Now’s The Time To Buy Antique and Repro Furniture

 By Anne Gilbert

      I never thought I’d suggest buying reproductions of antique furniture.       

There was a time when buying reproduction 18th and 19th century furniture was considered a bad idea. However during the last decades times and tastes have changed. These days with fiberboard furniture selling for as much as 18th and 19th century wood pieces calls for rethinking. Antique pieces have lasted for centuries. How long do you think the costly fiberboard pieces will last?

      Ever watch the TV show “Flea Market Flips?” The current generation furnishing apartments and houses pays hundreds of dollars for rusty file drawers and damaged cabinets and chests, refurbished and turned into useable furnishings. A clever idea but what is the lasting value? Or does it matter?

      These days a couple of hundred dollars could buy an authentic antique chest or quality reproduction.

       I may sound like a snob but whatever happened to good taste? To think I used to complain about fakes and reproductions, now I am taking on buying “do-over pieces.”

       Be wary of candle stands made from pole screens or butterfly tables that were once plain tavern tables. Other problem pieces are piecrust table tops made from English tables and put on American tri-pod bases.

    CLUES:  Why buy somebody’s mistakes that have been badly stripped and refinished or settees cut down from large sofas? Furniture with painted or stenciled decorations and pieces with fancy inlays should be carefully studied. These days authentic 19th century Hitchcock side chairs with original painted and stenciled designs are selling for under $100 at auction if they sell at all.

      Wonderful chests made of mahogany and pine are being passed up at auctions. This is a golden age for buying quality antique furniture and reproductions. Beautifully grained wood and handmade brass hardware can’t be duplicated. If you are just furnishing an apartment or house spend some time at some of the antique shops. Talk to the dealers. Do some research.

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