When you buy an antique dining table or Victorian oak pedestal desk for example, you need to be sure it’s the genuine article and not a well-disguised fake, as the difference in value can be considerable.
So long as you stick to accredited LAPADA or BADA dealers, you are unlikely to be deliberately misled when it comes to procuring “standards”, such as antique mahogany pedestal desks and Victorian balloon back dining chairs . Nonetheless, even the experts can be taken in sometimes. This is more likely to happen with deliberately forged fakes, than with reproductions. In recent times, even Christie’s has fallen prey to clever forgeries, although it can be hard to prove fraudulent activity, unless the vendor can be shown to have deliberately sought to mislead the auctioneer or public.
In Cumbria, antique dining tables are often sold privately or at local auctions, advertised as having “rare provenance” or similar. If you are tempted to buy an antique dining table in this way, check the condition matches its age. For example, is there evidence of shrinkage along the grain, creating a less-than-perfect shape to the top? This isn’t a fault, it’s a sign of authenticity.
Be wary also of suspiciously low prices, for example a £500 Georgian antique oak pedestal desk that a Preston antique dealer would value at £1000 or more. These days, people rarely sell fine furniture without having it valued first – and £500 is a lot to pay for a worthless fake! Dealers in Preston have antique desks and other fine furniture at highly affordable prices; it really is best to trust the experts.
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