How To Spot Fake Antique Furniture

February 12th, 2011  |  Published in TIPS

1 Step back and look: While you’re at an antique shop, take your time to observe the construction of the piece. Is the entire piece in the same style (especially if it is carved wood). At times with antique dressers certain parts could’ve been repaired or changed.

2 All in the back: Check its back. Has it been recently varnished, stained or painted? If the finish on the back looks too clean and even, then it has been a recent patch-up job for sure.

3 Pine over it: If it’s been described as antique pine furniture then you surely need to think over the purchase. At times, such furniture tends to be actually made from old wood paneling or floorboards.

4 Size does matter: Wood shrinks with age due to atmospheric change and so in antique this will be easily visible. Especially evident on round boards and parts like legs, the wood will generally shrink in width along the grain and not length, giving the round part and ovalish shape.

5 Nail it: Check the nails used. Sharp nails with flat round heads were only used from 1880s and onwards. If the head is unevenly shaped with grooves, it’s likely older. Staples used in furniture are a definite sign of it being made in the 20th Century.


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