The Best Way To Differentiate Between A Genuine Antique, Renewed, Reproduction And Also Retro Furniture - A Quick Tutori
There are a lot of myths around the terms antique, reproduction and vintage furniture. You can also find lots of fake pieces of furniture that are designed to deliberately deceive the potential buyer, so when buying an antique great care needs to be used.
An antique, irrespective of whether furniture or other item, isn't officially described, but an item can be classed as an antique if it is more than one hundred years old. A vintage product is considered to be in between 30 and 100 years old. The term vintage (especially furniture) implies that the item is created in the style of the Nineteen fifties to 1970s. Reproduction furniture is brand new pieces of made to a similar design and look of an antique or retro item. Reproduction antique furniture will frequently include the manufacturer's marks. This is very different to a fake which intentionally sets to deceive people into believing it is old.
When examining a bit of furniture that is supposed to be antique a cautious examination is needed. The makers of fake furniture are extremely experienced in the art of deception, but usually the small details are overlooked. Probably the most common differences is the thickness of veneer. Until fairly recently veneers would be around 1/10th of an inch thick. Contemporary veneers are much thinner. One of the most difficult things to fake on a piece of furniture is actually patina. Whilst it can be done in order to fool the unwary, a careful inspection of an item's patina can show whether it's an original piece or a phony.
As an example, any leather Chesterfield couch that is a genuine antique will often have leather that shows signs of wear, it will be supple through years of utilization and the springing is not as crisp as that of a more recently made piece of furniture. Although the makers of the imitation will try their best, the problem is in getting the feel from the piece in use correct.
Any restored piece of furniture is definitely an original antique that has been repaired and made to appear like new. A great restoration will not remove existing patina on the wood items. If veneer has been swapped out it will be of the same thickness as the original. Usually the work is so competent it is not easy to tell which is original and which is restored veneers. Regarding solid timber, the craftsman will often make use of timber of around the same age, or if new timber is utilized it will be matched as best as it can be.
Using the same example of a leather chesterfield sofa; when being renewed, the frame may well have been taken apart and also re-glued together to give a solid feel. The leather-based upholstery will probably have been changed and should be a tell tale sign of restoration. If you're not made aware that an item has been renewed, there will be hints in the look and feel of the leather and the solid wood frame.
Any reproduction item of furniture does not hide its origins. The organization (or individual) who made the replica will usually include their own marks. They will use new up to date components. While the product may seem like an original antique, the newness of the materials used will probably give it away. A classic example is a standard mahogany table. In many cases an antique will have been made from solid mahogany whereas a reproduction may be made from pine and completed using mahogany veneer.
With retro furniture, the materials employed will give hints as to it's origins. The actual plastics used in original chairs will show signs of wear or alternatively deterioration. The metal finishes might not be perfect (particularly chrome flaking off). A good replica will satisfy the same requirements as that of a reproduction antique piece, but will usually be made of a different plastic that wears much better. In some instances, the original moulds for vintage furniture can always be utilized in the production of forgeries.
Whilst it is not a definitive guide, the clues will be there whenever you examine the furniture you plan to purchase to find out whether it is an authentic, fake or perhaps is a duplication.
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