Antique furniture should not only look good, but it should feel, sound and smell good too, so you need more than one sense to determine whether it is the piece for you.
Antiques require close inspection, not only to determine that they are what they purport to be, but to satisfy yourself that they have all the qualities that you want. You need to run your hand along them and feel the grain and patinas of the wood, examine in close detail the quality of the antique cabinetry, open drawers and doors and smell the years of usage and those wonderful applications of wax.
Look around the backs of pieces where damage can often be ignored, and listen to the sound of brass handles as they drop down after use. From a functional viewpoint, see if the drawers or doors stick. Is it as big as you thought it was or is it too big? By its very nature, antique furniture can be quite imposing in a small room. Only after you have carefully examined a piece can you be completely satisfied that you will be able to co-habit with this beautiful old treasure for a while.
So if you see the antique desk you want sitting in a dealer’s window, examine it carefully. Only then will you be able to determine whether it is right for you. Then probe the dealer for provenance, history and any odd bits of information, look him or her straight in the eye and ask for their very best price.
When buying that beautiful old antique bookcase in Lancashire or Cumbria, local dealers will be pleased to let you examine pieces very carefully.
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