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How To Buy Real Vintage Furniture

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So you’ve been wanting an armoire to store your shoes a la true fashionista, so you went to one of those vintage furniture web stores and the price tag scared you off, shattering the dream to million pieces. Well, don’t be dramatic. There is Craigslist for that, you know.

Guide on Buying Real Vintage Furniture

Vintage table

First of all, let’s get the term defined. The word vintage originated in 15th century to describe the time making wine, it can also mean age, and some dictionaries define it as ‘representing the high quality of a past time’. High quality is the gist of it, at least for us because who wants a real old piece of furniture that was poorly made out of cheap materials? Note, that 50’s-60’s furniture is typically called mid-century and it’s very popular now.

So, with the definition out of the way you can start looking for places to buy your vintage furniture. If online shops seem too inaccessible to you, try visiting local flea markets, garage sales, and auctions. They will not only have lower prices, but you can find lots of authentic mid-century, vintage pieces there at a good price that would cost much more from a dealer or store who knows the pieces’ history and demand for them.

Check out Craigslist and be sure to call or write as soon as you noticed the ad since good pieces at good prices tend to sell very quick. But beware of

There’s nothing wrong with buying a vintage reproduction if you like your furniture new but still appreciate older styles. But if you’re after a unique piece with history it will show the genuine signs of wear, it have a musty smell, and asymmetrical carving since it was done by hand in the past. Another way to tell if the piece is genuine is to look at it from all angles. If you spot difference in material, it’s probably original, because reproductions and modern furniture in general is often made of one source material. If you notice details of construction like dovetails, mortises and tenons then your piece is genuine, because most of modern furniture is constructed using glue, staples, and Phillips screws.

Do your research about old methods of old furniture manufacturing to further aid you in spotting reproductions from real things. Of course, if you have extra cash to spend you can go straight to an antiques dealer and splurge.

Note that if you are buying your vintage furniture from a dealer they may have already done some restoration work and smaller scratches were polished. Expect the price for the thing to go up or if you need to do some work yourself hiring a professional will cost you some additional dollars.

Do you care about old furniture history or are you simply after nice things on the cheap? Have you had any experience of buying and restoring vintage furniture?


Category: Furniture

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