Buying priceless vintage furniture isn’t just for dusty antique dealers or history enthusiasts. Buying and collecting priceless vintage furniture is vastly popular with everyday people, and with the rise of the modern vintage home aesthetic in Birmingham they are often bought for their beauty and presence. But it can be difficult recognising true vintage furniture, and you can’t always trust that antique dealers will be honest with novice collectors. Here are the best ways to identify authentic priceless vintage furniture in Birmingham.
Research Antique Marks
Antique furniture marks were used since the 1800s and were carved, stamped or embossed by manufacturers and craftsmen on the underside or inside of their pieces . Thousands of different marks were used by furniture makers as a way of identifying themselves over others, and there were thousands of furniture makers using them at any given time up to the mid 20th century. This can make it extremely difficult to differentiate between them all. However, gaining some knowledge on the different marks is a step to identifying priceless vintage furniture. There are many guides online or informative books that can be used help understand the variety of manufacturer marks out there.
Know Your Wood
Different types of wood were used to make furniture over different periods as fashions changed throughout England. Oak is the older variety of wood used for furniture, while the late 1800s saw a rise in walnut and mahogany furniture being produced. Wood wouldn’t have been imported in the same way as today, and wood would have been in limited supplies to manufacturers. As a result it wasn’t uncommon for more than one type of wood to be used on one piece of furniture. The same wood would have been used on visible parts of furniture for consistency and other types would have been used for inside or under where they wouldn’t have been seen. Thoroughly inspecting the entire piece top to bottom and surveying the wood types is a good way of identifying the time period of production.
Vintage Is Imperfect
Perfectly symmetrical furniture is a big clue that the piece you’re interested in isn’t true vintage. Back in the day machinery wasn’t used to produce furniture, so clean straight lines would have been impossible to create by hand. Cutting, carving and joining would have all been done manually, and minor flaws would have been common place for even the most skilled of craftsmen. Handmade pieces are likely to have minor scrapes or scratches from the tools that would have been used. Any modern looking joints or precision edges are a dead giveaway that the piece was made after 1860, which is when machinery first started being used to mass produce furniture.
Get Expert Advice
There are many experts around Birmingham who can assist you in identifying priceless vintage furniture. It takes years of research and dedication to become an expert and they will have vast experience at identifying true vintage pieces. You can take a look at this article if you want more information on how to value priceless vintage furniture in Birmingham.
Priceless Vintage Furniture
If you love collecting priceless vintage furniture in Birmingham but have found that certain pieces could do with refreshing, it’s a good idea to undergo a furniture restoration. Not only will your favourite vintage pieces look amazing, they will be more valuable too. At Alan Farr Ltd, we are experts in restoring all valuable vintage furniture, from chairs to bannisters. For more information on the services we provide in Birmingham, give us a call on 01543 469 946, or fill out our online contact form.