Antique furniture is of great value all across Singapore and its worth will keep increasing with time and it will always bring more value to you. Whether you are planning to sell or purchase antique furniture, or you are just curious to know about the furniture present in your house, it is very important to identify if your furniture is actually antique or not.
It is because once you have identified that your furniture is antique, you will be able to know its actual worth and extract the maximum money out of your deal whenever you want to sell it. Moreover, you will feel proud telling people that you own an antique furniture item in your house. Now you might be thinking that how to tell if furniture is antique or not? Don’t worry! In this article, we have explained everything in detail for you.
Identifying antique furniture is no rocket science, here are some solid tips you can use to check if your furniture is antique or not.
Check if your furniture is dovetailed
The first way is to check if your furniture is dovetailed or not. Dovetailing is the characteristic property of antique furniture and resembles high-quality craftsmanship. Dovetailing is being done by ancient carpenters for centuries and this technique is used to hold different parts of furniture together in a piece. It is found on the sides of the drawers, cabinets, and other items.
Once you have spotted dovetailing on your furniture, carefully examine whether the lines and edges have a straight or irregular shape. Irregular shapes symbolize that the furniture was hand-made and qualify as an antique. Whereas, the perfectly straight dovetails suggest that the furniture was cut by machines and it does not qualify as an antique.
Check for multiple types of wood
Another key feature of antique furniture is that a single furniture piece is made with different types of wood. In the old times, furniture craftsmen believed that using valuable wood at invisible parts of the furniture was useless. Therefore, they used valuable wood on the visible parts of the furniture and used ordinary wood for the invisible parts of the furniture. So check your furniture thoroughly, if it is made of different types of wood then it is surely an antique and if it is made of the same type of wood then it may not qualify as an antique.
Check if the furniture is made to look old
There are a lot of scammers in the market who take a random furniture item from the market, distress and deteriorate its condition to make it look old, and then sell it as antique furniture in the market. So you will have to be vigilant and smart enough to detect if it is a really genuine and authentic antique furniture item or not. Genuine antique furniture usually has a few common signs like piles of dirt in the corners, signs of water, extreme wear and tear, etc. You can also look for such signs to verify if the furniture is actually antique or not.
Check the labels and stamps
Labels and stamps are also a great source to identify if the furniture is antique or not. Thoroughly check the furniture and search for any tags, labels, and stamps over it because they contain a lot of valuable information like when and where was the furniture made, the name of the manufacturer, and much more. Many manufacturers write their name, location, and date of production on the labels.
So look for such labels inside the drawers, on the backside, or beneath the furniture. Here you must keep in mind that labels, stamps, and tags can also be faked. So if you spot a label, make sure to check its condition. If it is looking fresh and brand new, then the furniture is not antique. But if the stamp, label, or tag is worn-out and looks old then the furniture is probably an antique.
Identify furniture stamps is the best option to check is it your furniture is an antique or not.
Check the symmetry of the furniture
As we have mentioned above that the details of antique furniture are usually irregular in shape. Work done by hand is easy to spot due to its irregularity. So check the symmetry of the furniture, its corners, edges, and dovetailing, etc. If they are perfect then the furniture is machine-made and does not qualify as an antique. It is because machine cutting was introduced after the 1850s. So keep an eye on all these factors.
Find the age of the furniture
You can also try becoming a detective for a while and try to investigate the age of the furniture to determine if it is actually antique or not. If you don’t know how to tell the age of antique furniture, don’t fret because we are going to teach you everything. So here are some tips you should follow:
- Check the Screws: Check out the screws of the furniture, if they have irregular finishing then the furniture is surely antique because, until 1848, screws were not completely made by machines. However, if you find the screws with pointed ends, matching cuts and perfect finishing exactly like the machine-made screws you will find today then can say that the furniture is new and does not qualify as an antique.
- Compare the Wood Type and Age: Another way to find the age of the furniture is to check its age and then find out which wood type was commonly used during that time. Certain wood types were used during certain times, for example, in the 1700s, oak was primarily used and after the 1700s, mahogany and walnut were used for manufacturing furniture. In the 1800s, maple cherry was very popular and in the 1900s, oak revived its popularity once again. You may not be able to find the exact age using this method but after combining it with other factors like the screws, symmetry, and design, you might be able to find an estimated age of the furniture.