5 Steps To Ensure You Buy Only Real Antique Bedroom Furniture

Posted on: 25 August 2020

Do you want truly antique furniture for your bedroom? One of the key parts of collecting and enjoying antique furnishings is to learn how to identify true antiques. With so many replicas and often so little provenance, the antique market can be difficult to navigate. To help you find the right items no matter what your period tastes, here are a few key identification tips. 

1. Learn to Identify Periods. Antique furniture and decor are differentiated by aligning it with particular 'periods' of time and styles within those periods. To know whether your piece is really from a certain time, assess its characteristics. A Federal-style vanity, for instance, will likely feature symmetry and balance, lots of inlay work, and straight or tapered feet. On the other hand, the next period, Empire or Classical, features more ornate foot designs and showy inlay carvings. 

2. Look for Hand Work. Most antique furniture was made in the time before industrialization and mass production. So you should see evidence of hand carving and cutting. You may even see hammer marks or chips where a chisel hits the wood wrong. Imperfection is a feature — not a bug — of hand-made furniture. 

3. Check Out Materials. Certain materials were popular during certain periods, and this can help you identify an original item. The Arts & Crafts movement tended to use mostly oak, as opposed to the mahogany of the Empire era. During the French Restoration, you're more likely to find upholstered chairs. And Gothic Revival embraced mechanical parts in tables and decor. Compare woods and other elements to what was actually created. 

4. Inspect for Markings. Although you may not find the name of the builder emblazoned on a headboard or dresser, you might find evidence of their marks. This could be anything from a number of individuals letters on a table pedestal to an icon or logo burned into the wood. Familiarize yourself with the hallmarks of the 'big hitters' of bedroom furniture production during your relevant time period.

5. Work with Respected Suppliers. One of the easiest ways to ensure you purchase authentic antiques is to work only with reputable sellers. Research dealers and showrooms in your area to determine their reputation and look at reviews from other customers. Talk to antique collectors and enthusiasts in the local community about their experiences with various sellers as well.

Anyone who wants real antiques will have to spend a little more time and energy on their acquisitions than a person who buys new furniture. But the extra work will be worth the effort as you find the perfect piece to complete your set and take a step back in time. Find an antique bedroom furniture supplier near you.