Identifying antique furniture is something of a challenge for most people. If the piece has drawers, remove a drawer and look carefully where the front and back of the drawer are fastened to the sides of the drawer. It is also a subject that can seem overwhelming and confusing to someone with a new interest in antique furniture. Identifying antique furniture is something of a challenge for most people.

If a piece is very old, it might be coated with oil, wax, or a milk paint finish, all of which were used to protect the timber surfaces of furniture.While it might not always be possible to test the surface layer, it is possible test an inconspicuous spot with denatured alcohol and if it dissolves the finish, it is shellac. It will also help you pick out the one that closely matches your décor and taste. It has the handsome details of an Early American piece in its rich mahogany wood… Sheraton? The two styles look similar, but to the trained eye, there are distinct differences. Examine the level of work that went into the furniture from the joinery, finishing, knobs, and more.

Your guide to antique pottery marks, porcelain marks and china marks Straight saw marks also indicate an old piece. Furniture labels and marks have been used since the 19th century, and the number of marks out there is mind-boggling -- in his book Arts and Crafts Shopmarks, author

The age factor is subjective: general antique stores label objects 50 years or older as antiques. If the piece is painted, test it with ammonia; older pieces may be finished with milk paint, which can be removed only with ammonia.

Early 17th-century furniture typically featured bun- or ball-style feet. The term “antique” can be interpreted in several ways. Which is not a guarantee of its age, but it does point to the piece being very old.

A fine antique dealer, however, would only consider something that is older than 150 years an antique.This is one of the quickest ways to determine whether or not a wooden antique piece is in fact, antique. Check the piece in an inconspicuous spot with denatured alcohol; if finish dissolves, it’s shellac.

See more ideas about Antique furniture, Furniture, Antiques. Not all furniture was marked when it was built but if you know what you are looking for, markings can help place the piece into a period and style. Need some help with identifying antique furniture?

All Rights Reserved. In other words, more vintage furniture is acquired for its beauty and function rather than the profit potential of a piece.When trying to identify antique furniture, dedicated antique hunters search for beautifully preserved pieces, armed with pins, magnifying glasses, spirit levels and all sorts of testing equipment.Other interior or home decorators tend not to take things so seriously but are still interested in items, history and authenticity.Many vintage furniture buyers opt for quality reproductions that are more affordable, and either option is fine providing that you research your subject well when identifying antique furniture.There is no exact science where antique furniture is concerned; you simply make an educated decision based on what is most important to you.Becoming knowledgeable about antique furniture takes research, even if you are focusing on only one aspect of this wide-ranging subject.It’s easy to spot an antique by the drawers because joints were not machine-cut until about 1860.

If it has only a few dovetail joints, with pins narrower than the dovetails, then the joint was made by hand.Look carefully at the bottom, sides, and back of the drawer; if the wood shows nicks or cuts, it was probably cut with a plane, a spokeshave, or a drawknife.