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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.

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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.

Get an expert opinion: A trained eye is more likely to find an undervalued treasure (or a clever fake) than a novice ever would.

Use the press and stay informed about current trends and potential scams in the antique trade by consulting popular and highly regarded antique trade publications.

However, in the early eighteenth century, the walnuts in central Europe were nearly extinguished by a frosty winter and its numbers were significantly reduced.

Meanwhile in 1730s mahogany became increasingly popular after it was introduced to England, imported from the British colonies in Honduras and the West Indies.If it has only a few dovetail joints, with pins narrower than the dovetails, then the joint was made by hand.Look carefully at the bottom, sides, and back of the drawer; if the wood shows nicks or cuts, it was probably cut with a plane, a spokeshave, or a drawknife. If the wood shows circular or arc-shaped marks, it was cut by a circular saw, not in use until about 1860.Handmade dovetails almost always indicate a piece made before 1860.It’s easy to spot an antique by the drawers because joints were not machine-cut until about 1860.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.

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