I love old pieces of furniture, no matter how hard I try, the patina of an antique is impossible to match. Also, the feeling of an antique is hard to replace, one of my favorite things is to blend the old with the new, and i think it makes each feel stronger. However, for the novice buying antiques can be pretty daunting, for that matter being sure that the piece you are looking at is even an antique at all, can be half the battle.
Here are some tips that might help:
- It is best if you can maintain a constant interest, whether through auctions, dropping by your favorite shop, or the mega-site 1stdibs.com, the more you look at antiques the better you will get at recognising both quality and value.
- Take your time in making the decision, few good decisions are made in haste. Look at it in natural light to get a better sense of its real color.
- Remembering that some imperfections can actually add value, so don't expect it to be perfect. Having said that be wary of things like worm holes that's are all the same size, they may be created by a nail not a worm.
- Be aware, especially on old pieces that sometimes the hardware will have been replaced, so check closely for changes in wood color around the hardware locations, also look under the piece to see if you can see hand made marks, rather than machined perfection.
- If the dealer seems to be hiding things or be a bit shifty about the provenance etc, move on.
- Lastly, fall in love with the piece, it will bring you years of pleasure.