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Frequently Asked Questions

How old is enough to be antique?

Basically, an antique is an item with at least 100 years of age under its belt. Items less than 75 years old are sometimes referred to as “collectible” and “vintage”, rather than antique.

What is considered “collectible?”

Anything with value that people collect. With this in mind, it’s easy to understand where the “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” adage originated.

How do you know something is old?

This is one of those learn as you go things. The more you look at, handle and learn about real antiques, the easier it is to distinguish old from new. Antiques and older collectibles are not going to be absolutely new looking in most cases. This is why people pay so much more for items in “mint” condition, because they don’t crop up as often as pieces with telltale signs of aging and wear. Some general things to look for are materials not often used in modern production, hand applied ornamentation that may be machine applied today and styling that might be indicative of a certain time period.

How can I tell if a piece is a reproduction?

The best thing you can do to guard against reproductions is to learn as much as possible about your collecting preferences and pay attention to details. Look for signs of wear as well. And most important of all, KNOW AND HAVE TRUST IN THE DEALER .

How do I recognize one period of furniture from another?

Knowing the woods used and the style/design details of each period can help you determine if a piece of furniture is “of the period”. Some examples are:

16th century or earlier: Gothic & Renaissance influence; arches, scrolled foliage, oak and solid walnut woods.

17th century: Renaissance, Baroque, Chinoiserie, Rococo influence ; cherry, oak, walnut, Beech, mahogany woods.

18th century: Baroque, Rococo Revival, Neoclassical, Gothic Revival, Chinoiserie Revival, Empire; ash, chestnut, beech, satinwood veneers, kingwood/tulipwood, coromandel veneers, rosewood, elm, birch, pine, oak, walnut, mahogany woods.

19th century: Gothic Revival & Regency, Baroque, Egyptian designs, Louis Philippe copies of Gothic, gilding, ebonized beechwood; rosewood, pine, walnut & yew, mahogany veneers, cherry.

20th century: Art Nouveau, stylized natural forms of flowers, etc. geometric shapes, lacquer, Art Deco; beech, birch, cherry, elm, mahogany, oak, pine, walnut & yew woods.