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Understanding the Differences Between Antiques And Antique Reproductions

March 20, 2018

Understanding the Differences Between Antiques And Antique Reproductions - English Georgian America

Did you know that there are almost 70 TV programs broadcast in the US, UK, and Canada  about antiques?

But, how can you tell the difference between the two? How can you distinguish one from the other before you spend money on something?

Don't worry, we're here to help you!

We've gathered some helpful tips for you to better understand the differences between antiques and antique reproductions. Reproductions are amazing and often even better than the real deal!

Not buying it? It all starts with the fact that the real deal doesn't always exemplify perfect measurements.

Genuine Antiques Don't Have Exact Symmetry

If you are looking for furniture to match yourhome decor, we recommend perhaps looking for the symmetry of the material.

Is it symmetrical? Is it smooth?

If the answer is yes, then you're looking at a good reproduction. Take your time and examine the furniture's components. Bear in mind that antique reproductions have exact symmetry as they are machine-made.

Old antiques, on the other hand, are asymmetrical, imperfect and have inconsistent flaws as they age.

Slight difference in size and shape will give you a hint that the furniture is handmade. Apart from that, they also have an uneven width as well as irregular dovetail joints. This can make antiques ugly and misshapen.

Reproductions are perfect in every measurement since machines and computers make them. This is ideal if you want a picture-perfect piece for your home.

Check the Wood

The type of wood is another clue. Original antiques are often made using more than one type of wood. Back in the days, oak and mahogany were the favorites of carpenters.

Since a lot of carpentry materials were expensive and hard to obtain in the past, furniture makers used multiple types of wood. Check the parts of the furniture that people don't often see such as:

  • Drawer's interior
  • Back of the furniture
  • Bottoms of drawers
  • Joints

These areas, which are not exposed, tend to have less expensive and more common types of wood, such as maple and pine. Due to the different materials, the product could rot and break down in different patches.

Today’s fine reproductions have access to consistent high-quality woods. These higher quality reproductions should stand the test of time.

Antique Reproductions Carry a Classic, Vintage Style

Antiques look old because they are. This doesn't mean they aged well like wine. Their parts age, rot and they are more fragile than today's high-quality reproductions. Always consider who restored an item and hopefully they used modern techniques that will also stand up over time.

This is crucial information to consider because while you'll want something that looks vintage, you also don't want it to break.

Reproductions are the ideal solution here because they look classical but are in fact brand new and sturdy. They'll last for years.

Pay Attention to Odor

Does odor matter? Yes, it does! You can tell a lot from the smell of the material.

So how does antique furniture smell? Old, antique pieces should have a musty smell. They should have that old and musty odor due to the wood's age.

Antique reproductions will give you a fresh wood scent. This is great because you don't want your home to smell dusty and unclean. Reproductions are the safer and more hygienic choice.

Real antiques can smell foul, musty, and may even have molds inside. This is not a safe option if you have kids in the house.

Gluing of Furniture and Hand Carvings

Examine the furniture and check how each part attaches. Are they attached with glue? Then there's a great chance that you're looking at expertly made antique reproductions.

In the past, furniture makers didn't rely too much on conventional glue. This doesn't always result in sturdy and strong furniture, which is why reproductions address this with modern techniques.

Identifying antiques from antique reproductions by checking the hand carvings is a no-brainer.

For antiques, hand carvings are often:

  • Uneven
  • Bumpy and asymmetrical
  • Have slight flaws

For reproductions, hand carving is often:

  • Smooth and symmetrical
  • Perfect design and craftsmanship

Easy-peasy, right? All you need to check is some slight imperfections of the hand carving. Doing so will help you confirm if it's crafted by hand or machine. Of course, getting the reproduction is a better option since you're guaranteed perfect measurements.

Take a Look at the Patina

Patina is a thin layer of coating found on the surface of the furniture due to exposure to weather.

While patina is hard to produce and difficult to fake, furniture manufacturers can still imitate it. They put heavy stains on the furniture so it will look old. This gives reproductions that iconic vintage look - hygienically!

Consider the Construction

Look and check how the furniture gets made. We suggest giving it a full examination! Antique furniture has wide boards, especially when it comes to large surfaces such as tables and trunks.

Low-quality reproductions use the following materials as part of their construction: Stay away from them.

  • Staples
  • Fiberboards
  • Conventional screws

Antique furniture pieces often have uneven width while reproductions have a narrow board and even width. Reproductions are sturdier because of the newer materials they use, making them perfect if you want furniture that will last for decades.

Buying Antiques and Antique Reproductions

Who wouldn't like antique furniture? The main issues though include how fragile they can be, the hygienic issues that come with buying old items, and their expensive price tag.

Buying antique reproductions, on the other hand, also gets rid of the frustration of hunting for the right piece of furniture. You can even get the perfect piece that you want with the right size and shape by having it custom made. Added to that, they also don't cost as much money as the antique ones.

Get the Best Antique Reproductions Today!

Should you buy reproductions?

The answer is a resounding yes! They're not only affordable but they're also sturdier than real antiques.

If you have more questions about antiques and antique reproductions, you cancontact us and get the perfect antique set for your home.