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The Value Of Antique Furniture

December 22nd, 2010

Antique furniture values generally always appreciate. Why is this? Mainly, it is because of the combination that antique furniture is made of solid wood and it has such beautiful craftsmanship. The furniture we see today is not built like it was over 100 years ago; therefore, it is not as valuable.

Identifying and Valuing Antique Furniture

Antique furniture can be separated into four geographic categories. These include:

* English – Divided into Victorian or Pre-Victorian
* European – Generally French or German
* American: Shaker, New York or Western
* Far Eastern – Generally Chinese – Described by the period or date of manufacture

English antique furniture is sub-categorized by the rulers during that time period. For example; Georgian (1714-1812), Regency (1812-1830), Victorian (1837-1901), and Edwardian (1901-1910).

French furniture is classified based on the rule of King Louis. These include: Louis XIV (1643-1715), Louis XV (1723-1774), and Louis Phillpe (1830-1848).

American furniture that was popular back in the 17th and 18th century include: William and Mary (1690-1725), Queen Anne (1725-1750), Chippendale (1750-1780), Federal (1790-1815), Classical (1815-1845), Empire (1815-1845), and Country and Shaker (1690-1900).

Antique furniture values determined by:

–Wood Type–

Mahogany, walnut, oak, and pine are the most valuable. Original Hardware and Wood Panels – A piece is more valuable when it has its original hardware and wood panels. It is important not to try and “fix” a piece when it has broken parts. This will lower the value.

–Condition of the Furniture–

When assessing the value of antique furniture, the condition of the piece is very important. Obviously “mint” condition furniture is worth more than one with scratches and stains. However, repairing the furniture will devalue the piece rather than improving it.

Do not ever strip and refinish an antique. Something that may not seem important could be the difference of thousands of dollars. For example, if you remove a leg and try to re-attach it to make it less wobbly, then it will lose a lot of value. Leave it a little wobbly, as this shows its authenticity.

— Rarity–

This is one of the biggest factors for determining antique furniture values. The fewer items there are of a particular antique, the more valuable the antique is likely to be. This is not always going to be true; however, it is something to use as a basis when trying to determine a value.

–Demand —

Demand is a large factor for antique worth. A rare antique is not worth as much if no one wants it.

Authenticating Antique Furniture

Fraud is common is the antiquing business. In order to protect yourself from being scammed, educate yourself on the basic tricks prior to making that purchase. Request the assistance of an antique expert when you need one.

Once you determine what type of furniture you are interested in, you will want to ensure the piece you have is authentic. Here are some two sure signs to look for:

1. Look for signs of age. Real wood shrinks over time. You should see signs of cracking, warping, and fading.

2. Beware of perfect craftsmanship. Handmade work involves uneven boards, jagged edges, and wobbly lines in the screws. Power tools were not available 100 years ago. Perfectly straight lines in furniture usually means it was made with mechanical power tools.

Antiquing is a fascinating hobby, especially if you take the time to learn what you can about each type of antique.

How do you identify antique furniture? Go to The Antique Authority.

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