How To Spot Antique Furniture

Antiquing is one of the most popular pastimes among the wealthy these days. They like to spend their weekends trawling the city for furniture and decor for their home that is more sophisticated and harder to replicate than items bought new in a store. You don't have to be rich to take up antiquing as long as you're good at bargain hunting, however. If you think that antiquing might be something you'd like to take up, use this overview of the subject to get you started.

Antiques vs Old Junk

The biggest question novice antique hunters ask is: how do you tell what's an antique, and what's just old junk? Old furniture pieces are only antiques as long as someone wants them, so often whether a custom piece from the 50s is considered an antique is whether or not it's popular among collectors, so search antiquing message boards to find out what people are looking for. The other factor is the quality of the manufacturing. Cheaply made things almost never last long enough to become antiques, which usually takes about 50 years.

Pricing an Antique

Used goods, regardless of whether they're from last year or the last century, are only worth what someone is willing to pay for them. An individual may be looking for an antique dress for a special event and find the perfect one in an antique shop. Generally speaking the older the piece is and the better shape it's in, the more a sales person will want it for his or her collection. The best antiques are sold at auction, which is the ultimate price setter, so taking it to an auction house for appraisal is your best bet if you want an idea of what it could be worth.

Restoring an Antique

Though the quality of the manufacturing must be good in order for an item to qualify as an antique, there are no restrictions on wear and tear. Old items have of course been used, and some degradation is expected. The better the condition, the more it is worth, so if you can pick up some hard-used items from an old English language school and restore them, you can make quite a tidy profit. Often all that's needed is a little sanding and refinishing.

Where to Buy Antiques

If you're looking for antique hand garden tools, you'll have to be much more patient and thorough than you would if you wanted to buy new ones. Antiques can be found in used furniture or antique shops, in flea markets, at estate sales, in auctions, and in yard and garage sales. You never know what you will find, so it's easy to get sucked into going to every sale you can find. It's worth it, however, if it means you can find the piece that you want.

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