Great Tips for Determining Antique Furniture Values
Appraising antique furniture is an important skill for any antique hunter. Professional appraisers have had a great deal of experience to draw from but using a professional to appraise every item you are considering purchasing is just not practical, let alone affordable. It is possible to determine furniture values yourself with a little preparation. Here are some great tips.
Whether you are buying antique furniture to put in your home or to realize a profit you want to get the best possible price. Whatever type of furniture - desk, table, chair, bed, sideboard etc - there is a wealth of information on the internet, at the library, antique forums and discussion groups and societies. Even basic research will give you an edge although the more you know the better armed you will be to get a great buy on the antique you want.
A good examination of the antique is also an essential step in valuing an item also. The better condition a piece is in the more valuable. Make a general examination first and note any obvious damage or blemishes such as chips or cracks, warping or discoloration.
Doors should be securely attached and be properly aligned. Drawers should open and close freely and the item should be solid and structurally sound. Shiny new hinges or handles may indicate a repair or alteration has been made (they certainly won't be original!) as can changes in colour or the finish of the wood.
A particular place to pay attention to is the edges. Seasoned antique hunters know that a 100 year old piece of furniture has been subjected to a lot of wear and tear and the edges, in particular, show this wear. Rough or perfectly square edges are a good telltale that the piece is not that old. The antiques' finish is also important. If the furniture's colours are vibrant and the finish is in good repair it has been well cared for and indicates good craftsmanship.
The next most important aspect when purchasing antique furniture is to avoid buying without being fully satisfied that the piece is what you think it is and you are getting it at the right price. Purchasing on impulse without properly determining value can be a very costly exercise.
Don't be afraid to take photographs, ask questions and come back later when you have had time to compare it against others. Verify any claims that are pushing up the price such as being owned by famous figures and get any authenticating documents if they are available.
The level of demand will also play a part in an antiques value. Highly desired pieces attract higher prices and will be sought after by collectors. If you are looking to make a profit by buying and selling antiques furniture then spotting a piece that is rare and in demand that is under priced is every antique hunter dream!
Knowing whether the piece you are looking at is in demand or not will be a great asset in determining its value and will be reflected in the price you pay.
In short getting a great deal is about research. If you know what you want, how to identify it, how to asses its condition, quality and authenticity and know the market you will be able to get the furniture you want at the best price.
About the Author:
Thomas is passionate about antiques and writes to help others learn more about this wonderful pastime.
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