Valuable Antiques

One word of caution concerning valuable antiques: Make a distinction between good old furniture and very valuable antique furniture. The very valuable antique piece is a collector's item. Its value comes not only from its age and condition, but also from the fact that it probably is identified as exemplary of a style, designer or period, such as Chippendale, Hepplewhite or English Regency. Pieces such as these require very special care in order to retain their value as collector's items. It is important, for example, not to strip the finish from such pieces, since the original finish is an integral part of and contributes heavily to the value of the piece. Repairs to such finishes are delicate jobs, to be attempted only after you have gained considerable experience.

These days, because of their dollar value, valuable antiques are seldom used in a home. They are displayed, of course, but they are often worth far too much to be exposed to the dangers of everyday use.



This rough plank back helps determine a piece's age Do not replace such materials

This rough plank back helps determine a piece's age Do not replace such materials

Look for these Roman numerals stamped into the drawer and the chest when you shop for good antique furniture You don't see this notation on less valuable pieces

This valuable French chest is a good example of the kind of antique whose repair should be reserved for experts. It is worth several thousand dollars.

Most pieces in antique shops are sound old This shows the original condition of the golden oak dresser on the cover More than 80 years old, the furniture from 75 to 125 years old dresser had been stored in an unheated garage for 16 years.

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Antique Collecting

Antique Collecting

ABOUT fifty years ago, when the subject of English furniture first began to be studied and to be written about, it was divided conveniently into four distinct types. One writer called his books on the subject The Age of Oak, The Age of Walnut, The Age of Mahogany and The Age of Satinwood. It is not really quite as simple as that, for each of the so-called Ages overlaps the others and it is quite impossible to lagt down strict dates as to when any one timber was introduced or when it finally, if ever, went out of favour.

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