identify antiques

Antiques are items that have reached a considerable age before they were made or designed. When it comes to furniture, the term "antique" is used to describe pieces of furniture that were made more than 100 years ago. These antique pieces of furniture have a unique value due to their historical significance, craftsmanship and design. However, identifying an antique piece of furniture can be a challenge. Here are some ideas on how to recognize antiques and differentiate them from other vintage or retro items.

Antique furniture is typically associated with historical periods such as a specific era, style or movement. For example, 18th and 19th century Georgian or Victorian furniture is classified as antique. These pieces were typically handcrafted from quality materials such as solid wood, intricate carvings, and intricate hand-painted designs. On the other hand, antique furniture refers to any piece of furniture that is over 100 years old. While both antiques and antique furniture share common traits, antiques with furniture are more often associated with aesthetic appeal and collectible value than sheer age.

Which epochs are there and how are they distinguished?

Antiques are among the first historical periods with distinctive styles and design elements. Some of these periods are:

  • The Renaissance (1400-1600) with its elaborate patterns and religious motifs.
  • The Baroque period (1600-1725) with its splendor and elegance and intense carved details.
  • The Rococo period (1720-1770), characterized by delicate lines, curves and asymmetrical patterns.
  • The neoclassical era (1750-1830) with harmonious proportions and classic references
  • The industrial era (1850-1910) with mass-produced furniture that prioritized function over form.

To distinguish between different styles, you need to study the design details and aesthetics of each era. For example, Louis XIV furniture is known for its heavy, ornate designs with bold carvings, while Louis XVI furniture is elegant and understated, featuring delicate lines and ornate gold leaf detailing.

Why are there extreme price differences?

The value of antique furniture is based primarily on its rarity, provenance, condition and historical significance. Certain historical eras and designers, such as Louis XIV, XV. or XVI., are more sought after for their unique design and historical significance. Consequently, antique prices can vary immensely, with some pieces selling for millions. When a piece of furniture is said to be "in the style" of a particular designer or period, it means that it was created using identical design elements but is not an original work from that period. These pieces may be less expensive than authentic antiques, but they are still valuable if they reflect the quality and craftsmanship of the time.

Is a high price justified if a piece of furniture was made "in the style" of?

A high price for furniture "in the style" of (eg Louis) should be justified. While not an original piece, it has been crafted with the same care and quality as antique furniture of the period. However, it is important to ensure that the seller is transparent about the authenticity of the piece so as not to be misled. Ask your local retailer, he will explain and bring you closer to your future piece of furniture with professional care.