ntiques are pieces of history that have survived the test of time and can take us back to a different era. But if you're new to antique collecting, it can be difficult to know what is real and what's not.

In this article, we'll examine the process of identifying and researching antiques.

1. Look for Marks and Signatures

When you're first starting out, it can be hard to spot a mark or signature, but they can provide a wealth of information.

Look carefully at any markings on your piece, especially those that appear to have been made intentionally rather than by accident. You may find an insignia with the name and location of a maker, shop owner or town listed in it. A hallmark is often found on silver items such as candlesticks or cutlery; this will have information about who created them and when they were made stamped into metal marks on the base (in some cases).

If you don't see any signs of marks or signatures right away—or if there are too many to decipher—don't give up! There are plenty more ways to research these details later on down the road after you've learned how important these things really are.

2. Decoding Antique Furniture

When shopping for antique furniture, it's important to look for signs of age and quality. For example, if you find an antique table with a well-carved base, look at its legs. If they're not smooth or do not have an even tone or color throughout, this could indicate that the piece has been refinished (or "overlaid"). It may also mean that the table is new—a well-crafted reproduction of an older piece.

If you're having trouble telling whether a piece is original or not, there are ways to check. Antique furniture often features different types of wood: oak, mahogany, and walnut are common examples. It can be hard to tell apart between these three species without some sort of expertise in woodworking so take note if you see them together on one piece! This can give clues about its age and authenticity.

3. Don't Get Fooled by Reproductions

Reproductions are often made in the same style as the original, with many of them even looking like exact replicas.

A reproduction item will often be made from similar materials to those used for originals. For example, if you have an antique wooden chair, a modern-day replica might be made of plywood rather than wood.

If an item is being sold in an antique store or auction house, it may not be a reproduction but a genuine antique that has been resold on consignment. In this case, there's no way to know whether or not your new purchase is actually a genuine collectible until it's proven authentic by an appraiser or historian who is familiar with antiques of that type and age range.

4. Testing Your Antiques for Authenticity

The best way to know if your antique is authentic is to test it for yourself. The following are some of the most popular methods for testing the items you've found:

  • Test for metal using a magnet. If the object sticks to your magnet, it's made of metal and not plastic or wood.
  • Test for paint with a UV light. Paint will glow under these lights, while other materials won't.
  • Test wood by dropping the item into water—if it floats, then its wood! If it sinks like a stone, then avoid buying it because chances are that's not real wood but rather some sort of material pretending to be something else (like plastic).

5. Get a Good Antique Guide

A great way to identify and research your antiques is to get a good antique guide. There are many available, and some are better than others. It's important to look for one that is up to date, covers the type of antiques you're interested in, and also covers the area where you live.

There are great guides on Amazon with free shipping if you don't want an old book shipped from overseas which could take weeks or months!

Do your research, don't get fooled by reproductions, and have fun!

The most important thing to remember when it comes to identifying your antiques is that there are no shortcuts. It takes work, research, and knowledge to properly identify an antique, so don't get fooled by sellers who claim otherwise!

With the tips we've given you here, though—and if you're lucky enough to find yourself with some good old-fashioned curiosity about the world around us—you'll be well on your way to becoming an expert in no time at all.

Aug 4, 2022

Live Clases by

Marge Draeger

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