important to know how to avoid buying new furniture that can be mistaken for antique furniture. In terms of coloration, the inverse of the advice above is true: new furniture tends to be uniform in colour because it has not been exposed to light long enough to show discoloration. If there are screw holes in the furniture with nothing in them, this likely means that part of the original piece of hardware (such as a handle) is missing, which will decrease the value.