There is no doubt about it, when it comes to spotting authentic pieces of antique furniture, ceramics or anything old and valuable, some people definitely have the knack. However being able to identify this often natural ability to spot something quite exciting out of a box of junk has run into all sorts of problems.
A good ‘eye’ for antiques as with art and writing often comes with being exposed to it from a young age. Certainly anyone who has grown up with antique furniture knows its saleable value when pieces of furniture can be sold to fund foreign holidays or pay bills. However, perhaps it goes deeper than that where it is being continually surrounded by well made, quality cabinetry that spoils the senses for anything newer and less well made. There is much to be said for being in continual contact with well rubbed and loved wooden antique furniture.
For others who have not had the benefit of growing up with antiques, much can be learnt from trawling round car boot sales, flea markets, junk shops and of course, good quality antiques dealerships where fine pieces are on show and for sale. Much information can be picked up through listening to antiques dealers and learning much about the history of individual pieces, the particular styles and designs, the different types of woods and veneers that are used and of course, the terminology. Understanding the difference between the restrained tapering square section legs of the Regency period to the bowing flourish of the earlier cabriole leg decorated with acanthus leaves is all part of this knowledge and television programmes such as Antiques Roadshow, Flog It and Trust Me I’m A Dealer all help.
Many antiques furniture dealers in Lancashire and throughout the country will be happy to divulge their knowledge to the amateur or the professional antiques collector.
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