The Beginner’s Guide to Buying Antique Vintage Furniture

Fragment Of The Interior With Antique Furniture And Coffret On The Table

If you’re looking for high-quality home decor that adds a dash of sophistication to any home, look no further than vintage furniture. Buying vintage pieces is quite different from simply buying furniture at a department store or a garage sale. You’re not simply looking for any old used furniture, you’re on the hunt for quality furniture that will last you a lifetime. If you’re ever out shopping for high-end antique furniture in San Diego, here’s what you have to know:

Get to know salespeople and vendors

If it’s your first time purchasing vintage furniture, you’re going to need as much information as you can get. Salespeople and vendors at furniture stores, flea markets, and auctions are great resources of information. Get to know them and what they specialize in so they can help you pick out worthwhile pieces and let you know when something you want arrives.

Take note of the manufacturer’s stamps or inscriptions

The best way to tell if a piece is truly vintage or antique is to check if they have a marking on it that indicates its origin. These inscriptions may include dates, names, or locations. You can also have a professional appraiser check it out for you. During the turn of the 20th century, many furniture makers were using paper labels, brass plaques, and spray-on stencils to mark their pieces. Look out for these since they’re clues as to whether an item is legitimate and worth buying.

Look for good structure and foundation

If you’re buying a dresser or a vanity, make sure drawers can slide out easily without getting snagged. Cabinets and beds should also have durable and sturdy frames. Some pieces might not show their age on the outside, but may reveal some flaws upon further inspection.

Pay attention to hardware and small details

Always check if the piece’s original hardware is intact and if it looks as old as the rest of the piece, otherwise ask if the hardware has been replaced. Solid cast-brass and wooden pulls are easy ways to tell if a piece is antique. There are also certain hardware styles that indicate its age, such as Depression-era, Chippendale, Federal, Hepplewhite, Victorian, Sheraton, and Queen Anne.

Verify the piece’s quality

Simply because a piece is vintage or antique doesn’t necessarily mean it’s high quality. Make sure you’re getting furniture that isn’t made with poor workmanship or inferior materials. Each era and decade has indicators that will let you know whether you’re purchasing either poorly made or well-made furniture. If you have a certain brand in mind, do some research about what makes their pieces stand out and use it as a guide when looking for high-quality antique vintage pieces of a similar style.

Leverage defects to get a bargain price

Couple looking into furniture

You can always use scratches, small damages, and alterations as a reason to bargain for a better price. These minor flaws shouldn’t scare you off, especially since they can easily be fixed and refined if you find a truly remarkable piece that’s worth purchasing. Thoroughly examine a piece you want to buy and note down any imperfections you can see. Afterward, make sure that the piece can actually be fixed and see how much you’ll be spending on repairs. If the cost is too much, it’s probably not worth it.

Antique vintage furniture is investment-worthy home decor pieces that are worth their hefty price tag and will last you a lifetime.

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