Acquiring antique furniture is a challenge at the best of times, and for someone with little or no experience dealing in antiques, there is a high risk of ending up with an item that isn’t genuine, or overpriced. Prior to buying any antique item, you are strongly advised to do your own research, starting with the basics. There are unlimited resources online where you can learn more about antiques, particularly how to identify items, and the more you learn, the less chance there is of buying a fake, and with that in mind, here are a few tips on how best to source antique furniture.
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Forge an Alliance with a Local Antique Dealer – This will prove invaluable, especially when you are looking for a specific item like a four-poster bed, or a few antique mirrors, as the dealer would have extensive connections within the industry, enabling him to source a wide range of pieces. There are some more tips for beginners who wish to buy antique furniture, which is recommended reading.
Be Methodical – It is recommended that you examine the item first whenever you check out and buy antique furniture online. When examining antique furniture, one should be very thorough, and knowing what to look for is half the battle. Dovetail joints are always a good indicator as to a piece’s age. As a rule, the thinner the dovetails, the more skilful the maker, and anything that has been machined is most certainly not an antique. Look under tables and remove drawers, looking for clues as to its age.
Online Research – The more you can learn about the antique industry, the better, and with many websites that are dedicated solely to antiques, you can build up your knowledge, which will prove to be invaluable in the future. You can find things like an antique buying guide and information on every aspect of the fascinating world of antiques. If you plan to buy items and restore them before selling them on, you would need to practice furniture restoration on a few vintage items first, either that or factor in the cost of professional restoration, which a lot of dealers do.
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Avoid Items That are Coded – Some antique dealers do not advertise the price, but there is a code number that you can quote when asking for a price. The reasoning behind the code number could be that the seller has several prices, depending on the person who is making the enquiry. If a person with limited knowledge were to enquire about a specific item, the dealer has the opportunity to quote a higher price than if the enquiry came from a seasoned expert, so generally try to avoid buying your antiques from a dealer that uses coding.
Buying antiques is a very wise investment, as you also get to enjoy stunning furniture at home, and if you are lucky enough to stumble upon something obscure that turns out to be very valuable, you can expect to make a tidy profit. Partner up with a local antique dealer, who can help you to learn about the business, while also sourcing desired items on your behalf.