The finish on furniture, made before 1860, is usually shellac; if the piece is very old, it may be oil, wax, or milk paint.
Fine old works are often French-polished, a variation of the shellac finish.
Other interior or home decorators tend not to take things so seriously but are still interested in items, history and authenticity.
Many vintage furniture buyers opt for quality reproductions that are more affordable, and either option is fine providing that you research your subject well when identifying antique furniture.
Establish value: Many collectors prefer particular eras, styles, and makers, while others have more eclectic tastes.
In either case, an authentic item’s value is influenced and based on its condition, rarity, and history.
Consider practical matters Carefully: Always check the size and weight of any piece of antique furniture that interests you. To reduce these costs, search in local antique dealers and check other sellers who will provide a complete wrap and ship service.
The first aspect is the joinery; machine-cut furniture was not produced until about 1860.
Primarily because so many of us naturally do what’s most important when collecting antique furniture. Most antique furniture tends to be purchased by ordinary everyday people, rather than dedicated antique furniture collectors.
The dovetail joint is one of the most common in furniture making, and it is fairly easy to distinguish between the hand carved and machine made joints.
This type of joinery is used for its strength and durability.
When viewed side by side, it is simple to distinguish the difference between a drawer that was built using hand tools and a drawer that was built using machinery.
Due to the increase in demand, a more efficient method of creating furniture was needed in North America. After 1890, machine cut dovetails dominated furniture making.